“That’s right. The time is coming when I will make a brand-new covenant with Israel and Judah. It won’t be a repeat of the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant even though I did my part as their Master.” God’s Decree.
“This is the brand-new covenant that I will make with Israel when the time comes. I will put my law within them—write it on their hearts!—and be their God. And they will be my people. They will no longer go around setting up schools to teach each other about God. They’ll know me firsthand, the dull and the bright, the smart and the slow. I’ll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I’ll forget they ever sinned!” God’s Decree.
Generous in love—God, give grace!
Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
my sins are staring me down.
it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
TUESDAY // THOUGHTS
Ah the heart is a tricky, mysterious thing. I’ll let Jeremiah sum it up here: “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out.” And God gets this and understands that the heart is where our true motives lie. Jerri (Jeremiah) goes on to say, “But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”
This is leading up to Jeremiah 31 to the New Covenant where the law will be written on their hearts. Up to this point the law was etched on stone tablets where if they went against it, consequences follow. You see, the law only serves to let you know when you have done wrong, when you’ve messed up. When do you usually see the cops? When something is wrong. When someone has done something wrong, that’s when they come around and they represent the law. This New Covenant starts to make things more personal. With it written on our hearts, we start to see the things that God cares about and we start to care about them as well.
Ezekiel 36:26 says something similar, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
From this passage and Jeremiah’s, it seems that to have the Law written on our hearts, we need a new one, one that is scrubbed clean and cleansed with the Holy Spirit, one that is fleshy instead of from stone. It’s as though the flesh lets the Law sink in deeper. They’ve tried it written in stone and now it’s time that it is written somewhere else where it can permeate deeper, the heart.
WEDNESDAY // CHALLENGE
Take a moment this week to reflect on what you need to breathe out, like bitterness, anger, regret, etc. and start to exhale that stuff out so you have room to breathe in what you need, like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc.
Think upon Jeremiah’s passage and the Psalms 51 on what it might mean to have a heart that receives the things of God. Ask Him to come in and create a new heart in you. Ask Him what else you can do on your end to make this happen.
THURSDAY // REFLECT
FRIDAY // PRAY
Lord, thank you for your generous love
And unending mercy!
We both know the bad that can collect in my heart
Scrub it and make it clean again Dad
My offenses, it seems, to be aimed at You
I’m sorry! Sorry for being out of step with You
Allow me to walk by Your side once again My God
Create in me a clean heart that has a rhythm so beautiful
That the angels playing their harps right on key
Would pale in comparison.
This we pray in Your Son’s Name