28: "And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the LORD." - Jeremiah is revealing God's promise to restore Israel following the Exile at the hands of the Babylonians.
31: "The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel." – Things are dark and dreary. Their homes have been destroyed. Families torn apart. Loved ones lost. But there is hope.
32: "It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors…" – Earlier promises, including the Ten Commandments, had helped God’s people to grow. He had held their hands and led. However, in the long run, they could not hold up their end of the bargain. Something new was needed if they were to let go of His hand and grow in their faith and ability to follow.
33: "I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts." – Knowledge of God and understanding of His love will be found in the hearts of His followers, not on tablets of stone.
34: "for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more." – Jeremiah paints an unbelievable future of hope for the returning Israelites.
Points to Contemplate:
Have you ever made a fresh start?
Have you ever experienced a time in a relationship where it became necessary to start over with that relationship? Have there been broken promises that required redefining? Were new promises needed in order to move forward? Do you see why God, after generations of Israelites failed to live up to the covenant of the Ten Commandments, might have needed to look for new ways to define His relationship with His people? Can you see that without this new promise of hope they would probably have simply returned to their old ways, repeating past errors, and continually failing in their efforts to live up to God’s plans and expectations?
Why are changes necessary? Why would God’s new covenant be different than His promises of the past? When you are raising children, do the rules in the household change as the children grow? When you make changes of the rules in your home, does this mean that the old rules no longer apply or were wrong, or is it simply a method of building upon previously established guidelines? Do you see how God may have felt it was time to find new ways to allow His children to grow and mature in their faith?
Is God's Law written on your heart? As you read and study the Bible or when you participate in discussions groups, do you recognize God's Truth when you hear it? When you seek answers for difficult situations or when you look for guidance in life's circumstances, do the solutions you find generally feel right and familiar? As you grow in your faith journey are you learning new things about God or is He simply revealing more of His glory that has always been within you since the moment He created you? Does this help you to grasp and understand that Christ is actually living within you and you really are a creation of God, wonderfully and amazingly made?
Which of your sins has God forgotten? Are you fully aware of this promise or are you carrying a burden of guilt wherever you go? Today, can you accept that He has not only forgiven you of your failings but he has erased them completely from His memory? Will this gift along with the love He has instilled in your heart give you new hope and a renewed future? Will this free you to take another step closer to achieving the destiny He has in store for you - becoming like Christ? Promises of the Gospel:
Jeremiah predicts a bright future for the Israelites returning from slavery. That future is now. The amazing truth that God has written on our hearts is available to every one. The promise of blotting out and forgetting our sins and transgressions has happened in Jesus Christ. We should rejoice that we live during a time when those promises have been fulfilled. Our hope lives among us in our hearts and in our love for God. Rejoice in the Good News!