Page 10 - June 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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Introduction                         dependent on their conduct. A careful
          Israel’s wilderness wanderings were   reading will reveal that their reinstatement
        over. They were now encamped “in the   is not in question; only the timing of
        land of Moab” and the green fields of   it is conditional, dependent on their
        Canaan beckoned (Deu 29:1). The covenant   repentance: “when … then” (vv1,3).
        of the law had been agreed upon at Horeb,   Background to the Covenant
        another name for Sinai, or perhaps a peak   Deuteronomy 28 makes grim reading,
        in the Sinai range (v1). Now God was   as it delineates the fearful consequences
        making a covenant that was in addition  of Israel’s departure from God’s ways
        to the Law, a confirmation of the covenant  and their disobedience to His commands.
        with Abraham when He promised him the  Included in the litany of disasters is the
        land. The covenant of law was a bilateral  prospect of banishment from their land:
        agreement. Its benefits were dependent  “The Lord shall scatter thee among all
        on the compliance of the people, but  people, from the one end of the earth even
        God’s commitment to give the land to  unto the other” (v64 KJV). That threat was
        the descendants of Abraham was not  implemented, for even in Bible days the
        conditional on good behavior. Lest there  northern tribes were transported to Assyria
        should be any doubt about that, He now  and never returned en masse. The people
        made this further “covenant … beside the  of Judah were exiled in Babylon for 70
        covenant which he made with them in  years, and their return and subsequent
        Horeb” (Deu 29:1). It is a general principle  events are recorded in the twin books of
        that nothing said in the Law could in any  Ezra and Nehemiah. Centuries passed with
        way annul promises made to Abraham  them ensconced in the land, but with tears
        (Gal 3:15-19).                       the Lord Jesus predicted the destruction of
          Some have called this covenant the  Jerusalem (Luk 19:41-44). That transpired
        Palestinian Covenant, though perhaps not   when the Romans sacked the city in A.D.
        the best description of the agreement, for   70. At that point in history the Jews were
        the word Palestine is allied to the word  really scattered, and for 2000 years their
        Philistine, and “the land of Philistia” was  wanderings took them to almost every
        only a fragment of the territory promised  part of the globe. The Land Covenant
        to Abraham. So it is possibly preferable   promised that despite scatterings and
        to refer to it by its alternative description,   being displaced persons, at the last they
        the Land Covenant. In a sense, it is an  would  inhabit  the land that God had
        amplification and endorsement of the   promised their great progenitor.
        covenant with Abraham, and equally     A harbinger of their final regathering has
        unconditional.  Reading  the  first  few  been witnessed in the last 150 years. The
        verses of Deuteronomy 30 may give  Zionist movement was formed to facilitate
        the impression that Israel’s ultimate  the return of diaspora Jews to their
        permanent presence in the land will be  land. A significant event was the Balfour

        170 TRUTH kTidings   June  2019
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