“I will make a new covenant” (Jeremiah 31:31). This new covenant with all the children of Israel would replace the faulty old one from Sinai which they had broken (Hebrews 8:6-8). The promised new covenant would be better and would feature better promises. By it, God would renew and remake them from within. The Redeemer would be the precise “fix” for the heart of man which had run afoul of the old Law. The Almighty would give His people the power to do His will, like the old covenant couldn’t ever do (Romans 8:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 2:13).
“I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33). As special and historical as those stone tablets had been, this law in the heart was revolutionary. We store the language and factual portions of God’s law in our brains’ memory banks. But we treasure it and know it in our hearts. That is when, that is where the Word becomes delightful to us, living in us and livable through us. Jeremiah promised God’s people this law would fully seal the close-knit relationship between them and God.
Imagine an Old Testament Israelite hearing or reading this announcement from Jeremiah: “And they shall teach no more…Know the LORD: for they shall all know me” (Jeremiah 31:34). This must have sounded radical and unimaginable. How could any covenant so effectively be a part of their being that they would all know the LORD!
“I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). Thus they would all know the LORD. They would all have His law in their hearts. And they would all be forgiven and given clean records.
(I excerpted the above from a lesson I wrote for CLE Bible 909.)
The Psalmist knew about depression and discouragement. In Psalm 42:5 he wrote, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?” Depression and discouragement go beyond feelings, which are often fleeting. These Dreadful D’s are a state of being, a condition of the soul.
When I think of my soul, I think of my mind; that is, my ability to think as well as the values that guide my life. I think of my will, which to me is my capability to exercise conscious control over myself. I also think of my emotions (and we all know what those are!).
Discouragement and depression exercise a downward, negative effect on our mind, will, and emotions. They warp our thoughts and values. They deprive us of our self-control. And they work ruin with our emotions. Left to run unrestrained, discouragement and depression will pull us in an ever downward spiral. With mind, will, and emotions so diminished, the victim is left with no apparent way out. He is doomed to worsen because his own self-help mechanisms are working against him.
Even so, he can have hope!
Here’s one more promise from our generous, understanding, compassionate heavenly Father: “For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul” (Jeremiah 31:25). When our mind, will, and emotions are completely shot, run down, and depleted, He replenishes them! As David wrote, “He restoreth my soul” (Psalm 23:3).
(I wanted to share with you some promises for us today, so I gave you the above excerpts from God’s Promises to the Jewish People. Please click the link to read what you’re missing from the whole article.)