The Wonder of the New Covenant

I will make with them an everlasting covenant that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul. –Jer 32:40-41


Jeremiah experiences and documents God’s complete and overwhelming judgment of the sin of the nation of Israel over many generations. The nation, the culture, had been overrun with some of the most ghastly and shocking sins imaginable coupled with a defiant unwillingness to repent.

If there was ever a time where God could have easily and justifiably removed his protective hedge and simply allowed the Israelites to fade away into history, as so many other peoples have, this was it. To be sure, God’s judgment was righteous and severe, and yet, in Jeremiah 32:36-41 we see the loving and merciful heart of our God on full display.

In light of their sin and punishment, God’s promises would have been almost too good to believe for those Israelites living in exile. To gather them, to bring them home, to make them dwell in safety, to once again be their God, to give them one heart that fears him, to seek the good of their children, to make a new covenant with them that would see him always doing good to them, to change their hearts so they won’t turn from him, that he will rejoice in doing them good, and that he will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all his heart and soul!

As Christians living thousands of years after the Israelite exile, these promises reveal something about the character of God and his natural inclinations, and we, like the Israelites may find it almost too good to be true. God is faithful, even when we are faithless. He is relentless in drawing us back into relationship with him. God is a redeemer, even when we feel like we’re beyond any hope of redemption. God is merciful, even when there is nothing in us that makes us worthy of his mercy. He sees our complete mess, and, in Jesus, mercifully grants us an incredibly bright future, just as he did for the Israelites so long ago. Finally, God rejoices in doing us good! He does it with all his heart and soul. He wants us to know him, to enjoy him, to be in fellowship with him and be utterly and completely satisfied with him.