The final two verses of Psalm 147 place in capsule form Israel’s spiritual privileges and her failure in her spiritual responsibilities. Here, it is written, “He declares His word to Jacob, His statutes and His judgments to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any nation; and as for His judgments, they have not known them” (vv. 19-20).
What spiritual privileges they had! Israel was the trustee of God’s word—He had uniquely declared His statutes and judgments to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In Romans 9, the apostle Paul enumerates in more detail the spiritual privileges that Israel of old enjoyed: “to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came” (vv. 4-5).
Yet, Israel had chosen to respond irresponsibly to such glorious privileges—”as for His judgments, they have not known them” (v. 20). The greater the privileges the greater the responsibilities. Jesus Himself stated that “to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48).
In comparison to the old covenant given through Moses, the new covenant is better, i.e. vastly superior, in its privileges. Because of His divine power, God has given to His New Testament family all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). God has blessed each Christian with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).
This places before every Christian a most sobering decision—Am I going to shirk my sobering spiritual responsibilities like Israel did, or am I going to diligently and zealously fulfill them?