The New Covenant, our Hope

Jeremiah 30-33

These chapters are known as: The Book of Consolation.  The consolation begins with a general statement of hope, and is filled with specific, immediate future hope, but also much that would be fulfilled in the far distant future by Christ.  And that is still our proper hope.  Hope remains, for now.  

The  New Covenant

This is the first time this phrase is used, and “New Covenant” will not appear again until Luke 22:20 (see Ezek 36, and 33-39).  

Jer. 30-31 contains six poems, consider reading through, pausing to appreciate each poem.  30:4-11; 30:12-17; 30:18-31:1;  31:2-6; 31:7-14; 31:15-22

30:8  “on that day”  Our consolation, our comfort, lies in the fact of God’s Sovereignty, His having ordained “that day.”  He will break the yoke, remove the bonds, “and they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.”  The perfect advent meditation!  Do you see the way this points forward to Christ, the reality? 

This is not a day in which the people will sinfully demand a king of their own choosing.  This is also a reminder that God will fulfill His promise–in contrast to the false prophecy in chapter 28.

30:14  your lovers have forgotten you, they do not seek you.

We are easily led astray to chase after false loves, false lovers.  As already taught in chapter 17, our hearts are deceitful, and we are following after an idol if we “follow our heart” or try to “be true to yourself” or if listen to “you do you.”

God is our True Lover–how has He sought you?  (fast forward to 31:3!  He has.)

30:17 He heals, He restores, 18 He will have compassion, 21-22–”I will bring him near  (cf Ephesians 3:11-12) ‘You shall be My people, and I will be your God.’”  Verse 24 Until He has performed and until He has accomplished the intent of His heart; in the latter days you will understand this.  At that time…I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.”

31:2-6  Look at verse seven, have you ever seen this as a call to prayer for you, in the midst of affliction?  Think–what were the people going through when commanded to pray this way?  Could this then minister to your soul?  Would this be the most vulnerable, transparent, personal, appropriate prayer?  Focus on hope (verse 2-6), then sing and shout, proclaim, give praise, declare the truth! With weeping we come, by supplication God will lead, and He will make them walk by streams of waters on a straight path…

Ephraim, part for the whole again.  The most rebellious is considered treasured–so what does this say about God’s choosing and loving me, you, etc?  

He who scattered will gather.  Their life will be like a watered garden, and they will never languish again.  (see Ezekiel 16, and later here in verse 25, ponder what it is to languish, and your own experience of it.  )

31:15-  Rachel, part for the whole, her children Benjamin and Joseph (or grandkids Manasseh and Ephraim) represent all the Northern Tribes.  This is a woe for the children of Rachel or for the Northern Tribes of Israel.  The LORD responds with comfort, and tells her to stop crying.  

Sometimes we prefer our weeping to the LORD’s comfort.  Have you pondered that???  He wants to satisfy with His goodness, the psalmist proclaims that the nearness of God is his good.  Is it yours?

The Center of a Poem, and of the Book of Consolations

Chiasm:  1,2,3,2,1  Jerusalem, Human responsibility, 31:31-34 New Covenant and God’s actions, human responsibility, Jerusalem 

Jer. 31:31-34 chiasm center–and also the heart of the Book of Consolation; 1 and 5 found in 31:23-26 and 38-40 focus on Jerusalem.  2 and 4 found in 31:27-30 and 35-37 focus on personal human responsibility  

32:1-5, this is happening don’t fight it (remember Josiah fighting Pharoah Neco?  Don’t try it!)

32:6-15  Jeremiah makes a purchase in hope, because God will restore!

32:16-25  the weeping prophet is filled with hope, and praise! 

32:26ff makes it clear that this portion was prayed/answered/written before the city was besieged.  

32, see Ezekiel 11 and 36!  32:32 who is responsible?  Everybody.  32:33 They would not listen.

We need a new heart

32:37ff  the promise again, gather-restore-dwell in safety-and “They shall be My people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them.  I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.  I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.”  

33:3, A promise to Jeremiah, not you.  So frequently this is taken out of context, as though every Christian who has enough faith will hear a fresh new word, great and mighty things that no one else knows. In context, we see how God is relating to Jeremiah, how He loves to answer prayer and invites prayer, and how He is a God who is near and active and responsive and reveals Himself.  John 14:22-24; 8:31f; Hebrews 1:1-4  Now–we do not ask for a new word concerning our future hope, we have the Spirit abiding in us, teaching us as we come to what He has spoken.  We do not ask for a new revelation, He gives us understanding concerning what has been revealed.  (1 Cor 2)

As God spoke to the prophets long ago, so He spoke to Jeremiah.  He told Jeremiah of the rebuilding of Jerusalem, of the restoration of the people, of the New Covenant–teaching the people truth, cleansing and pardon from all iniquity, and of the goodness and peace they will enjoy.  Times of celebration, marriages, births, and a return to thank offerings.  The people of the New Covenant would be thankful, grateful people.  

33:14-16  ADVENT!!!  Christ is coming!!! The days are coming in which YHWH will fulfill promises made concerning “a righteous Branch” and a king, and that king will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.” He will also fulfill promises made concerning the priesthood.

33:19-end  if people can control the sun moon stars and their courses, ending the cycle of day/night, only then God would prove unfaithful.  To answer their fears of whether this exile would end God’s faithfulness, or would change the covenant promises, the answer is ‘no, He remains faithful.’  He will have mercy, and one from David’s line will again reign, and the number of David’s descendents and the Levites’ descendants will be uncountable.  

Concerning our own fears and doubts over whether God will fulfill His promises, we too can take to heart–since we cannot control day and night or sun and moon, we can trust our Sovereign God. He has given us too a hope and a future.

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