A New Covenant (Week 34)
Jeremiah had already prophesied to four previous kings, and it was time for him to warn another one about the error of his ways. King Zedekiah was given the chance to repent and do what was right, thereby extending the life of the Davidic dynasty. If he refused, then it was all over for Judah and Jerusalem. The arrogant and senseless king responded instead in anger and arrested Jeremiah.
Thus, Zedekiah became the last king of Judah, and at the end of his reign, the city was destroyed—including the temple, now filled with idolatrous worship. The only rays of hope Jeremiah could have had during this time were the glorious prophecies God gave him about a future Messiah and a new covenant God would make with His people.
The Lord showed Jeremiah that He was going to bring the captives back to their land and raise up a righteous branch from the lineage of David to rule over them. They would be forgiven of their sins, and this righteous king would do only what was right.
God assured the prophet that He had not forsaken His people. He said that His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David were as eternally secure as His covenant with night and day and between heaven and earth (Jeremiah 30:20). He said, “I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them” (Jeremiah 33:26). He also said He was going to make a new covenant with Israel and with Judah (Jeremiah 31:31).
The previous Sinaitic covenant He had made with Israel (His law on stone tablets) was weak because of humanity’s sinful condition and propensity to rebel against it. God’s new covenant would be different—He would write it on people’s hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit, and it would provide forgiveness for sins. On the last night of His life, during the Passover meal with His disciples, Jesus announced that His blood would be the blood of the new covenant.
It is no coincidence that God poured out His Holy Spirit on the disciples on the same day Jews were celebrating the giving of the law at Sinai—on Pentecost. On that day, the law was now being written onto the hearts of His people thanks to the atoning death of Jesus.
The good news is that anyone who believes in Jesus can enter into this covenant and receive the forgiveness and power it provides.
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About this episode:
God gives King Zedekiah one last chance to repent but he refuses. So Ezekiel’s wife dies as a prophetic sign it is all over and the Lord had lost his beloved Israel to judgment. He had done everything He could to avoid this moment, but it was now over. Jeremiah begins to have visions of a future spiritual restoration under the Messiah and a new covenant God would cut with His people. That new covenant would be different because it would provide forgiveness and through the Holy Spirit would write His law on their hearts instead of on tablets of stone. This episode complements the daily readings from our Walk Thru the Bible reading plan for September 20-26, covering Ezekiel 24-31; Jeremiah 21-33; 2 Kings 25:1.