The Scriptorium

A Future and a Hope

God had not forgotten His Word. Jeremiah 29-31

A New Covenant (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 29-31; meditate on Jeremiah 29.11-13

1. How did God describe His plans (thoughts) toward His people?

2. What were they responsible to do?

The history of God’s people throughout most of the Old Testament was not one of seeking the Lord. Not purely, at any rate. The allure of pagan religion and false deities was just too much for the people of God. They kept their worship of God, but they also set up worship sites for the various gods of the surrounding nations, on high hills, under large trees, in valleys, and on rooftops.

The people were abandoning God Who had saved and blessed them, and cutting themselves off from His covenant promises. Prophets in every generation warned them against such rebellion, but there were plenty of false prophets reinforcing their bad behavior with bogus teaching. With each passing generation, the abandonment of God became worse and worse, until in Jeremiah’s day, God let the people have what they wanted, and made them slaves of a foreign power.

But though Israel frequently gave up on God, God never gave up on His Word. He had made precious and very great promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David; and He would keep His Word. He loved the people of Israel with an everlasting love; so, even though He was sending them off to seventy years of captivity in Babylon, God was already working toward the next phase of His good plan for His people.

God promised to return the people to Jerusalem and the land of Israel, and to give them faithful shepherds to care for them as He would. He was preparing a new covenant for them, which those who entered into it would realize the promises of God in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 1.20). By His Spirit, God would write His Law on their hearts, and He would send a new King to reign over them for righteousness, peace, and joy.

All that God required of His people was that they should seek Him. This meant they would need to turn away from all false gods and schemes of men, take up His Word and promises, worship God only, and bring all their burdens to Him in prayer. By doing so, they would show that they trusted and loved the Lord, and that they were willing to obey His Word. And as they sought Him, God promised to make Himself known to them as the loving Father and King He had always been.

God’s Word and promise to Israel remains for us today: If we will seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him by seeking the Lord Jesus Christ, and finding Him, we will realize everything we need for full and abundant life.

1. How would you explain to a new believer what it means to seek the Lord?

2. What happens when we are not diligent in seeking the Lord?

3. How can believers encourage one another in this work of seeking the Lord with all our heart?

By the word seek, he means prayers and supplications, as mentioned in the last verse. And Christ also, exhorting his disciples to pray, says, "Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you." There is no doubt but that he speaks there of prayer; he yet adopted various modes of speaking, derived from the common habits of men. But to seek, when we feel the need of God's grace, is nothing else than to pray. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Jeremiah 29.13

Help me to seek You throughout this day, Lord, as I…

Pray Psalm 86.1-9.

Seek the Lord in prayer, and call on Him to renew Your soul, fill you with gladness, and sustain you through the challenges of the day ahead.

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