The Covenant Confirmed
Lesson 14

We can only briefly cover the record of the rest of God’s dealings with Abraham, as well as with Isaac and Jacob. Though their lives and the experiences through which God led them are rich in spiritual lessons, it is beyond the scope of these lessons to look at them in great detail. It is well to note that Israel’s deliverance from Egypt was in keeping with the covenant God had made with Abraham, Isaac, and with Jacob. See Exodus 2:24.

1. Who were to share with Abraham in the promise?

Hebrews 11:9
Hebrews 11:9

Note: We have already learned that Abraham was no more than an heir in his lifetime, never having come into the promised inheritance. But Isaac and Jacob, his immediate descendents, were likewise heirs with him. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13

2. What did God tell Abraham with regard to his children?

Genesis 15:13
Genesis 15:13

3. How many generations were they to dwell in this strange land?

Genesis 15:16
Genesis 15:16

4. Why was it necessary for Israel to leave Egypt?

Exodus 8:1
Exodus 8:1

Note: Here is evidence that in Egypt the people were not able to serve the Lord.

Pharaoh refused to let the people go, and as a result one judgment followed after another. These judgments, initially of a mild nature, increased in intensity as the king hardened himself in rebellion. Beginning with the pollution of the river Nile and ending with the death of the first born, each of the judgments were of a nature to weaken confidence in the Egyptians’ false system of worship. The gospel is the good news that there is deliverance from the bondage of sin, of which the bondage of Egypt was a type. All this display of God’s power was but the proclamation of the gospel.

5. For whose benefit are all these things recorded?

1 Corinthians 10:11
1 Corinthians 10:11

6. In reading of these experiences, what are we to receive?

Romans 15:4
Romans 15:4

Note: God wrought wonderfully for His ancient people Israel to deliver them from their oppressive bondage in Egypt. He went through the proud land of the Pharaohs with tempest and fire, plague and death. Rescuing them from their servile state, He brought them to a good land—a land that in His providence had been prepared for them. In return for all His goodness and mercy to them, they were required to have no other gods before Him, the living God, and to exalt His name and make it glorious in the earth.

7. On what basis did God make His covenant with Abraham?

Genesis 26:3–5
Genesis 26:3–5

Note: It was because of Abraham’s faithfulness in obedience that God had formed His covenant with him. As the covenant was based on obedience, it was appropriate that God test Israel to see if they also would keep His law.

8. How did God propose to supply their need for food?

Exodus 16:4
Exodus 16:4

9. What did God seek to prove, or reveal, about Israel?

Exodus 16:4
Exodus 16:4

10. On how many days a week was manna to be gathered?

Exodus 16:26
Exodus 16:26

Note: This test was given a month before the giving of the law at Sinai. The words, “How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?” show that every feature of the law was well known to the people before its public announcement at the mountain, and that they had often broken it through their unbelief. It is interesting that the only commandment upon which they were tested was the fourth, but by their attitude toward this commandment God would know whether or not they would comply with all the rest.

For five days the people were to gather no more than one day’s supply of food. If they gathered more than their need for that day, that which was left over bred worms. On the sixth day, however, they were to gather two days supply, holding it over till the next day. For forty years, by a weekly miracle, the people were reminded of the Sabbath.

The demonstration with the manna clearly reveals the fact that there was nothing indefinite about which day the people kept as the Sabbath. The Sabbath was not one day in seven, but the seventh day.

11. For how long did the people continue to eat manna?

Exodus 16:35
Exodus 16:35

Note: Sustained by bread from heaven (see Psalm 78:24–25), the people were daily taught that having God’s promise, they were as secure from want as if surrounded by fields of waving grain on the fertile plains of Canaan.

Three months after leaving Egypt, the people of Israel arrived at Mt. Sinai. It was here that arrangements were made for the full establishment of Israel as the chosen nation with Jehovah as their king.

12. Did the law in any way alter the covenant made with Abraham?

Galatians 3:16–18
Galatians 3:16–18

Note: God’s original covenant, that which He confirmed with Abraham, and later with Israel, embraced the salvation of mankind. Even with men a covenant that is made and confirmed cannot be in any way altered. As the covenant with Abraham had been confirmed by an oath, the entering of the law at Sinai could not contribute any new feature to the previously made arrangement, nor interfere in any way whatsoever with the promise. It most certainly follows that the law was in the covenant made with Abraham. The blessing of sins forgiven existed, therefore, in the days of Abraham.

13. Was the law in any way against the promises already given?

Galatians 3:21
Galatians 3:21

14. For what purpose then was the law given at Sinai?

Galatians 3:19
Galatians 3:19

Note: Conviction necessarily precedes conversion. The law, given in such an awful and impressive manner, was for the purpose of making the people aware of the impossibility of their obtaining its righteousness by their own strength, thus leading them to recognize their great need of the righteousness of Christ. “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Romans 5:20

15. After God spoke the law, what was the people’s response?

Exodus 24:3
Exodus 24:3

16. In spite of their promise, what did the people quickly do?

Exodus 32:7–8
Exodus 32:7–8

17. What did the people’s answer really reveal?

Psalm 78:35–37
Psalm 78:35–37

Note: The people’s answer actually revealed presumption and a lack of faith. The demands of God’s law can never be satisfied by a faithless person. See Hebrews 11:6. Transgression of that law is always a result of a lack of faith. Therefore, for this faithless people to say that they would obey was stating an impossibility. (Obedience was required, but the people needed to know that it was possible only by dependence on God.)

18. How long did this covenant last?

Exodus 24:18; 32:1
Exodus 24:18; 32:1

Note: As soon as the people broke their promise, the covenant was voided.

19. In what way is the new covenant better than the old?

Hebrews 8:6
Hebrews 8:6

Note: The weakness of the old covenant was the weakness of the people’s promise of obedience.

20. What is the basis of the new covenant?

Hebrews 8:10
Hebrews 8:10

Note: Both covenants required obedience. Life has always been given subject to obedience; it is never offered any other way, except by the serpent (see Genesis 3:4); disobedience always brings death. Under the old covenant the people pledged to supply obedience in their own strength; under the new, God promises to supply it by writing the law in our hearts, making obedience a heart service, not a response from fear of death.

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