God’s Anger and His Love
Almighty God, life has a way of depowering me, depleting my patience, draining my hope. I look to Your strength to renew me.
Read JEREMIAH 31:27-40
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
God’s promises are unchanging and his love is everlasting.
Sitting in church as a child, listening every Sunday to the Ten Commandments read in full, I thought God was unfair. My parents taught me that God was a God of love, so why would he “visit the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation” (Book of Common Prayer, Exod. 20:5). The thought of the children’s teeth being set on edge (29), that is, children bearing the consequences of their parents’ disobedience, must have been hugely discouraging to people trying to live good and godly lives. Not only must they expiate their own sins but they would also have considered themselves on an endless treadmill where they still must suffer for the sins of earlier generations.
Jeremiah teaches us that God is not actually like that. Unlike Janus, the two-faced Roman god who perpetually looked in two directions at once, our God’s anger and love are not equal. Yes, God is angry when his people break the covenant and turn from him, but his lovingkindness is always greater than his wrath. Time and again he forgives us. Time and again he offers us the opportunity to choose him again. This he has done finally and irrevocably in Jesus, in whose blood the new covenant was written.
In verse 31, we encounter the only specific Old Testament reference to the new covenant–although the prophets often proclaim that God will do something new (Isa. 42:9; Ezek. 36:26). This covenant will not be on mere tablets of stone but will be engraved upon our hearts. God and his promises will continue as long as the cosmos exists (35,36). Jeremiah did not speak to the Star Wars generation and their imagined universes. To his contemporaries, God’s created universe and its rhythms spoke of absolute and unshakeable permanence. God is eternal and so are his promises.
Make a list of God’s promises mentioned in this passage. Which one means the most to you and why?
Dear God, You are my God; Your love is everlasting. Thank You for forgiving my past and renewing my relationship with You.