April 27, 2015

Old Covenant cf. New Covenant

Joshua 18:1–19:9, 2 Corinthians 12:1–10, Psalm 56:1–13

The OT regulations for land allotment did not include the priests. “To the tribe of Levi alone Moses gave no inheritance. The offerings by fire to the Lord God of Israel are their inheritance, as he said to him . . .  The Levites have no portion among you, for the priesthood of the Lord is their heritage . . .” (Joshua 13:14 and 18:7)

In the book of Numbers, the Lord explained that He would be “your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel” and that “the tithe of the people of Israel, which they present as a contribution to the Lord, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no inheritance among the people of Israel.” (Numbers 18:20–24)

In the NT, God tells Christians that we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) There is nothing about inheriting land or land allotment, only that all of God’s people now inherit eternal life.

I don’t know for sure, but it seems like the old covenant is a fuzzy picture that becomes clearer in the new covenant. The priests were people wholly dedicated to God, serving on behalf of others. They got no land from God, but neither do God’s NT priests. For us, this is not our permanent dwelling place. The earth is not our home. We look forward to our eternal home, and for now are like Jesus who owned nothing yet owns everything. I’m learning about the types and shadows in the OT and if this is not one of them, it is an interesting comparison.

The NT verses for today remind me not to get too excited about the discoveries that I make for God isn’t going to let me have a swelled head about anything. He said these amazing verses to Paul, a much wiser and more knowledgeable Christian than I’ll ever be . . .

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7–10)

I don’t mind the weakness part nearly as much as I once did. Along with the psalmist, I am able to say . . .

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?  . . . You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?  . . . I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you. For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. (Psalm 56:3-4, 8-11, 12–13)

Thank you, Jesus, for the most amazing day of blessing, weakness, and contentment.

No comments: