In the days of the prophet Jeremiah, God refused to break the covenant He had made with His people. Despite His steadfast love, though, God’s people continued to sin. This presented a problem: how could God fulfill the promises He had made to bless His people when they continually demonstrated their unfaithfulness to Him?
As a part of His great plan, God pledged a new covenant—a work of inner re-creation. As the theologian Alec Motyer writes, “When his people could not rise to the height of his standards, the Lord does not lower his standards to match their ability; he transforms his people.”
This new covenant is the purpose and promise of God to regenerate hearts through the blood of the Lord Jesus. He takes our hearts and He makes them the perfect shape—like fitting a piece in a jigsaw puzzle—so that His law becomes a delight to us.
In God’s declaration of this new covenant, the verb “know” is key. In the original Hebrew, its meaning is clear from the very beginning in Genesis: the straightforward statement that Adam “knew” his wife and they bore children (Genesis 4:1) demonstrates the level of intimacy it conveys. God is saying that when His people come to an understanding of His love, they won’t simply be doing Bible studies at arm’s length; they’ll be people who truly know Him.
What Jeremiah spoke of in the future tense, we are able to enjoy in the present; for in between his prophecy and our time, the Lord Jesus held up a cup of wine the night before He died and announced, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20). By God’s grace, you and I may know the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Not only this, but He also knows each of our names, individually; and He knows our needs and is committed to our well-being. Jesus bears our names before the Father—and because of all He is and all He’s done, those names are written in the Book of Life.
What kind of King is this? The answer is beyond our ability to fully comprehend. Someday, we will see Him face-to-face and understand far more than we do today. But still, today you can go about with the confidence that comes from knowing that you know the God who redeemed you through His Son, who dwells in and works in you by His Spirit, and in whose throne room you will one day stand.
The New Covenant
31“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, 32not 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. 33For 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. 34And 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.”
35Thus 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:
36“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.”
37Thus 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.”
38“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. 39And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. 40The 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 plucked up or overthrown anymore forever.”
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