Saturday, November 12, 2011

The First Converted Sinner to Break Through the Old Covenant Fog

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
We read in the Bible that God was so good to ancient Israel--He gave them His holy law. The Ten Commandments plus a multitude of other laws and regulations. Their duty was spelled out so clearly that no one could misunderstand.

They always tended to forget so He sent them prophet after prophet to remind them of His law. These blessings made them different from the pagan nations around them.

"Wonderful!" you say. "What more could God have done for them? He let them know His will. If only they will obey His commandments--what a wonderful nation they will be!"

But that's where the entire system broke down. Generation after generation, they disobeyed. Once in a while they did a fitful legalistic effort at reform and repentance (union of church and state), but then back again to the familiar "blessing/retribution motif" which was mostly "retribution" until Israel's final national end in disgraceful failure in 702B.C.

The more commandments God gave them, the more they transgressed. Finally they were worshipping at their idolatrous shrines in a more lewd way than the pagan nations around them. "The Lord ... removed them out of His sight" (see 2 Kings 17). The experiment went on for the better part of two millennia, until they ended up murdering their Messiah, the very Son of God. What was wrong? Are God's people just too sinful for Him to be able to save them? And must this law/transgression syndrome go on forever?

The problem was simple: Israel fastened themselves under the Old Covenant at Sinai. It dominated their thinking ever after. It created "bondage" (Gal. 4:24). Paul was the first converted sinner to break through the fog. Isn't it time now to grasp the New Covenant?

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: September 20, 2002.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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