The New Covenant is not synonymous with the word New Testament. It is a teaching from the beginning of time, that if man was going to do a work, it must be in faith and dependence upon God, not trusting in himself.
Any time an Old Testament saint did a mighty work for God, it was either in trust of God or the Holy Spirit came upon the person.
God’s Empowerment is available for EVERY Christian, through the New Covenant.
“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'”
Moses knew that every battle they would face belonged to the Lord.
The Israelites were not warriors. They were not even sufficient in themselves to deliver themselves from Egypt. The Lord delivered them, and He is teaching them here not to take courage in themselves when difficult circumstances come, but to trust in Him as their all-sufficient resource for victory.
He reminds them of where they came from and what He has already accomplished on their behalf. They were saved out of slavery in Egypt, but they still had to face the battles ahead in the Promised Land.
In the same way, after we accept Christ’s salvation we still have to face the battles of life. But we have the same hope that Israel did: no matter what numbers or forces come against us in overwhelming circumstances, our God is fighting for us every step of the way.
“‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.
‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.'” (Jeremiah 17:5-8)
This was written in the Old Testament before the full revelation of Jesus Christ came. In fact, if we study the lives of the saints in the Old Testament, we will see that God has always been sufficient for His people. God has always provided His resources to those who put their faith in Him; that isn’t something that just started in the New Testament. But how much more do we have access to now in Christ? If we trust in ourselves or in man, we will wither up like a shrub in the desert! But those who trust in God will have abundant life! They will have a fountain of living waters flowing into their heart! They will not fear drought, feel dryness, and their leaf will be green! What life-giving truths!
Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to look at the lives of Abraham, Joshua and Caleb, and David and see how they relied on the power of God instead of the power of man.