How strange this idea of a new covenant must have seemed to Jeremiah and those first hearing this prophecy. The old covenant had been in place for generations, but it had been broken. As it says in Hebrews 8:7, “If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it.”
Jeremiah speaks of the new covenant that will be ushered in by Jesus himself. Reference to a new covenant speaks of a future far beyond the end of the exile. The hope of restoration will not be fully realized until the Messiah comes.
Have you ever lamented over all the rules you have to follow? There are best etiquette techniques involving place settings, curfews, and speed limits, to name a few. Then we can look spiritually and never forget the 10 Commandments or the rest of the law God gave Moses in the book of Deuteronomy. While the world’s rules can limit us and direct us, God’s rules empower us for service and loving others.
We’re not to be condemned for living the way God desires. Paul says it plain as day. He also alludes to the fact that Jesus radically changed the rules. For Gentiles not familiar with the ways of the Jews and the rich history of being in relationship with God, this was terrific news. They didn’t have to worry about a lot of ritualistic behaviors. There is freedom in Jesus for everyone!
How brilliant! God uses Jeremiah remind the people to remember the covenant. It is clear from their behavior that they have not given much thought to this covenant in some time. Maybe ever! The people have no excuse, the answers to life found in the covenant aren’t hidden from them.
“Cursed is anyone who does not obey the terms of my covenant!” Do they even fear or tremble at the curse? Does being obedient to God “show up on their radar” as something they aspire to be better at doing? If so, then they still have a chance to be saved from doom.
At last, the Queen’s reign concludes! Wasn’t it refreshing to read that “all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was peaceful because Athaliah had been killed at the king’s palace”? It will definitely be a new day in the land of Judah!
The priest Jehoiada was instrumental in bringing the LORD back into focus. It seems the covenants being made were making all things right with the world again. At least in Judah for that moment in time! When we are in alignment with God, things just feel “right.”