The Promise to Israel
In Deuteronomy 28, The Lord makes a promise to the children of Israel. This promise has a condition. The condition is obedience. If they will obey the LORD, many blessings will be bestowed upon them. If, however, they will not obey the LORD and His commandments, many curses will come upon them.
The question I have is, “Does this conditional promise apply to us today?” This promise is part of the Mosaic covenant. We are under the new covenant. How can we know if a promise made under one covenant has an underlying principal that applies to any later covenants?
One way we can know is if God tells us. For instance, after the flood, God told Noah that He was establishing His covenant with him and his descendants after Him. We happen to be descendants of Noah!
What if the covenant does not apply to us? The ten commandments are part of the Mosaic covenant. We are not under the Mosaic covenant. Do the ten commandments apply to us? Many of you might say “Yes!” Technically, the answer is no. The ten commandments do not apply to us. They are part of the Law and the New Testament makes it clear that we are not under the Law but under grace. The Law is to teach us what loving God looks like. If we keep the Law, does it mean that we love God? If the religious leaders of Jesus’ day are any indication the answer is no. According to them, they were able to keep the Law to the letter, however their heart was far from the LORD. Does not keeping the Law mean that we don’t love the LORD. No! It means that we are sinners. The apostle Paul tells the Romans (and us) “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. Does that mean that no one loves God? It definitely does not!
Yeah, but Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” That statement makes it clear to me that keeping the commandments is part and parcel of the new covenant as well. The difference, I believe, is that obedience produces different results under the different covenants. What is God’s promise to us for our obedience? Is the promise made to the Israelites included in the promise to us? What do you think?