What shall I do with you, O Ephraim?
What shall I do with you, O Judah?
For your loyalty is like a morning cloud
And like the dew which goes away early.
Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets;
I have slain them by the words of My mouth;
And the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth.
For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice,
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant;
There they have dealt treacherously against Me.
This is one of the many lines of evidence that Israel (not conclusive of itself) that Israel was called as a “new Adam.” It is also an argument that God had made a covenant with Adam even though the word is not mentioned in Genesis 1-5.
But some would also claim that this proves that there was “some way” in which God’s covenant with Israel was a covenant “of works”–that is, a covenant requiring perfect obedience as a condition for a relationship with God.
This is impossible, of course. Israel was given forgiveness many times and in many ways. Such forgiveness was never promised to Adam in his original covenant. Also, Adam was a sinless righteous being whereas God’s covenant with Israel was based on a far different premise about their innocence (or lack there of) and nature.
Just to see how wrong it would be to read the requirement for perfect obedience into the “like Adam” comparison above, consider how Paul writes to the Corinthians in his second letter (Chapter 11):
1 I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
Now, granted, Adam is not mentioned by name. But Eve too was required to be faithful. And how is her faithfulness applicable to the Corinthians? They need to believe in the true Gospel and disbelieve false teachers just as Eve should have believed God’s promise and disbelieved the Serpent’s lies.
It is about faith.