Fifth Sunday in Lent (Mar 18th)

Pastor's Summary of Jeremiah 31:31-34

This prophecy was written after the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC. V.30 say "all shall die for their own sins": collective sin, in which descendants were punished for wrongdoing, will be replaced by generational or personal sin: punishment will no longer extend beyond a lifetime. God promises to "make a new covenant" (v. 31), with the whole people, both Israel and Judah. It will be unlike the covenant made at Sinai, which the people "broke" (v. 32), even though God was their "husband" or master. The law, once written on stone tablets, will be written "on their hearts" (v. 33)-the people will be faithful, and following the Law will be a matter of individual conscience and will power. Intermediaries ("teach", v. 34) will no longer be needed because all will "know the Lord", for each will recognize him in all actions, in every situation: each will approach God in a godly way. God will forgive them for turning against him ("iniquity") and forget all their deviations from his way. In vv. 36-40, we read that this agreement will last for ever, and that "the days are surely coming" when God's people will be so numerous that Jerusalem will need to be enlarged.