A New and Better Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31–34) - Radical

A New and Better Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31–34)

“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, and no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother saying know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin, no more.”
– Jeremiah 31:31–34

This is one of the most significant passages, not just in Jeremiah, but in all of the Old Testament as we see a promise of a New Testament, a new covenant to come. So let’s listen to these words and then think about them and pray according to them, Jeremiah 31:31–34.

Oh, there’s so much here that God was promising, in the middle of such a dark, difficult time. Even that, we could just pray according to that, to praise God for his grace and his promises that sustain us and get us through dark, difficult times, that promise us that what we’re experiencing and suffering and even discipline for our sin, when we trust in God, is not the end of the story.

Jeremiah 31:31–34 Shows Us the Promise of God

But the specific promise here is that God is going to make a new covenant with all who will trust in him to be their husband in a whole new way. To be their husband in a much grander way than even the picture we see in the Old Testament which is glorious in and of itself, God pursuing sinful people, God is gracious and merciful to sinful people all throughout the Old Testament.

But this covenant, this new covenant, is a promise that God will forgive all the iniquities of those who trust in him and remember their sin no more and all people who trust in him, from the least to the greatest, whoever you are, wherever you’re from, you can know God.

Jeremiah 31:31–34 God’s Law is Written on Our Hearts

And not just know God, but you will have his law within your heart, written on your hearts, such that you and God walk together in relationship like never seen in the old covenant. I will be their god and they shall be my people. Let this soak in right where you are sitting, walking, driving, whatever you’re doing right now. By the grace of God, you can know God personally.

Walk with God intimately. Obey God fully, according to his law, written on your hearts, inside of you, his spirit inside of you. That gets into other parts of the new covenant that we see, especially talked about in places like Ezekiel 36, but we won’t go there, Jeremiah 31, here. I just want to encourage you today, wherever you are, that you, that you and I, that you have the pure privilege of knowing God.

Jeremiah 31:31–34 Reminds Us God Has Created the World

Like God, the God who created the world, all the universe. You have the privilege of knowing him, of walking with him, of being completely forgiven by him. Of him remembering none of your sin anymore, and you have the privilege of obeying God today by the power of his spirit and his word in your heart. So God, we say yes to all the above. God, we praise you for your grace, for your forgiveness, for removing our iniquity, for remembering our sin no more.

Praise the Lord for His Work

God, I praise you for this in my life, we praise you for this in each of our lives. Jesus, we praise you for making this possible. For making this new covenant, this relationship with you possible, that we right now, by your blood, might be in communion with you, oh God. That the door is open for us to know you, to walk with you, to be your people, to obey you. God, help us to obey you today. Your word, written on our hearts. Help us to obey you, enjoy you, worship you, glorify you as we commune with you, as we grow.

Praying to Grow in the Knowledge of God

God, I pray that you would help us to grow in the knowledge of you today. All because you have made these things possible for each of us. From the least to the greatest, for every single one of us. From the youngest to the oldest, from the richest to the poorest, you have made this possible for all who trust in you. All glory be to your name for the relationship, the covenant relationship. That you have made possible for us through Jesus, according to your promise in Jeremiah 31:31–34. And God, we pray for people around the world who have never heard this good news.

We pray for North Koreans today, for 25 million plus of them. So few of them have never heard this good news. God, we pray that the good news of the new covenant, the good news of Jesus and forgiveness. The opportunity to be your people, to know you as God, would be made known among all the people of North Korea. God, please, bring it about, we pray. That they might know you, from the least to the greatest, that they might know you. God, we pray for this. For them, even as we enjoy and praise you for this in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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