In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. – Hebrews 8:13
The covenant of grace is greater than the covenant of the law. We see a clear picture of this in 1 Samuel 1, the story of the birth of Samuel. In this story we find his father Elkanah (His name means God has created, or taken possession) has two wives, the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
The meaning of Hannah is grace/favour and Peninnah originates from pinnah, pinnah means bulwark (A wall or embankment raised as a defensive fortification; a rampart), chief, corner, stay, tower. Peninnah represents the law, the wall of separation. This is a picture of grace (God’s unmerited favor) and law (knowledge of good and evil, covenant of the Law).
This same Peninnah had 10 sons. This is just the perfect representation of the law with the 10 commandments. On a certain day Elkanah met Hannah weeping and asked her;
“Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:8)
I see the heart of the father speak to us here. He is better to us than any rules and laws. His Spirit in us can do perfect job compared to the law that was weak and unprofitable. The old way centered around commandments that brought fault, condemnation and a guilty conscience to the people under it’s burden, the new way brought liberty, life and complete forgiveness. The ministry of the Spirit is in total contrast to the previous ministry of condemnation.
It says in 1 Samuel 1:3 that Elkanah would go up from his city yearly to sacrifice to the Lord. vs 4 And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. vs 5 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the Lord had closed her womb. – 1 Samuel 1:4
This is a beautiful picture of us under His grace, we receive a double portion from God, which is firstborn blessing, the fullness of Jesus, His grace upon grace (1 John 1:16). Under His covenant of grace we are promised a redemption that is greater than what we lost. we are placed not just as sons but placed in the firstborn son Jesus.
Zechariah 9:11-12 states;
11 “As for you also,
Because of the blood of your covenant,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
12 Return to the stronghold,
You prisoners of hope.
Even today I declare
That I will restore double to you.
Notice that Elkanah gave Hannah a double portion because he loved her, not because he loved her more than Peninnah. God loves His grace, a picture of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice and His finished work. God has no love for the law, the law was chosen by man.
You will not experience God’s love under the law, you will always try to earn it based on your obedience and merit which always fails. But under His grace, you experience the perfect love of God because of your perfect representative Jesus and His finished work.
The grace of God affords us the opportunity to enjoy firstborn status. That means we are entitled to all that Jesus is entitled to because we are found in Him and not in our own righteousness. Under His grace your eyes are unveiled just like the apostle John and you are the one whom He loves, you are in the beloved.