Jeremiah 31

Verses 31-37 of this chapter contain one of God’s most beautiful promises to us. It’s the kind of promise that compels a response from the recipients. It also illustrates God’s justice, mercy, grace, love and forgiveness and how all of those qualities work together. God previously made a covenant with his people (see Exodus for several chapters that describe God’s covenant), but they broke it even though he was faithful (v.32). The new covenant God is proposing is much more intimate than the list of rules for life and worship he had previously given. In this covenant, God lets us know him (v.34) and have his law written on our hearts in the process (v.33). Really knowing God results in us following his ways (same idea as “the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord” in Proverbs). We don’t need to consult a rule book, manual or argue over the interpretation of laws and legislation. Instead, he draws us near to the point that we live in him and he in us. What is more powerful or more perfect than that? There is actually an answer to that question and it is in the last sentence of v. 34 and the verses following- “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” He knows we will fail, but he won’t leave us when we do. That kind of faithfulness inspires more devotion rather than habitually displeasing him and taking advantage of grace.

The painting of this beautiful picture continues. Verses 35-36 are an analogy between the perfect order of God’s creation and his perfect grace and faithfulness within this new covenant. Verse 37 is an analogy between the vastness of God’s creation and the vastness of his mercy and forgiveness. We can trust in this covenant because it’s creator is the Creator. There is no one greater than God that can vouch for him, so he uses his creation (which is so much bigger than us) to testify for him. There is no one more worthy of our trust.

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