Jeremiah 31 Commentary
“At that time I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.” What time? What is the LORD talking about? We probably need to go back to chapter 31. Is the LORD referring to a point when “the storm of the LORD will burst out in wrath, a driving wind swirling down on the heads of the wicked”? Jeremiah 31 verse 24.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Verse 3. Those are very strong words indeed! Could this be a reference to the redeemed of the LORD?
“After I strayed, I repented.” Verse 19. And, “The days are coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and the people of Judah. 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.”
Jeremiah has delivered the word of the LORD in a complex collection of visuals; yet so clearly that you feel he is pasting his material from a movie of the future events. It is no longer about Judah’s immediate future – the glory days after the seventy years of exile.
It is about all Israel and her many scatterings during this period. Rachel’s weeping over her children is a reference to the wider Israelite community generally called the House of Joseph – the northern kingdom simply called Israel. The mention of Rachael invokes the thought of Jacob’s love for Rachel. It is never a perfect contrast but the reader is drawn to the human atmosphere of affection. Jacob’s love for Joseph also comes into the picture.
Let the weeping end.
But this isn’t a global peace treaty though the peace contract, called the new covenant, is global. This chapter appears to specifically address the signatories to the peace contract. They have God’s law in their hearts; they have the LORD God for their God. They belong to Him. Is God ruling in your life? Check your heart for God’s law. If you cannot find it, know you are not yet signed up.
They once came to a point when they acknowledged they had strayed. Then they repented. Verse 19. You can see it in their love for Zion. “Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.”
The new covenant: “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26 verse 28. It probably started from there.
Jeremiah 31 is long and complex; it is also as messianic as it is historical. The scope is expanded to include both times: Jeremiah’s immediate future and Jeremiah’s distant future – our times and beyond. The LORD has underlined it with this poster statement: “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
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