IF IT’S BROKEN, IT NEEDS FIXING
Hear the comforting words of Jesus—“your sins are forgiven”—spoken to you. Express your gratitude with liberty.
Read Jeremiah 31:27–40
27 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will plant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals. 28 Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the Lord. 29 “In those days people will no longer say,
‘The parents have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
30 Instead, everyone will die for their own sin; whoever eats sour grapes—their own teeth will be set on edge.
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.”
35 This is what the Lord says,
he who appoints the sun
to shine by day,
who decrees the moon and stars
to shine by night,
who stirs up the sea
so that its waves roar—
the Lord Almighty is his name:
36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,”
declares the Lord,
“will Israel ever cease
being a nation before me.”
37 This is what the Lord says:
“Only if the heavens above can be measured
and the foundations of the earth below be searched out
will I reject all the descendants of Israel
because of all they have done,”
declares the Lord.
38 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when this city will be rebuilt for me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah. 40 The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the corner of the Horse Gate, will be holy to the Lord. The city will never again be uprooted or demolished.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat present issues or past failures hinder your approach to God?
“Everything is broken” (Bob Dylan). We easily identify with Bob Dylan’s take on society. God’s future involves restoring the ruined and the dysfunctional. There is a judgment day of overthrow and destruction (28) but also a day of building and planting. God demolishes to build something new and fresh. The promise, “I will be their God, and they will be my people” (33) underlines that God’s fresh new thing is primarily about relationship and community. Its scope is illustrated by the reuniting of both parts of the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah (27,31) and its ultimate embracing of both Jew and Gentile (Eph. 3:6).
God had been a husband to the people of Israel (32). They had reneged on their vows. The relationship was in tatters, yet God refuses to walk away (36). But neither is he content with the status quo. A new covenant with deeper and stronger relational bonds will be initiated—internalized (33), intimate (34a), unrestricted (34b), and accessible (34c), but carrying greater personal accountability
(30). Jesus is the mediator of this “superior covenant,” which is “established on better promises” (Heb. 8:6). This is our heritage, our purpose, our hope.
God’s work builds relationship and community (a city, “holy to the Lord,” 40). What is your role in building unity among God’s people?
Pray for the purity and unity of the church, locally and nationally.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.