The Promise of a New Covenant, Part 3

Jeremiah 31 (cont)

24 And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they [that] go forth with flocks. 25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. 26 Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me. 27 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. 28 And it shall come to pass, [that] like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD. 29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. 30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Verse 25 tells us that God’s purpose is to satisfy the weary soul and to replenish every sorrowful soul. Are you sorrowful? Are you depressed? God isn’t going to leave you in a coping strategy. He wants to replenish you and bring to the place (v. 26) that your sleep will once again be sweet to you because (v. 29) you trust and know that He is watching over you to build you up and to plant you in a fair place like a husbandman in a vineyard that He is superintending.

In verse 29 we see a promise that the children will no longer suffer because of the generational sins of their fathers. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a such thing as generational sin. The promise is that we can repent for the sins of our fathers and of our nation and be delivered from consequences brought on us generationally by the iniquity of those who have gone on before us. There is redemption in Christ from generational judgments that puts us on a level playing field with God responsible not to carry the sin debt of those before us but to stand merely accountable for our own choices and responsibility to live uprightly before Him.

35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, [and] the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts [is] his name: 36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, [then] the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. 37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. 38 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner. 39 And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath. 40 And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, [shall be] holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.

The new covenant of verse 33 cannot be underestimated. This is the forthtelling of what we call the “New Testament” in Christ. Israel and Judah have been suffering under an Old Covenant that they had proven themselves incapable of maintaining or obeying. This shows us that while God is a God of covenant that there is something more important to Him that His covenant and that is His people. God loves His people more than He loves His plan or His covenant. God didn’t send Jesus to die for a plan. He sent Jesus to die for you. He loves you more than He loves His plan. Many people obsess with trying to find the perfect plan as though that is the only way God will bless them. If you found the perfect plan of God you would only mess it up. God isn’t in love with a plan, He is in love with you. He loved the people of Israel so much that He offered them a NEW PLAN (covenant) when they proved incapable of keeping the OLD PLAN (covenant). This is a very important lesson for the people of God.

What is the nature of this covenant – this New Covenant of God in Christ? It isn’t about trading one religious system for another. Much of modern Christianity is simply a parroting of the Old Testamental period which is now past. God doesn’t want His church to be a cheap imitation of the Old Testament paradigm. His covenant is not outwardly focused but inwardly focused in His promise to write His law not on tablets of stone but upon our hearts to make us fully and completely like Him in our persons and in our character by the power of the work of the cross.

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