The Scriptorium

"I Will..."

God means what He says, and does what He promises. Jeremiah 24, 25

Promise and Wrath (7)

Pray Psalm 86.10-12.
For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.
Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.

Sing Psalm 86.10-12.

(Andrews: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven)
For You are great, You wondrous deeds do;
You are the only and sovereign Lord.
Teach me Your way, let me give heed to,
with all my heart, Savior, all Your Word!
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord, be gracious to me,
praise Your Name forever, Lord!

Review Jeremiah chapters 24, 25; meditate on Jeremiah 24.7.

Prepare.
1. How will God’s people finally come to know and love Him?

2. What is the essence of God’s covenant, as summarized in this verse?

Meditate.
People are fallen, flighty, feeble, foolish, and frequently deluded, disobedient, and just plain dumb. We are changeable creatures; but this is no excuse for not knowing and loving God. He has made Himself abundantly well known to all people, just as He had done in the days of Jeremiah (cf. Rom. 1.18-21). We simply can’t be relied on, either to do the right thing or keep our word.

But God is not like us. He is unchanging in all His ways. His Word is completely reliable and true. As we saw in Jeremiah 24 and 25, God had told His people early on that they must keep covenant with Him, or He would discipline and judge them, giving them up to the consequences of their foolish choices (cf. Deut. 28). God had sent Jeremiah – and other prophets with him – to call the people of Judah and Jerusalem to repentance. For nearly forty years, Jeremiah faithfully reminded the people of God’s goodness and His Law. He warned them of judgment to come if they did not repent.

And now judgment was at the door. Three times Nebuchadnezzar would come to Jerusalem and take people and possessions away to Babylon. Three times he would give them a new king. And through all this time, Jeremiah continued to call the people to repentance. Yet they refused to repent and return to the Lord. God had said He would bring His wrath against them for their rebellious ways, and now He would keep His Word to the utmost.

But His promise to create a people for Himself and His glory would not fail. The essence of God’s covenant with His people is that they would be a holy people unto Him, and He would be their Shepherd and King: “they shall be My people, and I will be their God…”

But for this to happen, the people would need a new heart. Only God could provide this, and, true to His Word (cf. Deut. 30.1-10), He would do precisely that.

So while seventy years of judgment lay just ahead of the people of Jeremiah’s day, beyond that, a new day of covenant promise and fulfillment was in store. And God, Who said “I will” both to judgment and restoration, would not fail to keep His Word.

Reflect.
1. How has God fulfilled the promise of His covenant for us?

2. What does God expect of us as His covenant people?

3. How can we make sure that our hearts are always set on the Lord and His ways?

the Prophet speaks of a much more excellent favor, that God would not only mitigate punishment, but that he would also inwardly change and reform their hearts, so that they would not only return to their own country, but would also become a true Church, a name of which they had vainly boasted. For though they had been chosen to be a peculiar people, yet, as they had departed from true religion, they were only a Church in name. But now God promises that he would bring them, not only to enjoy temporal and fading blessings, but also eternal salvation, for they would truly fear and serve him. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Jeremiah 24.7

Thank You for Your covenant, Lord, and for making me one of Your people, so that I…

Pray Psalm 86.1-9.

Review all the great works and promises of God. Praise and thank Him for His faithful Word, and rejoice in His goodness, forgiveness, and lovingkindness.

Sing Psalm 86.1-9.
Psalm 86.1-9 (Andrews: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven)
Bow down Your ear, O Lord and hear me;
I am afflicted and much in need!
Rescue my godly soul, be near me;
save me, O God, all my crying heed!
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord, be gracious to me,
all day long I pray and plead.

Lift up my soul, fill me with gladness;
Lord You are good, You will soon forgive.
Show me abundant lovingkindness;
let all who call on You ever live.
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord, be gracious to me,
heed to my poor pleading give.

When in my trouble, Lord, I call You,
You answer me; there is none like You!
There are no works like Yours, and all whom
You have created shall worship You.
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord, be gracious to me,
all shall glory give to You!

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore