… God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.
Because of the Golden Calf issue, the tablets containing the words of the contract between God and man are broken. Moses’ intercession serves to appease Hashem who renews the covenantal tablets, albeit with the same terms (Exod. 32--33). The difference is that the first time the tablets containing the precious words written by the finger of God were given under a contract of obedience, but the second time under God’s mercy which remembers our sins no more, while not exclusive to a cleansing process in between (Exod. 32:26--28; Jer. 31:34).
Moses’ ordeal with the tablets serves to illustrate the two main manifestations of Messiah. In the same manner as the precious tablets, Yeshua the ‘Word/Davar/Memrah’ made flesh came and was 'broken' because of our idolatrous sin. As Moses did, He then went back to plead with the Father (Heb. 7:25; Isa. 53:12) and at a future date will return in a renewed fashion after a cleansing of the idolatrous world (Rev. 17--20). Jeremiah the prophet speaks of this return, and even speaks of a renewed covenant (the Hebrew word ‘chadash/new’ means ‘new’ and ‘renewed’ (Jer. 31:31)) in terms reflecting this idea of mercy. This is why the prophet mentions that the 'renewed covenant will not be as the covenant that was made with the fathers in the desert. The terms are the same, but the conditions are different (Jeremiah 31: 31-40).
Reading the full prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the New/Renewed Covenant shows us that the time has not yet come for it to be fully in force. All we have now is an ‘earnest’ (Eph. 1:12--4).
Paul explains the difference between the two covenants using the terms ‘letter’ and ‘spirit’ (1 Cor. 3:1-6). These terms do not refer to the terms of the contract which are the same in both cases, but to the dynamics of the contract. Because of our disobedience, the first under became as a ‘letter’ of condemnation (the ‘letter’; that kills, the report of accusation), the second was given in an act of Hashem's mercy. The idea seemed to work as is seen in the changed lifestyle of the Corinthians (2 Cor. 3:2).
God again closes the case. We have shown ourselves unworthy by he remained faithful to his word of promise to take us as a people unto him. We deserve the ‘boot’ but he still receives us, not because of righteous works which we have done, but because of his faithfulness towards his promises (Ephe 2:8--9).
May we show ourselves worthy of is grace and goodness living lives according to the standards of his Torah thus reflecting his wisdom in a world living in the darkness brought through ignorance of his word (Deut. 4:5-9).