“‘For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people’” (Jeremiah 31:33).
The history of Israel is one of constant disobedience. From almost the moment God announced to them that they were His chosen people, they rebelled against His words and refused to honor His commands. They did whatever they pleased, chasing after foreign gods and doing everything God had expressly told them not to do. Prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah warned the people of the rapidly approaching consequences of this disobedience, but the people wouldn’t listen. They continued to break their covenant with God, like a willful wife leaving her husband.
Jeremiah spoke to this, urging the people to repent and return to God. The majority of his prophecies were messages of impending doom, but a few carried messages of hope. One such prophecy spoke to God’s redemption of His people. Though they wouldn’t obey Him, still He was preparing to make a new covenant with them. They had proven again and again that they could not—and what’s more, would not—obey God. So God would make a new covenant with them, one that wasn’t dependent on their works but instead on Himself. “‘I will put my law within them,’” He proclaimed, “‘and I will write it on their hearts’” (31:33). There would no longer be any need to encourage one another to know God, for all would know Him. Sins would be no more, because God would forgive them all.
Jeremiah concluded his message with a word of incredible encouragement. God gave His people a great promise: If the sun and moon ceased to light the sky, if the sea failed to roar, if anyone could come to the depths of the earth or measure the expanse of the heavens, only then would He cast off His people. In other words, that would never happen. God was loyal to His people, even when they constantly rejected Him. This new covenant, founded in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, would show that once and for all.
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