Covenant – God’s Heart for Jewish People

Covenant - God's Heart for Jewish People

Covenant - God's Heart for Jewish People

One thing you can be sure of is that when God gives His Word
He will not violate it. Covenant is a very interesting word in
the Bible both in Greek and Hebrew. Let me deal with them in
order. Hebrew first, as this is the language of the ancient
people of God’s covenant and then Greek, the language of
the New Testament. (Testament in essence means
‘covenant’)

The Hebrew word for covenant is "beryith". It means a
pact, an alliance, a pledge, a constitution. It therefore carries
the idea that an oath has been sworn to which each party is
bound, not to violate it under any circumstances. A root word
adds this thought of it being a cutting – eg. a compact
being cut, a treaty.

The Greek word is "diatheke" and it conveys a similar
meaning such as a lasting legal document like a will or
testament. It reveals how far we have strayed from truth and
honour today, in that wills and testaments can be overturned and
annulled. This strikes at the very heart of all that is truth and
absolute.

A covenant is first avowed to in word and then written down.
If it is to be passed on as a lasting desire of the covenanter it
is then entitled a will and testament of which we have two - an
Old Testament and a New Testament - making up our Bible. Once
that desire is documented and put on paper it is a legally
binding document that will stand as long as necessary while the
assets and recipients of those assets are alive and exist.

What sad times it is that we now have a society that deems a
man’s last Will and Testament as no longer valid after his
death but is open to legal redefinition and challenge. That is
why God’s Wills and Testaments are under such attack from
all sides because man’s word no longer counts for anything,
and therefore his conscience is constantly under conviction for
violating his word of oath. Thus he seeks a way to avoid guilt
when not wanting to be bound by the word he commits to. Therefore
the solution is - get rid of God or make God and His Word
untrustworthy and unreliable.

The Talmud has a decree which is nothing short of demonic. It
is known as the OATH OF THE KOL NIDRE. This demonstrates how far
our fallen nature has sunk. It makes God and His truth subject to
our whims and hellish nature. This alone shows Jehovah cannot be
the God of the Talmud but it is satanically inspired.

Here is the actual KOL NIDRE Prayer –

The AHD (American Heritage Dictionary) tells us it is the
opening prayer recited on the eve of Yom Kippur, containing a
declaration of the annulment of personal vows and oaths.

It says - "All vows, obligations, oaths and anathemas, whether
called ‘konam’, ‘konas’, or by any other
name, which we may vow, or swear, or pledge, or whereby we may be
bound, from this Day of Atonement until the next (whose happy
coming we await), we do repent. May they be deemed absolved,
forgiven, annulled and void, and be made of no effect; they shall
not bind us nor have power over us. The vows shall not be
reckoned vows; the obligations shall not be obligatory; nor the
oaths be oaths."

(Jewish Encyclopaedia (1901), Vol, page 539.)

"Kol Nidre" is Hebrew for "all vows". According to
the Jewish Encyclopaedia, any Jew invoking the prayer of "Kol
Nidre" forswears all oaths, vows, obligations, etc. that will be
taken in the coming year, thereby absolving himself in advance
for dishonouring his sworn oath/word.

Children have a similar ritual for playing games wherein a
child will cross his fingers and then hide his hand behind his
back before giving his word or promising something. When
confronted about the truth of his sworn statement, the child
reveals that he had his fingers crossed and therefore was under
no obligation to tell the truth at the time the oath/vow was
given.

Potentially extremely dangerous consequences are afoot when
dealing with someone who has taken the prayer of "Kol Nidre"
– such as in a courtroom when one is dealing with judges,
prosecutors, plaintiffs and attorneys, as well as in any other
honour-contingent, trust-dependent situation – because such
devotees essentially have a self-issued license for lying.

One of the beautiful Covenants contained in God’s Word,
but now lost to the church, is a precious revelation which has
been so abused by church leaders down through history that it was
therefore rejected out of hand by so many saints who became
subjected to its extremes.

