Israel’s Divorce and Remarriage

Israel and Typology (Heavenly Things)

  • Abrahamic Covenant finds spiritual fulfillment in the New Covenant, not the Old (Gal. 3). It is an everlasting covenant.
  • The Old Covenant was a marriage which led to a divorce (Jer. 4). It is a temporary covenant.
  • This divorce would eventually lead to a remarriage (Jer. 31).
    • The law could never justify. Rather, it leads to infidelity and divorce.
    • Grace makes it possible for a new and everlasting marriage!
    • Deuteronomy 24 shows that once divorce happens, there is no hope for remarriage. The death of the spouse (1 Cor. 7) allows for remarriage, but how could the bride (Israel) remarry God, since God cannot die and be resurrected? The incarnation (Rom. 7)!
    • Romans 7 shows that the husband (God/Jesus) had to die to nullify the law (of the previous relationship). As such, the Church is now married to a new husband that is really the old husband resurrected. This applies to future Israel as well (Rom. 11). What a wonderful loophole!
  • As a type of God’s relationship with mankind (Edenic and Adamic Covenant [Gen. 3:23]), God demonstrates the Law through Israel’s divorce (Old Covenant) and His grace through Israel’s remarriage (New Covenant). Only the death and remarriage of the Husband could make the latter possible.
    • Another type which corresponds to this divorce/remarriage is the “garments of light” Adam and Eve had before their sin and the veil of Moses. The former was lost when they sinned, and their shame was covered by skins (i.e., substitutionary atonement). The light was not replaced, however, because the shedding of animal blood cannot remove sin (Heb. 10:4). (Moreover, the fig leaves represent man’s unacceptable efforts to cover our own shame by the Law.) Similarly, Moses had a face which shone with only transitory light. This temporary display signified that though God provided the people with atonement, it was not enough (2 Cor. 3:13). Again, the Old Covenant is inferior to the New because it cannot provide the permanent solution we need.
  •  As a type of the redeemed child of God, Israel must be kept by God unconditionally (Abrahamic Covenant). Moreover, Israel is more than a type of the redeemed believer (child of God). She is a type of the overcoming believer (firstborn of God). As such, God’s plan is to not only preserve the nation (especially through the Tribulation), but to also present it as victorious to the nations (Millennium). Israel will be a firstborn (ruler) among his brethren (the nations). So, Israel serves as a picture of both God’s unconditional love for His people and His faithfulness to reward their perseverance. This will ultimately be fulfilled in the eternal state, for God will individually keep all His saints forever and set the overcomers among them over the nations of those who are saved. There will be the ruled and their rulers, but both groups will be saved by grace through faith.
    • What about the Gentiles who are rewarded at the Sheep and Goat Judgment? These who “inherit the kingdom” in Matthew 25 are apparently given their Bema Seat 1,000 years before they come into their firstborn reward of reigning in the eternal state. Why are they to wait before they reign over the nations?[1] Because in the Millennium God is using Israel to do this. To complete the typology of redemption and perseverance, Israel must reign over the nations, even though the latter will have entered the kingdom faithful and thus be qualified for reigning after the Millennium.[2] In the eternal state, no nation will reign over another (Rev. 21:3). The firstborn will not be a nation, but the kings of the nations (Rev. 21:24). Indeed, the old Jerusalem of the ethnic Jews will be replaced with the New Jerusalem of the Israel of God!
    • Interestingly, a covenant is made with Hagar too. However, this one is according to the flesh, as Paul explains in Galatians. All humans are offspring of God after the flesh (physical creation). This comes with certain privileges, but these do not include justification or regeneration. Only God’s grace through faith can grant those. So, the covenant with Abraham’s fleshly offspring (Ishmael) serves as a type of God’s relationship with mankind in the flesh, while the covenant with his spiritual offspring (Isaac) provides a type of God’s relationship with mankind in the Spirit. In this way, the Abrahamic Covenant, through Isaac, leads into the New Covenant.

[1] This is not a big shocker when one considers how the O.T. saints had to wait in Paradise for Christ. But I’m sure waiting in Paradise was not a difficulty!

[2] No doubt God will reward these Gentiles in unimaginable ways to compensate for their wait!

Author: James Buddy Smith
Ark of Hope Fellowship
Jasper, Georgia