Behold, the 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 that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares 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. Jeremiah 31:31-33
Like Isaiah, Jeremiah contains many prophecies that are fulfilled in Jesus. Some of them include the Messiah being born a king and descendant of David (Jesus is from the line of David and was honored as a king even at His birth by the wise men who came), the Messiah being part of a murderous plot with the slaughter of children (Herod kills all male babies in his attempt to kill Jesus when he hears of Jesus’ birth), and the above passage about the Messiah bringing in a new covenant. A better covenant. A covenant etched on our hearts instead of stone tablets.
Jeremiah also says these words, written in the context of future restoration, “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” (Jeremiah 29:10-12)
God already knew the plans He had for the Israelites; He knows the plans He has for us…and they are good…full of a promising future and hope.
Questions: Do you believe God has good plans in store for you? Are there things you are doing now that you just know in your heart are from God?
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5
Jeremiah, a prophet in Judah, the Southern Kingdom, is often referred to as the weeping prophet. Bible commentator Carl Medearis says, “All through the great prophet’s life, we see him weeping before God and on behalf of his people—weeping for the people, on behalf of God. He warns Judah of impending doom if the people will not repent of their rampant idolatry. He pleads with God to spare his people. He weeps because no one will listen. He weeps because he’s often all alone. And in the end, no one listens, and the people of Judah and Benjamin are sent into exile in Babylon.”
Jeremiah is desperate for the people to turn from their wicked ways. He is desperate for the promised restoration of God’s people. So much so that he is brought to tears.
Can you relate to Jeremiah? You knew something to be true; something that could really help someone and change their life, but they JUST. WON’T. LISTEN.
Imagine someone you love being diagnosed with a terminal disease that you know the cure for. You know exactly what they need to do to get rid of the disease and live a long, healthy life. But they won’t listen. They just continue doing the same stuff that is keeping them sick and on a path that will lead to death. You passionately plead, you diligently provide evidence, you try different tactics to get their attention, and still, they refuse to listen.
This is how it is with God, and with Jeremiah here. He knows the thing that will save them, but the people won’t listen. It is such a deep burden within him that he can’t help but lose it in a pool of tears.
God, help us to not be too prideful, stubborn, and stuck in our ways that we can’t hear and accept the plan that will save us.
Questions: Have you ever been in a situation where you knew what could help someone, but they wouldn’t listen? How did you respond?