TODAY’S READING: JEREMIAH 31-33
OVERVIEW: God’s promise that Israel will be His people (31:1-14); God’s promise of mercy to weary Israel (31:15-26); God’s promise to make Israel secure (31:27-30); God’s promise of a New Covenant with Israel (31:31-40); God’s instruction to Jeremiah to buy a field (32:1-15); God’s explanation to Jeremiah (32:16-35); God’s promise to bring the exiles home (32:36-44); God’s promise to keep His promises (33:1-26).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
Jeremiah continues his positive message for Israel in chapter 31, though, as was discussed in yesterday’s reading, the ultimate fulfillment of his prophecy wouldn’t be until the Second Coming of Christ. In verse 28 of chapter 31, Jeremiah says, “And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.” In other words, just as careful as God was to punish Israel, He will be just as careful to bless them.
Verse 31 of chapter 31 is very significant. God speaks of a New Covenant that He would make with the house of Israel and Judah. As we have made our way through the Old Testament, we have seen God make at least three major covenants. The first was what we call the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 17:7-8: “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” Coupled with what God had told Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3, the Lord promised to give Abraham heirs, a great name, a homeland, fame, protection, and the blessing of all nations through him.
The second major covenant was the covenant God made with Israel at Mount Sinai (Ex. 20; Lev. 27). We refer to it as the Mosaic Covenant because this covenant with Israel was mediated by Moses. In contrast with the Abrahamic Covenant, this was not an unconditional and everlasting covenant.
The third major covenant, what we call the Davidic Covenant, was God’s promise to David of an everlasting kingdom. Through Nathan the prophet, the Lord told David, “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever” (II Sam. 7:12-13). As Jeremiah repeated in chapter 23:5, the coming King of Israel, or Messiah, whose kingdom would be eternal, would come through the kingly line of David.
It must be understood that God’s promise of a New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34 would certainly not negate the everlasting covenants that He had previously made with Abraham and David. This covenant would participate with them and work in conjunction with them. One of the tremendous beauties of this New Covenant is whereas the Mosaic Covenant was filled with God saying, “Thou shalt,” this covenant is filled with God saying, “I will”!!! (See how many times you can find God saying, “I will” in Jer. 31:31-40, and then in chapter 32:36-44, where God picks up the subject again!). Recognize, also, that though this is an everlasting covenant that God made specifically with Israel and Judah, we have been permitted to participate in the blessing of this New Covenant by God’s sovereign plan and grace. Paul said in Romans 11:17, that we, “being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree.”
The promise of a New Covenant in the future is wonderful, but what about right now? After the glorious promises of chapters 30 and 31, God brings things back into Jeremiah’s present situation, and the impending judgment that He was about to unleash upon Israel and Judah. Just before Babylon’s final siege of Jerusalem, God tells Jeremiah to do something that certainly must have seemed strange to him. Purchasing property just before your entire city is overtaken by a foreign enemy is not what you would call a wise business deal to say the least. Yet, that is exactly what God tells Jeremiah to do. As we have seen God do repeatedly throughout Jeremiah’s ministry, this is another object lesson God intended to use to make His point. His point was that though judgment would come, He would restore the people back to their homeland. He wanted to drive home the fact that there is nothing too hard for him (32:17, 27). He would bring the people back to their land, and they would !
enjoy the blessing of His New Covenant with them. Again, we now know that these promises will be fulfilled in the Great Tribulation as Israel turns to her Messiah, and will be enjoyed as He returns at the end of the Tribulation to establish His Millennial Kingdom.
Chapter 33 is a joyous chapter as it focuses on God’s character. It reminds us that the truth of God’s Word is grounded in the trustworthiness of His person. He will perform every single thing He has ever promised (33:14). It will be fulfilled just as He said, right when He said, and just how He said. It is true for Israel and Judah, and just as true for you!
SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO “THE DAY OF THE LORD”:
31:29 – “In those days.” (Specifically, the Tribulation Period)
31:31 – “Behold, the days come.”
31:33 – “After those days.”
31:38 – “Behold, the days come.”
31:15 – “In those days, and at that time.”
31:16 – “In those days.”
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As the ONE WHO FORGIVES SINS – Jer. 31:34 (Matt. 9:6; John 8:10-11).
By JEREMIAH, WHO ACTED AS A KINSMAN-REDEEMER IN PURCHASING THE LAND OF HIS COUSIN – Jer. 32:6-14 (Lev. 25:25,44; Ruth 2:20; 3:12-13; Gal. 4:4-5; Titus 2:13-14).