In those days they shall no longer say: 'The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.' But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge. The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says 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. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the Lord," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and 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 were ever to cease from my presence, says the Lord, then also the offspring of Israel would cease to be a nation before me forever.
Reading this entire chapter it is overwhelming to read about God’s love for Judah. Remember, Judah is at this place in its existence not because God turned God’s back on Judah, but for decades Judah has decided to stray away from its covenant relationship with God. And even in the midst of Judah’s current situation, God gives Judah, through the Prophet Jeremiah a future promise of redemption, restoration, and hope. An overwhelming promise of redemption, restoration, and hope! God not only decides to restore Judah but says the covenant that he kept with Israel-- that Israel did not keep with God-- was not going to be the same covenant he would restore but a new and a better covenant would be given to Judah! What amazing love! God promises a new and better covenant with Judah but God takes on the responsibility of ensuring that this covenant will be imprinted on their hearts and that he will be Judah’s God. God has decided that Judah will be God’s people while they are in rebellion against Him. Not only will God implement this new and better covenant, not only will God imprint this covenant on the hearts of Judah, but God will place the responsibility to carry this covenant upon his own self.
So let’s think about this: Judah broke the covenant with a faithful God, who has proven to be faithful, yet God says instead of throwing you away or finding a new people to establish a new covenant with, I will renew my covenant with you and I will put it in your heart, and I will carry the weight of this covenant upon myself. It would seem to me, that Judah should be the one to initiate and do the work to establish a new covenant with God, yet in his mercy and in His loving-kindness, God knows the nature of humanity is such that we cannot do this on our own. God carries the heavy weight and upgrades the covenant so now there is hope. For those of us who are in a place of hopelessness, we should remember that the God who established this covenant with a rebellious Judah is your God and you are his people! God’s love is unchanging even in our rebelliousness. God knows that his love will meet our rebelliousness and bring us to a place of repentance. And once we repent, he tells us he will remember our sins no more. What an upgrade!
How has receiving the love of God impacted your life?
Have you shared the impact of God’s love with those in your circle of influence?