"Tomorrow's God, Today"
Central Text: Hebrews 8 (A.D. 68)
Key Verse(s): 10-12
Understanding Covenant is the key to understanding the Bible. The Bible is not "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth," but rather an account of the covenant journey of God and humanity. The New Covenant is the only applicable covenant for us today and is the focus is this LifeLAB.
Questions for consideration:
- What is a covenant?
- Who established this covenant?
- Who has responsibilities within the covenant?
- What are the primary components or promises?
- What does this mean for you?
Bible Study Principles:
- Consider the genre (i.e. poetry, letter, history, etc.)
- Consider the context (i.e. paragraph, chapter, book; cultural, religious, etc.)
- Consider plain language vs. figurative
- Consider the intended meaning of the author (audience relevance)
- Distinguish interpretation from application
About the New Covenant:
The New Covenant is structured as a Royal Grant Covenant. In the ancient Near Eastern culture, a Royal Grant was a gift of land or benefit made by a king to a faithful servant. It was unconditional and its benefits could be passed down to the servant's heirs as long as they continued to exemplify their father's faithful service.
The basic supposition of the Grant was that the rights of the new land-owner and his heirs are guaranteed by the king in perpetuity. Curses were directed towards any who might seek to seize the land or deny the reality of the grant - for example "... anyone who shall rise up and shall put forward a claim concerning that land ... or shall say 'this land was not a gift' ... or shall appropriate it for himself ... may all the gods who are upon this stone, (and) whose names are mentioned, curse him with a curse that cannot be loosened."
This is in clear contrast with Covenant treaties (of any age), in which the curses were directed at the vassal in the event that he should break the agreement. The blessings of the agreement were evidently directed in very tangible form to the recipient.
Examples of The Royal Grant:
• Noah (Gen. 9:8-17); Abraham (Gen. 15:9-21); Phinehas (Num.25:10-13); David (2 Sam. 7:5-16); New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34).
• Free gift of land or benefit to faithful subject of a great monarch or servant of a wealthy landowner
• Greater party binds self to the treaty
• Lesser party benefits from the gift, but may not be bound to any specific stipulations, either before or after reception of the grant