Jeremiah 31:31-341NIV New International Version Translations
31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.””
Outen is not a common word any more. It means “To put out; extinguish” and in our title, it means to put out the light. We will talk about this in our New Testament verse from John.
Chapter 31 is a continuation of chapter 30. It provides encouragement to the captives, assuring them that God would in due time restore them or their children to their own land, making them a great and happy nation once again by sending them the Messiah. It is in the Messiah’s kingdom and grace that many of these promises were to be fulfilled.
- Restoration of peace, honor, and great plenty (v. 1-14).
- Their sorrow for the loss of their children will end (v. 15-17).
- If they are repent of their sins, God will graciously forgive and accept them (v. 18-20).
- Their numbers will increase, both their children and their cattle, and not be cut off and diminished as they had been before (v. 21-30).
- God will renew his covenant with them, and enrich it with spiritual blessings (v. 31-34).
- God’s blessings shall be secured for them so far as to have spiritual seed of Israel secured forever (v. 35-37).
- To show God’s commitment to them, the city of Jerusalem shall be rebuilt (v. 38-40).
It would be from the excesses of God’s great and precious promises that would become their foundation of hope and full joy. We also can apply them to ourselves today.
Verse 31: A time is foretold which shall be to the nation as was their Exodus. God, at Sinai, made a covenant with His people, to include material and spiritual blessings. It was done simply in a way that they could understand. The Church that Jeremiah would describe was to be spiritual – written in the heart – and therefore it must take the place of the former covenant Hebrews 8:13, and must last forever. The prophecy was fulfilled when those Jews who accepted Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, expanded the Jewish people into the Christian Church.
Verse 32: As their husband (or, “lord” (Baal, compare Hosea 2:16)) God had lawful authority over them.
Verse 33: The old law could be broken so to fix this, God gives, not a new law, but a new power to the old law. It used to be a mere code of morals, external to man, and obeyed as a duty. In Christianity, it becomes an inner force, shaping man‘s character from within.
Verse: 34: The foundation of the new covenant is the free forgiveness of sins (compare Matthew 1:21). It is the sense of this full unmerited love which so affects the heart as to make obedience from this time forward an inner necessity for each of us, not a burdensome regulation.
Items for Discussion
- What types of covenants do people still make today?
- Do you think we struggle with believing/accepting God’s covenant with us? Why or Why Not?
- Read the last verse above in Jeremiah – Why is this really good news for us?
- Why would oppressed people listen to God better than those that had been living free?
- How do you interpret God’s promise to put His law in our minds and write His commands on our hearts?
- What do you think God’s response is when we ignore Him in our thoughts and keep Him out of our hearts?
4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
John in his Gospel frequently compared Jesus to a light. Here in chapter nine, we see Jesus himself use that analogy. Jesus is quite busy, first giving sight to one born blind. (1-7) followed by an account given by the same blind man. (8-12) The Pharisees question the man that had been blind. (13-17), asking questions concerning him. (18-23) The Pharisees threw the blind man out. (24-34). We hear Jesus’ words to the man that had been blind. (35-38) and finally Jesus has some not so complimentary things to say about the Pharisees. (39-41)
Jesus is comparing our life to one day where during the day, in the light, we must be busy and not waste the light. There will be plenty of time to rest when our “day is done.” It is but a day with only so much light to see the work that God has laid out for us and then night will come. The approach of death should urge each of us to improve all our opportunities of doing good works and getting our own lives in good order. What good we have an opportunity to do, we should do quickly. And we are being warned that if we wait to do a good work until the time is perfect, will probably leave many a good works undone forever,
Items for Discussion
- Did you ever have a project that was dependent upon daylight to finish and you had to work hard and fast to get done? What was it like?
- Why is Jesus telling us to work like the day is going to end and we will run out of daylight?
- Do you think that people spend enough time thinking about their own end?
- What benefits if any could come from thinking about your own demise?
- How can we use Christ’s life to help us plan and prioritize our work “in the daylight?”
- Think back to Jeremiah – God has placed Himself in our minds and in our hearts – How does it help us work and achieve what Jesus is telling us to do in the Gospel of John?
- What are the things that people put off doing and how can we help them gain a sense of urgency?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations