The New Heart

Jeremiah 30-33

 

I. The Future Restoration of Israel and Judah (30:1-31:40)

A. Jeremiah instructed to write God’s words in a book (scroll) (30:1-3) – implication for biblical inspiration; The Bible throughout has an emphasis on the continuity between the revealed spoken message and that same revelation committed to writing. [ Ephesians 3:4; 2 Peter 3:1, 2; 1 John 1:4; 2:26]. The sameness of the authority of the two mediums of expression was fundamental to the conept of canon from the beginning [Joshua 1:5-8]

B. In the midst of a severe chastisement, God will show his might and mercy (4-17)

1. Strongmen will be filled with fear and pain and manifest the helplessness like women in labor – 4-7. The last part of verse seven inserts the beginning of hope and restoration. “Yet he shall be saved out of it.” The words of judgment throughout this prophecy have always given way to the promise of restoration. God himself must do it for the people had put themselves in the position of total destruction. No reason for their preservation may be found beyond God’s promise to bless all nations through Abraham and his promise to David that one will come that will rule from his throne forever.

2. The yoke will be broken from God’s people and they will serve only the Lord their God and David their King. 8, 9 -[Think about “Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

3. God assures them that their punishment is a discipline, not a full destruction; this is only by his grace not because they are unworthy of a full work of wrath [12-15 “Your hurt is incurable and your wound is grievous . . . your guilt is great . . . your sins are flagrant.”

4.  Their discipline, therefore is from the Lord and the nations that have plundered and despised them will themselves b e plundered, devoured, and exiled.

C. God promised to restore Jacob, punish their oppressors, and be their God (30:18-24)

1. The city shall be rebuilt. This took place partially at the return.

2. Worship shall be restored filled with joy and thanksgiving. Their numbers shall greatly increase after having been so diminished by this judgment.

3.  Their prince, ruler, will not be a foreign appointee but one of their own and the Lord himself shall make this prince worthy of approach to him. 21

4.  but the prophecy awaits its full manifestation in the New Jerusalem n the new heavens and the new earth. Only there will the full manifestation of the glory of God’s habitation among men be unsullied and irreversible, immutably established by divine sovereignty. Only there will the promise of verse 22 be finally confirmed [Revelation 21:1-3]

5. The verses 23 and 24 indicate that there will be a display of divine wrath that will have full satisfaction. This can occur only in hell for the wicked and only on the cross for the redeemed.

D. God’s mercy on Israel (31:1-22)

1. God’s everlasting love for Israel (vv. 1-7) Verse 1 seems to indicate that the time to which Jeremiah is referring is a time of deep genuine and pervasive conversion. Verse 7 indicates that this will be “the remnant of Israel.” His actions are the fulfillment of a covenant made on the basis of everlasting love [3]. This “everlasting love” is that which is celebrated so richly in the entire Scripture and is fundamental to the eternal covenant Hebrews 13:20) that undergirds all of the actions of the triune God toward the people he intends to redeem. On the strength of it he “gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16) he commends it to us in that “Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8), He shows its unbreakable strength and inviolable character in sending his Son “to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10); its manifestation in time by his sparing not his own Son so that every thing that would qualify his chosen ones for eternity in his presence participating in his joy {Romans 8:32) transcends all that exists in creation so that nothing can separate the elect from it (Romans 8:37-39). {“therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (Jeremiah 31:3) A person may have such clear demonstration that he has received specific elements included in these covenantal provisions that he knows himself to be assured of all and the he is the object of this incorruptible transcendent love {Galatians 2:20).

 

2. God himself will restore the people and bring them to him. They will be those that are the most unlikely and the weakest and the most needy, so that their eventual high position will be seen to be of pure grace. This will be of such a phenomenal nature that all the nations will called upon to witness the undeniable fact of God’s intervention. [8-11]

 

3. The people will see God’s rich provision, have an unmitigated exuberance about his providing all that they need and be fully satisfied in God’s goodness to Israel (vv. 10-14). This sort of restoration that involved an extended worship of God and joy in him, unsullied by unfaithfulness in their midst or the perversion of worship through unfaithful priests did not occur in the return from Babylon. It was only a dim type of a future more glorious call by divine grace.

 

4. God consoled the weeping of Ephraim (Israel) and promised to ransom his people (vv. 15-22)

·         The sorrow provoked by this devastation was re-enacted when Christ was born and Herod, in fearful jealousy, killed the infants two-years of age and under. [15]

·         This sorrow and grief, although the result of their own hard-heartedness will provide emotional, spiritual, and moral collateral out of which restoration comes for the continuation of God’s redemptive purpose through Israel. “There is a reward for your work,” wrote the prophet. Severe discipline was not for the purpose of utter destruction, but for training the nation to expect God’s rule through holiness and righteousness.

 

E. God’s mercy on Judah (31:23-30)

1. God will reestablish Judah as the home of justice and holiness (vv. 23-26)

·         No other nation had the Law revealed that established an unchangeable inscription of God’s standard of righteousness. They are therefore, in an objective way the “abode of righteousness.” Also they will come to esteem the righteousness manifest in the law by their acceptance of it only complete earthly fulfillment in the obedience of Christ. [2 Peter 1:1; Philippians 3:9]

·         It is there that God established his holy presence so they are the “Holy hill.” God will, under the new covenant seek a holy people and his dwelling will be in men. [Titus 2:14; Romans 12:1]

·         Fulfillment certainly will include that chosen remnant of Judah and Israel who will all be saved, but extends far beyond these to embrace God’s chosen from the Gentiles. See especially 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1 where Paul ascribes a number of covenantal passages from a variety of OT books, to the Corinthian church in his instruction for their separation from the wickedness of their past and the present culture.

