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THE NEW COVENANT: JESUS WAS PUNISHED AND AFFLICTED FOR US
Isa.30:20 (The Old Covenant): Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.
Because of the Cross, what was true under the Old Covenant of the Law is no longer true for those under the New Covenant of Grace, especially with regard to God afflicting us and punishing us.
THE OLD COVENANT: Under this old agreement no one was “Born Again”, no one was called a “Child of God”, no one was “filled with the Spirit” (The Spirit of God only came upon certain people at certain times), Prophets had to hear God for the People, Priests had to present prayers on the peoples behalf. Righteousness was based good works and perfect Law keeping. Punishment and curses (Deut.28) came upon those those who sinned, backslid and disobeyed until they repented and turned back to God. Adversity, affliction, sickness and hardship was used to train God’s people (Isa.30:20). It wasn’t good news, as Israel’s history proved, they never made the grade and suffered greatly for it (Rom.9:30-10:4).
THE NEW COVENANT: Under this new agreement. Believers are “Born Again” and are a ‘New Creation”, we are “Children of God” , the Holy Spirit permanently live in us, we have a personal relationship with God, we hear Him and He hears us when we pray. Our righteousness is Jesus and is imputed to us by faith. We are not under the Law. We do good works because we are under grace and not to get right with God. Our punishment and curses where take by Jesus on the cross. God trains and teaches us through the Holy Spirit and by the scriptures not through adversity, affliction and sickness.
So what is the bread of adversity and the water of affliction in a New Covenant sense? Simple, we point to Jesus. His Body suffered adversity and affliction for our sake and it becomes for us the bread of adversity and affliction, and thus the bread of Life as it reminds us of His suffering and death for us so that we could have His Life now – that’s why we regularly celebrate communion. When Jesus was afflicted on the Cross by the spear in His side water flowed out along with the blood, this becomes for us the water of affliction.
To walk in victory it is critical for us to be clear which Covenant we are under, otherwise we will wrongly believe that God is cursing us, God is making us sick, God is giving us poverty etc. etc. so as to teach us and train us. We then justify our afflictions by scriptures taken from the Old Testament and a Covenant that we are not under, instead of looking to Christ and the Cross. We then call Satan’s works God’s work and wrongly suffer instead of standing firm in Christ against Satan’s schemes (Eph.6:11).
If you believe you are being afflicted, are sick, are poor and are depressed because your loving Heavenly Father is punishing you or training you, ask the Holy Spirit to show you if this is really true……. Receive freedom and blessings in Christ (Rom.1:16) by the grace of God.