That is the principle of ‘coverings.’ Today it has
become a dirty word for the same reason mentioned above. But the
children of Israel know both the benefits and the blessings of
it. The expression of covering was woven through every fabric of
their religious and civil life style. It is the practical
tangible outworking in real life of the spiritual, intangible
mystery of covenant. Keep in mind we are discussing
‘Covenant’ here.

The following are just a few of the examples mentioned in
scripture. In Jewish religious life –

  1. The priesthood had to be covered when offering
    sacrifice.
  2. Man’s sins had to be covered by the blood in order for
    him to be accepted by God.
  3. The tabernacle of Moses had to be covered by the skins of
    slain animals.
  4. The sacrificially offered skins of animals covered
    man’s nakedness in the Garden of Eden.

In Jewish civil life –

  1. The man was to extend the canopy of covering over his wife
    and family to provide for and protect them.
  2. The wedding day festival expresses this truth as the man
    draws his bride under his canopy or covering.
  3. The widow and orphans in Israel were covered by the laws of
    gleaning and refuge.
  4. Gods protection covered Israel while they walked in obedience
    to Deuteronomy 28.

Both under the Old (Hebrew Covenant or Testament) and the New
(Gentile Covenant or Testament) COVERING plays an enormous part.
For example, in order for man to be able to approach God in his
sinful nature after his fall, God slew an animal and gave its
skins to Adam and Eve for a covering to cover their nakedness and
shame.

When Noah built the ark he was instructed by God to pitch it
within and without. The Hebrew word used here ‘to pitch it
within’ is "kaphar" which means ‘to
placate’ or ‘to atone’. The second word is
"kopher" which means ‘to redeem’. Both words
mean ‘to cover’ but one means to ‘identify the
need’, the other means ‘to then act upon it’.
So by doing that, Noah and his family were saved, protected or
covered.

In The Book of Ruth, Ruth appeals to Boaz as her redeemer
asking him to cover her by stretching forth the borders of his
mantle over her - hence the Jewish custom of the bride groom
placing a canopy or shawl over his bride on his wedding day,
symbolic of his vow to protect her, provide for her, and shelter
her from hardship and trial.

In the New Covenant or Testament, in both Ephesians and
Corinthians, we are told that Christ is the head or covering to
the church and that the man is the head or covering to his wife
and family.

There are many references to covering in the New Testament
such as where the women are told to pray with their head covered.
It has nothing to do with her wearing a hat as her hair is her
Glory anyway. What it is referring to is that when she prays she
should have a head over her for she is vulnerable to the demonic
if she is not covered. Eg. ‘open to deception,’
because a woman is much more sensitive to the spiritual realm,
therefore she needs protection because of the angels. (fallen
angels). Again keep in mind we are discussing
‘Covenant’ here.

What we are seeing is that covering is not a momentary thing,
it is a life time thing. Just as God is a covenant keeper we are
to be that in response to Him and in our care for one another.
Our word should also demonstrate our dependability to be relied
upon. David said "Blessed is the man who swears to his own
hurt."
What David is saying is that a man who gives an oath
and lives by it, even if it costs him much pain and price to
fulfil it, he is a blessed and good man.

This is why Jesus cautioned us to swearing by heaven or earth,
saying let our ‘yea’ be yes and our ‘nay’
be no. He is telling us not to get into making promises we know
we cannot keep.

God’s Word shows us, if it shows us anything, is that He
is a covenant keeping God. He promised the regathering of Israel
in the latter days in Ezekial chapters 37-40 and many other
passages. Though it has taken centuries, Gods Word is dependable,
and we are watching those promises centuries later being
fulfilled.

What He decrees in His Word He will fulfil. Timothy tells us
in his letter, "In the last days perilous times will come
when men will be covetous, lovers of self rather than lovers of
God, they will be truce breakers (covenant breakers), high
minded, proud, arrogant, boasters, blasphemers, disobedient to
parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, despisers
of all that is good, traitors."
What a future we have to
look forward to.

Timothy also records these words. "God is always faithful.
Though we deny Him, He cannot deny us, for He is always
faithful."
His testimony stands sure and steadfast.
God’s intention is always to redeem. It is His nature to
forgive, regather, and restore.

About Brian Hay