Summary: Unlike the game show, Deal or No Deal, we can see in advance which of the two covenants is the better deal.
"Deal, or No Deal?"
Since December 2005, the television host Howie Mandel has asked that question countless times to contestants on the game show with the same name.
It did not take much talent to be a contestant on Deal or No Deal.
It only took guts - or maybe foolishness - to keep playing through the game.
Contestants selected a briefcase with an amount of money inside that could range from one penny to $1 million.
Then they opened the other cases on stage to narrow down the possible amounts that could be in the case they had chosen.
Every so often, the "Banker" made a money offer to the contestant. (Pause)
What would you do if two case were left one case with -$100.00 and the other with $500,000.00 - And the banker offered you something in between - say $175,000.00?
Would you press the red button and take the deal, or would you say ..... "No deal" , and open one more case that will either give you half a million dollars or leave you with a hundred?
Deal, or No Deal?
What made the show interesting, of course, was that no one knew what would happen if the contestant kept playing.
That is where the drama came in. (Pause)
But what if you knew that your case had at least $500,000.00
If you knew the better deal was the briefcase in your possession.
If you could be guaranteed the best deal, ..... you would surely ignore the banker's offer and play on?
Of course you would!
Our Old Testament Lesson from Jeremiah speaks of two possible "deals" or arrangements between God and his people.
The word that is used to describe these two possible deals is "Covenant."
Unlike the game show, Deal or No Deal, we can see in advance which of the two covenants is the better deal.
In fact, (Slow) God explicitly states that his New Covenant is..... the best deal.
So let us take a closer look at our First Lesson, in Jeremiah 31:31-34,
And look into the covenant God first made with his people,
And then look into the New Covenant he now extends to all people.
BIBLE "The days are surly coming, says the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." END
*The words "New Covenant" indicates that Jeremiah is comparing two different covenants through which God established a relationship with his people
If God is going to make a new covenant, that means there was an old one.
Jeremiah tells us a little about the old covenant.
BIBLE "It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand out of the land of Egypt, a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband. says the Lord." END
Jeremiah looks back several hundred years to the time when the Israelites escaped from slavery in Egypt.
God, after several plagues, convinced Pharaoh to let his people go.
But then Pharaoh changed his mind.
Pharaoh sent Egypt's army after the Israelites, who were pinned between the impending army on one side and the Red Sea on the other.
With the odds against them, God performed a stunning miracle for his people.
He opened up a dry path through the sea so that the nation could escape to the other side.