A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Father gave us a new study Bible during class that we will be using for the duration. The other night we started that journey. He showed us that there is a reading guide section at the beginning of this Bible that is about 574 pages. When you go to a Book inside the Bible, at the heading of each chapter there is a grey box that tells you what pages in the reading guide correspond to what you will be reading. It’s an extremely helpful tool. At the same time though, at the beginning of each book, there is an excerpt explaining that book, so it’s almost like having two reading guides!
In order to show us how this worked, and to stay on topic of the Old and New Covenants, Father gave us a passage in the Bible that he wanted us to read allowed. It was in The Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 31:35-37 (Certainty of God’s Promise)
35 – Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun to light the day, Moon and stars to light the night;
Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar, whose name is the LORD of hosts.
36 – If ever this fixed order gives way before me – oracle of the Lord –
Then would the offspring of Isreal cease as a people before me forever.
37 – This says the Lord:
If the heavens on high could be measured, or the foundations below the earth be explored,
Then would I reject all offspring of Isreal Because of all they have done – Oracle of the Lord.
Well, what in the world is this ORACLE OF THE LORD? My Zelda playing self-was thinking orbs and such so having this reading guide certainly helped lol!
Oracle of the Lord means = “It is the Lord who speaks.” Thank you, Father, for explaining that to me because it made NO SENSE at all. The book of Jeremiah has this phrase throughout, and I just could NOT make sense of it. Once he told me, everything was now in perspective and made much more sense. So in this passage, God is basically telling Isreal that if you break my covenant you’re done, don’t bother calling on me because I have you on auto-ignore, these are My words, period end of story. Whew, got it… Glad it wasn’t only me though, my classmate was about as clueless as I was! lol! Between Father and the reading guide, I think I got this!
Moving on to the new covenant.
Before I get started I need to preface by saying I’m blonde and I never put two and two together that there are TWO covenants and they correspond with the TWO Testaments, the Old, and the New.
I mentioned above that back in the Old Testament God was the Punisher. If Isreal disobeyed then it was lights out for them and their future generations. But with the NEW testament that all kinda changed as explained in Hebrews Chapter 8:7-12:
7 – For if that first covenant had been faultless, no place would have been sought for a second one.
8 – But he finds fault with them and says:
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord,
when I will conclude a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
9 – It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers
the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt;
for they did not stand by my covenant
and I ignored them, says the Lord.
10 – But this is the covenant I will establish with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds
and I will write them upon their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
11 – And they shall not teach, each one his fellow citizen
and kinsman, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for all shall know me,
from least to greatest.
12 – For I will forgive their evildoing
and remember their sins no more.”
With this declaration, the Lord made obsolete the Old Covenant as Jesus’ death marked a new beginning thus the New Covenant.
To most of you, you already knew this, but to me? The blonde over here? It never clicked or connected, EVER, until my last RCIA class. I feel as if it’s all starting to make sense and connect now. The Bible doesn’t seem as daunting to me as it did a little over a week ago. The reading and the Book guides certainly help and they have a lot of cross-references with other books and even the CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church).
I started to read the Book of Matthew the other night, my dining room table literally looked like a mad scientists table. I had bibles all over, my laptop, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and papers everywhere all because of these guides. They helped me cross-reference and understand point by point what was going on in the Book of Matthew, and I have to say I have a new found appreciation for The Bible because I have more of an understanding of how to navigate it.
So tell me! Did you ever have an A HA! moment when it came to the Bible? are you still waiting for yours? Please tell me in the comments below! I would love to hear your story!