2. The Lord will again plant Judah and Israel in their land (vv. 27-30)

·         God will increase their population and their prosperity 27

·         When he has accomplished the first four things that Jeremiah was required to prophesy [1:10] he will then do the two final things.

·         29, 30 -God will establish a new people whose well being will not be tied to the national and ethnic connections. Rather the new people will be dealt with individually. This does not mean that there is no original sin or imputation of Adam’s sin. It means that every individual still is accountable for his own actions and will be judged accordingly. The days of God’s identifying his people through racial and purely ceremonial connections will end with the New Covenant.

 

F. The establishment of the New Covenant (31:31-34) Israel and Judah

1. God took the initiative to reveal a New Covenant (v. 31).

2. The New Covenant different from the Old Mosaic Covenant (v. 32)

·         That Mosaic covenant promised blessings suspended on the obedience of the people to all the laws, statutes, and ordinances that governed the religious, civil, and social life of Israel. See Deuteronomy 6.

·         It was entirely just in that it required a fitting submission to the revealed stipulations of Jehovah based upon his undeniable activities on their behalf and his intrinsic and immutable holiness.

·         It required that these things be done from a heart of love for God and thus served to reveal that that was the most profound and basic issue - lack of love for, and fundamental disaffecton toward God.

·         Though just in all its requirements, it did not promise or provide the change in affections necessary for fallen creatures to pursue the law with love and earnestness.

3. The New Covenant includes the Law written on the heart (v. 33)

·         The Law, formerly and external standard on tablets of stone, but foreign to the propensities of the people, will be placed within them and written on their hearts.

·         This very action on God’s part will establish the abiding purpose of God’s covenantal arrangements, “He shall be their God and they shall be his people.”

4. It includes true knowledge of God and forgiveness of iniquity (34)

·         This work of God initiates that true knowledge of God about which Jesus spoke when he prayed, “And this is life eternal that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

·         Not only does the new covenant give corrupt sinners a new heart, it establishes the means by which God is justified in the forgiveness of iniquity. He remembers our sin no more, [34] not by an arbitrary decision simply to do so, but because it has actually been removed from before him as a cause for wrath by Christ’s substitutionary, propitiatory death. In Christ’s reconciling work, God was “not counting their trespasses against them” that is, those elect people all over the world included in the everlasting love of the Covenant of Grace.

 

G. The certainty of God’s enduring love for Israel (31: 35-40)

1. The created order as a testimony to the unchanging love of God (vv. 35-37) More easily can God alter the rational relations of all items in the created order than he could change the moral connections of the covenant of grace built on his everlasting love.

2. God will rebuild Jerusalem, so that it will not be uprooted or overthrown any more. (vv. 38-40) Surely this must refer to that city spoken of in Hebrews 12: 28 “A kingdom that cannot be shaken.” Look at Hebrews 12:22-24. See also Revelation 21:9-27.

 

II. Jeremiah Commanded to Buy a Parcel of Land in Anathoth (32:1-44)

A. Jeremiah falsely charged and incarcerated by King Zedekiah (vv. 1-5)

B. Jeremiah purchased land from his kinsman as a testimony that the land would eventually belong to the Lord’s people again (vv. 6-15)

1. God told him how it would happen that he would purchase the land.

2. The events conspired in such a way that Jeremiah knew that this was God’s revelation.

C. Jeremiah confused by God’s command to purchase the land (vv. 16-25). In light of God’s certain judgment and his extreme wrath against the nation, this transaction seems fruitless and unwarranted.

D. Although God was showing his displeasure with Judah, Jeremiah’s purchase would show God’s intent to restore the people 26-44

 

III. God’s Plan for Judah (33:1-26)

A. Subsequent to the Babylonian outrage, God will restore the people by forgiveness and a full life in home, temple, agriculture, and commerce (1-13)

B.  Restoration of David’s throne (vv. 14-18)

1. The new covenant is inextricably related to God’s covenant with the house of David. [14, 17]

2. One will arise from the house of David, a  righteous Branch,” to execute justice and righteousness in the land.

3. Peculiarly in this one, the demands of both kingship and priesthood will be fulfilled; This is done in such a way that the one in whom it is done will be called “The Lord our Righteousness.”

D. God’s Faithfulness to the Davidic Covenant (vv. 19-26) and the Levitical priesthood

1.        The certainty of the fulfillment of the Davidic again is made analogous to God’s determination of order within the natural sphere. [19, 20, 23-26]

2.        Christ is the righteous king who has completed the priestly sacrifice

3.        His people are a kingdom of priests  Rev. 1:5, 6

V.                  The New Covenant in Salvation History

A.      The conditional arrangement of the old covenant gave a true picture of the moral image of God and the legitimate expectations that God has for righteousness in his

B.       Prior to Pentecost, the Spirit operated in regeneration; otherwise, none can have saving faith. The operation in sanctification, however, seemed greatly diminished for at least two reasons. One, the amount and fullness of Scripture truth available was not as great, and, two, the teaching and example of Christ were not available. In addition because of the moral and legal issues involved in the atoning work of Christ, and how that relates to the internal relations in the Trinity, the operations of the Spirit could be more full subsequent to the atoning work of Christ and move those united with Christ toward conformity to Him in his glory. See Hebrews 1:3, 4; Philippians 3:10, 14, 20-21.

C.       The New Covenant, therefore, announces a fuller operation of the Spirit and establishes a new identification of the people of God, not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, not solely of the people of Israel, but of the adoption of sons. [Philippians 3:3; Galatians 4:4-7]

D.      It involves the true knowledge of God, by the work of the Spirit, and actual cleansing of conscience by the completed work of Christ. [1 John 2:12-14;18-24, 27; 2 Cor 1:15-22; 3:5-11; Hebrews 7:22; 8:6, 13; 9:15ff.; 10:9-18]