Psalm 37: 25 I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his [g]descendants begging bread. Psalm 72: 4 [f]May he vindicate the [g]afflicted of the people, Save the children of the needy And crush the oppressor.12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help,
The [q]afflicted also, and him who has no helper. 13 He will have compassion on the poor and needy, And the [r]lives of the needy he will save. 14 He will [s]rescue their [t]life from oppression and violence,
And their blood will be precious in his sight;
I read these passages and wonder how David can say these things. Did he not know that Doeg killed 85 priests because Ahimelech gave David the consecrated bread for his men? We look back on all the genocides in history and think, “How could men be so cruel?” We know that in the concentration camps they would often send the women and children directly off the train cars into the gas chambers. Did God rescue the oppressed? Many of them no doubt were Christians, although that. doesn’t make their deaths any more tragic than. the deaths of all the others. Children die of starvation and malnutrition by the thousands all over the world, or from polluted water, or from AIDS given to them by their parents. Does God not save the children of the needy?
We should point out that the promises of the Old Covenant were mainly physical blessings. Deuteronomy 7: 12 “Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you [aa]His covenant and [ab]His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers. 13 He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, [ac]in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you. 14 You shall be blessed above all peoples; there will be no male or female barren among you or among your cattle. 15 The Lord will remove from you all sickness; and He will not put on you any of the harmful diseases of Egypt which you have known, but He will lay them on all who hate you. 16 You shall consume all the peoples whom the Lord your God will deliver to you; your eye shall not pity them, nor shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you. Fruitful crops, fruitful wombs, protection from enemies, long life, no diseases or plagues. These are all physical blessings. Of course, Paul tells us that men like David also found spiritual blessings, i.e. the forgiveness of sins (Romans 4), but the main promises of the old covenant were physical blessings. I still wonder if there were no exceptions to this even in the Old Covenant. Did a child of a righteous man never die from hunger? Did every single crop planted yield a plentiful harvest? Did everyone live to an old age? Did no one ever get sick or have some disease? Apparently those would be exceptions and not the rule in the Old Covenant.
Do we have those same type promises in the New Covenant? Isaiah 53: 5 And by His scourging we are healed. This is talking about Jesus.Matthew 8: (Jesus) healed all who were ill. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “He Himself took our infirmities and [s]carried away our diseases.” Is this promising physical healing for believers? Jesus did indeed heal a lot of physical sickness and diseases. Matthew says the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4,5 is physical healing by Jesus. Peter seems to indicate that the fulfillment of this passage is in spiritual healing. 1 Peter 2: 24 and He Himself [x]bore our sins in His body on the [y]cross, so that we might die to [z]sin and live to righteousness; for by His [aa]wounds you were healed. Even in the Old Testament, David spoke of this spiritual healing: Psalm 41: 4 As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”
If the New Covenant promised physical healing for all believers, then that simply has not been happening. I know a strong believer lady who has spinal bifida, and has been in a wheelchair most all her life. Why did God not heal her when she became a Christian. Please don’t give me that line that she doesn’t have enough faith.
I think I know why God changed the blessings from mainly physical in the OT to mainly spiritual in the NT. The Jews became proud and self righteous because of their special status and blessings. He had warned them in Deuteronomy 8 not to forget God when they entered Canaan and had ready to use vineyards, etc., but they did. That kind of a system can lead to pride, a sense of entitlement. God didn’t want that. He wanted humility. Jesus starts out, “Blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit the kingdom of heaven”. The poor, not the rich. “Blessed are those who are persecuted”. “Pray for your enemies”, not kill them. No more “holy wars” where God sends out armies to wipe out the Amalekites. God only wants the humble in his kingdom today. He doesn’t want anyone in it for health and wealth. As a matter of fact, that lady with spinal bifida is closer to God than most of us who have never had something like that. Instead of removing sickness as in the OT, God allows it in the NT and can even use it to help us grow closer to God. Look at Christians who have health and wealth. Many if not most of them trust in their riches and are very materialistic. Some who are wealthy use it for God, but many do not. They forget God. So, maybe my speculation helps explain why God changed blessings. Now we can focus on eternal life, not on this life.