Today's praise and worship is given to God for His Covenant of Grace that He gave us through His Son, Christ Jesus.
Throughout the Bible, God made covenants with those who loved and served Him. From the garden of Eden to the cross, covenants were given to show the people that He was God, and that He keeps His promise. God's Word is the Absolute.
Genesis 3: 16-19 gives the Adamic Covenant. Part of it was given to the woman, and part to the man.
Originally, man lived in innocence, only having one commandment to follow: do not eat the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden. When that commandment was broken, innocence was removed and a covenant was given.
God said that the woman's pain would increase in childbearing, and through this pain children would be brought into the world. Their desire would be for her husband, and her husband would rule over her.
To the man, a punishment was also given. Because he listened to his wife and ate the fruit of the tree that God had commanded them not to eat, the ground would also be cursed. From that day forward, man would eat of the ground all the days of his life. The ground would bring forth thorns and thistles, and man would eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of man's face, man would eat the bread produced by the ground until he returned to the ground. For man was taken from the dust, and to dust will he return. This covenant has no end. God gave this covenant without requirement, and man will be under this covenant until the end of the world.
Genesis 9:18-17 gives God's covenant with man after the flood. God said this was an everlasting covenant between God and all flesh that lived upon the earth.
Never again would the world be cleansed by water. The waters of the flood would never be used to destroy life from the earth as God had done as Noah and his family were in the ark. As a sign of His covenant, rainbows were set in the clouds. From that day forward, man can look at the bow in the clouds and know that God still remembers his covenant.
Genesis 12:1-3 gives the everlasting covenant He made between Himself and Abraham.
Abraham was to be blessed, his seed made into a great nation. God was to give Abraham land for his seed to grow and flourish, and would bless Abraham's name. All those who bless the name of Abraham would be blessed, and all who dishonor the name of Abraham would be cursed. In Abraham, all of the families of the earth would be blessed.
This blessing also includes the coming Messiah. Through the seed of Abraham came the children of Israel and finally the Christ.
The Mosaic Covenant is described through several chapters of the Bible, but ultimately is described in Deuteronomy 11:26-28. It was set before the people as a choice: either a blessing or a curse. If the people obeyed all of the commandments of the Lord God, they would receive the blessing. If they did not obey the commandments, and started serving other gods, they would receive the curse.
There are approximately six hundred parts of this covenant besides the ten commandments which most are familiar with. About three hundred of them were positive if the people obeyed, and three hundred negative. The covenant was given to set the nation of Israel apart from the other nations and become God's chosen people.
The Mosaic Covenant is different from most covenants of the Bible in the structure of the blessings for obedience and the curse for disobedience. It was a bilateral agreement, having obligations by God but also by the children of Israel. The covenant placed the children of Israel under the blessing of the law if God's commandments were kept, but placed them under the curse of the law if the commandments were broken.
Before Moses even came down from Mount Sinai to give the choice of blessing or curse to the people, they fell back into idolatry. They made a golden calf, breaking the covenant of blessing before it was even proclaimed. Exodus 32:1-10 describes the anger of God as he saw that the covenant had been broken, but Moses pleaded for mercy on their behalf. Exodus 32:11-14 describes how Moses pleaded and God changed His mind to give them another chance.
Ultimately, the people eventually turned back towards idolatry, and the God's anger was against them for breaking his covenant. The people fell under the curse of the law until the Messiah.
Paul said that the curse of the law was lifted from the people when Christ Himself became the curse for us in Galatians 3:13
2 Samuel 7 describes God's covenant with David, which He gave through His prophet Nathan. David felt that it was wrong for himself to dwell in a house of cedar while the ark of God dwelled in a tent. That night, the Lord spoke to Nathan and gave Nathan the Davidic Covenant.
As with Abraham, God said that He would make the name of David great. He would appoint a place for the children of Israel to dwell, and they would be protected from evil and disturbed no more. Since David offered to make a house for the Lord, God said that He would make a house for David. When David passed away, his offspring would come for his body to take it into the kingdom that would be established by God. The throne and the kingdom would be forever.
God promised that he would be like a father. When the son committed iniquity, he would discipline him with a rod and stripes of men. But God said that his steadfast love would not depart from him.
God promised that David's house and kingdom would last forever. The throne of David would be established forever.
The prophet Jeremiah declares the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34.
God said that it would be a new covenant with the children of Israel and the house of Judah, and would be unlike the Mosaic Covenant that was broken by their fathers. Rather than outward obedience or curse, God would put His law within the people, written in their hearts.
No longer would people have to teach the ways of the covenant saying, "Know the Lord." God said that they will all know Him from the least to the greatest. Their iniquity would be forgiven and their sin would be remembered no more.
When Christ came, he did not come to abolish the Mosaic law -- he came to fulfill it, just as he said in Matthew 5:17. The people had chosen the curse of the Law, and they were no longer to be cursed. Christ became the curse for us to fulfill it and remove us from the curse.
Christ said in Luke 22:20 that the new covenant was His blood. All who are under the blood are under the new covenant.
The Mosaic covenant had no end when it was given. Though the children of Israel broke their side of the covenant with God, God's Word will never fail. The Mosaic covenant is in effect today, but Jesus is upholding our side of the covenant for us! Paul said in Hebrews 9:15 that Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant, redeeming us from the transgressions that break the Mosaic Covenant!
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: Are we thankful that God has given us a New Covenant? Do we try to ignore it by teaching laws from the Old Covenant? Have we not accepted Christ as the mediator for the New Covenant? Have we been taught that because the Mosaic Covenant is still in effect that we ourselves have to try to uphold the law, removing Jesus as the mediator? Have we accepted Jesus?