An Opportunity to Make a Fresh Start

Bill McCartney retired as the head coach of the Colorado football team several years ago. His reason for retirement was not because he was unsuccessful as a coach. His teams had won the national championship. They had been in the top 10 many times. McCartney said that he was reti … More

Promises

In addition to a new beginning God promised to make a New Covenant with His people (vv. 31-37). Here is the promise of a “New Covenant.” This is the only mention of a “New Covenant” in the OT (v. 31). There are some differences between the old and new covenants (vv. 32-34).

  1. The Sinai covenant demanded obedience, while the new covenant offers forgiveness of sin.
  2. The old covenant was written on stone, while the new covenant is carved on the hearts.
  3. The old covenant was between God and Israel, the new covenant is between God and believers.

Ezekiel indicated that this change will result from God’s bestowal of the Holy Spirit on these believers (Ezek. 36:24-32). In Old Testament times the Holy Spirit did not universally indwell all believers. Thus one different aspect of the New Testament is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in all believers (Joel 2:28-32). Another key element of the New Covenant is the preservation of Israel (vv. 35-37). God has the power to do away with His people but that isn’t His plan.

The third aspect of God’s new relationship will be the establishment of a new city for His people. Jerusalem, the city that symbolizes God’s relationship with His people, was destroyed by Babylon (vv. 38-40). But even before that event took place God promised that the city will be rebuilt. These points mark the boundries of restored Jerusalem in the days of Nehemiah.

Application

God never goes back on His promises. When He promised to save me it was immediately when I asked Him to do it and it is for all eternity.

Jeremiah 31:31-40 (English Standard Version)

"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. But 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 write it on their hearts. 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." Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar-- the LORD of hosts is his name: "If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever." Thus says the LORD: "If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the LORD." "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when the city shall be rebuilt for the LORD from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the LORD. It shall not be uprooted or overthrown anymore forever."

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