April 21, 2021
Jeremiah 31: 31-34 CEB
Scenic South District
Jeremiah 31: 31-34
31- "The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32- It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant , though I was a husband to them, declares the Lord. 33- This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my law in their minds and wrote it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. 34- No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, 'know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," Declares the Lord. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
Jeremiah is the longest book of both the Old Testament and New Testament with both Hebrew and Greek words that weigh in at 33,002 words. On the other hand, the longest book of the New Testament and the twelfth longest book of the entire Bible is the gospel of Luke. It weighs in at 19,482 Greek words.
The Major Prophet Jeremiah is the author of this book. He was born into a priestly clan. He was called to prophecy as a youth. His prophetic ministry began in 626 B.C. and ended sometime after 586. His ministry stretched from the thirteenth year of King Josiah death till after the destruction of Jerusalem.
Through his life, Jeremiah was persecuted by several Kings of Judah. We know during his work as a prophet he suffered great persecution by being thrown in a dungeon and even a miry bog. He was also beaten and put into stocks. Several times he almost died and was frequently threatened with harm. How and when Jeremiah died is not known. Jewish tradition, however, asserts that while living in Egypt he was put to death by being stoned.
Jeremiah’s closest companion was his faithful secretary and scribe Baruch. He wrote down Jeremiah’s words as the prophet dictated them. Then he went to the temple to read the prophecies while our prophet was in hiding for fear of further persecution.
Jeremiah was called the "weeping prophet." He dealt with great pain and suffering with his people throughout his ministry. He so often expressed his anguished spirit.
The purpose of Jeremiah’s prophesies were to warn the people of Judah to turn from sin and denial. The message was to obey God's plan for them.
The audience for our prophet was the people of Judah before and during the Babylonian exile.
Jeremiahs prophesy in chapter 31 and verse 33 reveals his vast knowledge of God. He states in this stanza, "This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my law in their midst and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people."
Webster’s Dictionary defines a covenant as “an agreement by lease, deed or other legal contract.”
A covenant in terms of faith is an agreement which brings about a relationship of commitment between God and His people.
The prophet looks forward to a new covenant which the Lord will make with his people. This time God will write the law, no longer on tablets of stone, but in the hearts of his people.
Jeremiah knows a lot about God. First of all, God allows the consequences of sin but God also suffers when we suffer. Jeremiah also knows God disciplines us because God loves us he has a forgiving and loving heart. Jeremiah knows that it is important to give God control. This major prophet also advises to watch out for false prophets and teachers. Finally, God is the only one who always keep promises and covenants!
So as well, there are lessons to be learned from Jeremiah’s prophesies.
First, sin is always accompanied by painful consequences. Second, no matter how great our sins, God still loves us and desires recovery for us. Third, God is not shocked when we openly share our feelings with him. Fourth and finally, a true success is defined by our faithfulness to God's will for our life
Jeremiah offers us great wisdom from our Lord even today. Centuries later his book remains a source of the knowledge and lessons of God.
May we great and loving God, take the time to pray sincerely for understanding the promises and New Covenant which Jeremiah proclaims with God in Christ's love.