THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing
Part LVIII: God's New Relationship With His Chosen People, Jeremiah 31:27-40
B. God's New Covenant With Israel And Judah
A. When God's people face hard times, be they trials due to punishment for sin or persecution for the sake of righteousness, the Lord knows they need to be encouraged, so He provides it.
B. After predicting the Babylonian Captivity, God had Jeremiah predict His promises of not only restoring His people from that captivity, but of providing a new covenant with them, one that changed His relationship with them for the better in Jeremiah 31:31-37. We view that passage for our insight and edification (as follows):
II. God's New Covenant With Israel And Judah, Jeremiah 31:31-37.
A. The Lord announced that in the future, He would make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, the united nation of Israel, Jeremiah 31:31.
B. However, it would differ from the covenant He had made with their forefathers when He took them by the hand to bring them out of Egypt, for they could and did break that covenant, Jeremiah 31:32.
C. Rather, that new covenant would have improved characteristics (Ryrie St. Bible, KJV, ftn. to Jer. 31:31-34):
1. It would be unconditional, for instead of having the Law given to the people in an external way where it was written on stone tables at Mount Sinai, it would be written inwardly on their hearts, Jer. 31:33a; Ibid.
2. With the law of God written on their hearts, the people of Israel and of Judah would truly worship God as their God and the Lord would truly view Israel and Judah as His people, Jeremiah 31:33b. This pictures the coming spiritual fellowship between the Lord and His people, Ibid.
3. Instead of teaching one another to know the Lord, the people of Israel and Judah with God's law written on their hearts would all know Him, from the least of them to the greatest of them, Jeremiah 31:34a.
4. At that time and under those conditions, God would graciously forgive the iniquity and remember the sin of His people no more, Jeremiah 31:34b.
D. [This covenant will be fulfilled in the end times when the Lord returns to the earth, Romans 11:26-27, Ibid.]
E. Emphasizing the permanence of the nation Israel because of this New Covenant, God added that as the Lord God of hosts had appointed the sun to shine by day, the moon and the stars to shine by night and the sea to be stirred up so that its waves roar in great might, He had likewise determined that Israel would be His chosen nation, that she would not cease to be His people any more than these ordinances would fail, Jer. 31:35-36.
F. The Lord added that if the heavens above could be measured and the foundations of the earth beneath be searched out, only then would He cast off Israel even for all of the sins she had committed, Jeremiah 31:37!
G. [This New Covenant God predicted for Israel was instituted at Christ's death and announced by Jesus at the Last Supper in Matthew 26:27-28 and Luke 22:20, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1172. We thus explain how it affects the Church if Jeremiah 31:31-37 clearly states that God will make the covenant with the nation Israel:
1. The Church by way of her union with Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the coming Messianic Kingdom of Israel, today participates in some of the benefits of that covenant to the nation Israel, Ibid.
2. Some of the spiritual blessings Israel will experience in the Messianic Kingdom we in the Church era know today, blessings like the indwelling and gifting of the Holy Spirit for life and service, cf. Acts 2:14-21 with Joel 2:28-32. "The fulfillment of this [Joel 2:28-32] prophecy will be in the last days, immediately preceding the return of Christ, when all the particulars (e.g. v. 20 and Rev. 6:12) of the prophecy will come to pass," Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Acts 2:16-17 (brackets ours).]
Lesson: (1) God will make a New Covenant with Israel and Judah at the start of the Millennial Kingdom that will be (a) unconditional, with the law of God written on their hearts rather than just on stone tablets, (b) resulting in spiritual fellowship with God, (c) a full knowledge of the Lord and (d) forgiveness of sins for Israel. (2) Since the Church is the Bride of Christ, the Messiah of that Kingdom, we Christians today participate in some of the blessings of that covenant through the new birth that results in a new nature, the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit's spiritual gifts or supernatural enablings for Christian service.
Application: May we believers in the Church rejoice that we enjoy some of the blessings of the New Covenant now, and may we take advantage of the opportunity God gives us to walk by the Spirit's power for life and service!