In Hebrews 8:8-12, the author will copy the words from Jeremiah 31:31-34. That passage mentions two covenants (peace agreements) between God and his people.
The first covenant was Godís agreement with the people that Moses led. God loved them, and he saved them from their difficult lives as slaves in Egypt. God wanted them, and their families, to serve him always. He appointed priests, and he gave them his law. He established his tabernacle (the tent that was Godís house) among them. He promised that they would receive the country called Canaan as their permanent possession.
We have already studied what happened to those people. Although Moses led them, they were not loyal to God. They did not love him and they did not obey him (Hebrews 3:16-19). So they did not enter Canaan, and their children received the benefit of Godís promises instead.
Jeremiah wrote his book about 900 years after Moses lived. But the situation during Jeremiahís life was similar. Israelís people were not loyal to God. And they did not care about Godís covenant with Israel. It was a terrible situation.
That is why God promised a new covenant. He wanted to have a new kind of relationship with his people. They would genuinely know him as their God. And then they really would be Godís own people. They would obey him, because his law would be in their minds. And they would love him, because his law would be in their hearts. And God would forgive all the wrong things that they had done against him.
This new covenant is the relationship that God has with people because of Jesus. They have confessed their evil deeds to him. And they have invited him into their lives. So now they are Godís people. And Godís promises are for them.
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 450 page course book.
© 2014, Keith Simons.