The Unmovable Anchor

“If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me — I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies — or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land” (Lev 26:40-42).

Leviticus 26 is the catalyst for the two most important prayers on behalf of the Jewish people in the Hebrew Bible: Nehemiah 9 and Daniel 9. Both prayers contain uniquely worded phrases taken directly from Leviticus 26. The prayer of Nehemiah 9 opens with Israel's confession of their sins and the sins of the fathers (Neh 9:2), an obvious allusion to Leviticus 26:40. Daniel's confession of unfaithfulness (Dan 9:4, 7), likewise comes directly from Leviticus 26:40 as well. Both prayers admit of terrible guilt on Israel's part and their deserved punishment. Yet both prayers cling tightly to the one unmovable anchor of unconditional hope in Leviticus 26: God's covenant with the patriarchs (Lev 26:42, 44-45; Dan 9:4; 9:32).

And because God has not changed, nor can he change, this unconditional covenant with the patriarchs continues to be an unmovable anchor for the Jewish people today. God's unconditional covenant with the patriarchs is the divine “no” to replacement theology and to a gospel of works. And it is God's resounding “yes” to salvation by faith alone and the gospel of grace. God's covenant with the patriarchs is also our assurance that we cannot earn our salvation.

Salvation is a gift of God's unmerited grace. God does not save us because of something we do to earn it. He saves us because of who he is, and despite all we did to deserve his judgment.

So no matter what the secular media, the court in the Hague, and all replacement theologians are saying about Israel around the world, the covenant with the patriarchs is still God's “yes” to Israel. And it ought to be a catalyst for our continued prayers for the people of Israel today!

“Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God. But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the LORD” (Lev 26:44-45).

“From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable”
(Rom 11:28-29).

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