Summary: God promises us a new relatinship with Him
A CHANGE IS NEEDED
Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Behold, 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 which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord.’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord,” for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
My daughter is getting married; any of you went through that? As I was thinking about something that were old, like the old covenant and something that are new, like the new covenant for today’s sermon, it made me think about my daughters wedding and the old saying for weddings “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” So I had to find out what that was. The something old signifies a sense of continuity, tradition and represents the link to the bride’s old life and her family. Traditionally this was an old garter, which was given to the bride by a happily married woman (which is getting harder to find you know) in the hope that her happiness in marriage would be passed on to the new bride. And the something new, signified hope for the future. Some times it was the brides gown or any new item purchased.
In the same ways God takes the old, with its laws and strict obedience and looks to the future to see there is a new covenant coming. We know that is through Jesus.
God promises a new relationship with us through the forgiveness of sins (by the blood of Jesus Christ.) In the world today it is so important for us to know that the promise of God is fulfilled, finished and final in the death burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the mitts of a dieing and hopeless world we have the truth. The truth of forgiveness, the truth of love and the truth of the blood shed on the cross for our sins. A promise fulfilled.
One of the deepest insights in the Old Testament is said to be these passages in Jeremiah. Because it is the only time that the promise of the new covenant is given to the people of God.
In the passages proceeding in chapter 31, Jeremiah is giving hope to Israel based on God’s loving faithfulness. Vs 15-22 He wants them to know that restoration of Israel is certain and it is through the eternal nature of God’s love. Israel will be sown with the new life of God to generate a new generation of people. But how will this change take place.
They were not able to live up to the old covenant. They couldn’t live up to the law of the old covenant.
I was watching the movie “In the Beginning” was on TV, the other night. They showed them saying we will do all those things that Moses had told them; they did a good job in showing the truth. In exodus 24:3 all the people answered with one voice “all the words which the Lord has spoken we will do”.
Because of the total depravity of man it was impossible for the nation of Israel to life up to the Old covenant. And because we are all sinner it is impossible for us to live up to the laws of God.
So lets see how this new relationship God has promised comes about.
First: God initiates a new covenant.
Look at verse one: God says I’m going to make a new covenant with all my people. The people will be united. The house of Israel and the house of Judah, who have been separated since after the death of Solomon, will be joined. But it’s not the people that took to the initiative to seek a new relationship with God. It was God who said, “ I will make a New Covenant”. The newness, that He wants to initiate, was not in contradiction to the old. One commentator says it this way:…the difference between the two consists merely in this: that the will of God as expressed in the law under the old covenant was presented externally to the people, while under the new covenant it is to become an internal principle of life. A factor of continuity must be recognized. God did not condemn the old He knew there had to have a new dimension to the relationship with people because of sin.