A better covenant and promises in store for God's people!

Jeremiah 31:27-34

“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! Continue reading

Ezekiel 36:22-32 -- God equips His people to please Him!

For millennia, a given family name has been very important. Those who bear that name are generally expected to give a good account of themselves lest they bring reproach on the family name. I think of that as I consider part of Isaiah 43:1 — “I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name.” Having been chosen and redeemed by Him, ancient Israel bore His name. How often they brought reproach on themselves and on His name! That would surely qualify as one way of taking His name in vain. We too bear His name. Let’s not do so in vain. Let’s hold it fast so that He is not ashamed to be called our God.

How careful am I not to profane God’s Name? Continue reading