God’s Promise of Restoration
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
– Jeremiah 31:31-34
At the beginning of the book of Jeremiah, God gives Jeremiah, the prophet, six verbs as to what He is going to do to His people because of their disobedience and idolatry. In Jeremiah 1:10, God says, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
In chapters 1 through 28 of Jeremiah, we see God plucking up, breaking down, destroying and overthrowing His people due to their actions that transgress against the first covenant God made with His people in the wilderness through Moses. Then in chapters 29-33, Jeremiah shares God’s message that is full of hope and restoration amidst suffering in exile. God uses the words “build and plant” to allude to bringing His people back to Jerusalem.
God gives His people two prophecies of restoration amidst their suffering, one a near view prophecy and one a far view prophecy. The near view prophecy is that He will restore them to Jerusalem by rebuilding the city and having them prosper in the land. The far view prophecy of restoration for His people was telling of the New Covenant He is going to make with them.
This New Covenant would not be written on tablets of stone but upon their hearts. God would forgive their sin and remember it no more. God also provided a means of forgiveness of their sin through the New Covenant. God would send His one and only Son to Earth to teach this message of redemption and salvation before He became the propitiation of all sin by His death on the cross. Even as God’s people had been punished and placed into exile, He still had a plan to restore them and provide for them.
In the early chapters of Jeremiah, the first message God gives His people is “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest. All who ate of it incurred guilt; disaster came upon them. What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?”
There are times in our life where we chase after things more than our relationship with Christ whether it be a sin habit, career, hobby, or relationship. God does not delight in punishing His people, but God’s judgment and mercy walk hand in hand with one another. Because God is abounding in steadfast love for us, He sacrificed His Son for the payment of our sin.
Pray: Ask God if there are things in your life that you are placing above Him. Pray that He forgives you and thank Him for the mercy and steadfast love He has for us despite our sin. Be encouraged to know that God loves you so much He sacrificed His only son so that you and I could be forgiven and saved.
First Baptist Broken Arrow