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The Palestinian Covenant is the Basis for the New Covenant

Let's think about this... the Abrahamic covenant (Gen 12, 15, 22, etc.) promised land, seed, and blessing to Abraham and his physical descendants. The Mosaic covenant was made with his seed (descendants) and the promised blessing was to come through that seed in the land as they obeyed and fulfilled their covenant agreement of Exodus 19.8. 

Within the context of the Mosaic covenant (the Mosaic Law being the stipulations of the covenant) God made another covenant with Israel: (Deut 29-30) the Palestinian covenant. I find myself describing this as the "life and land" covenant because it set the requirements for LIFE (Dt 30.6, 16, 16, 19) and for that life to be lived in blessing in the LAND (v3, 5, 16, 20). 

The overarching condition of participation in the Palestinian covenant (the condition to inherit LIFE and the LAND) was "devotion" (see the previous study on Israel and the Church, specifically pages 17-24 in the accompanying PDF).

God required repentance, faith, submission, and obedience; those are all summed up in one word: devotion.

The Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language defines devotion as "profound dedication, consecration; earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc." It gives as synonyms "zeal" and "ardor." And at the very end of the definition in this unabridged dictionary are these words: "See love." Love God with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength!

Well... with that in mind... 

Isn't it interesting that in Romans 10, the chapter that deals with "Israel's Present" and salvation in the Church Age, Paul quotes Deuteronomy 30.11-14, a key passage in the Palestinian covenant?

Deuteronomy 30.11-14 11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
Romans 10.6-8 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.

Romans 10 is "Israel's Present" because it lays out how they (as well as we, the Gentiles) can be SAVED -- how we get LIFE during the present dispensation. How is that? By FAITH (devotion), just like in the Palestinian covenant.

The Palestinian covenant is the door to the New Covenant. The LIFE promised by the Palestinian covenant is the REGENERATION and NEW/ETERNAL LIFE provided for in the New Covenant, ratified by the death and resurrection of Christ. 

"BUT...!" you say: "The Palestinian covenant required that the Jews KEEP the COMMANDMENTS of the LAW (Dt. 30.10, 16). Yep. But THEY get the whole salami (the whole Palestinian covenant and the whole New Covenant). We Christians don't. We just get a slice of the salami: the spiritual blessings provided in the New Covenant (all of them, but just the spiritual ones: Eph 1.3). So, our requirements are a SLICE of the Palestinian salami, not the whole thing: DEVOTION is required of us, yes. But that devotion is defined as repentance (Dt. 30.2, 8, 10) and faith (Dt. 30.20); no works on our part--no obedience to the Law. 

We are NOT required to submit to and obey the Law because we are not Jews and the covenants were not made with us (Eph 2.12). God is giving us a slice of the New Covenant because the Jews rejected it and He wants to use us to make them jealous (Rom 10.19; 11.11, 14). Therefore, He hearkens back to the Palestinian covenant (the door to the New Covenant: LIFE) and uses THAT to establish OUR requirements to participate in the New Covenant. He only requires repentance and faith for our "devotion," not submission and obedience to the Law, because we don't get ALL the New Covenant (so we don't get ALL the requirements). Plus, he wants to make Israel jealous (to make them want what we have). 

My Point: the Palestinian covenant forms the basis for participation in the New Covenant, for Jews and Gentiles. Paul's quotation of the Palestinian covenant in Romans 10, a key chapter with regard to salvation in the Church Age, makes the connection. 

And I don't know why, but I just think that's cool. Like two puzzle pieces just falling in place...

Disclaimer: I'm still chewing on all this. It forms part of a larger study I'm working on that ties together the dispesnations and the coventants under the Kingdom theme of the Bible. It's a work in progress.

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