The New Covenant

MEMORY VERSE: “I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts: and will be their God, and they shall be My people.” —Jeremiah 31:33

JEREMIAH 31:31, 34

WHEN God gave Jeremiah his commission as a prophet he told him not only that, through the Word of the Lord, he would “pull down and destroy,” but also that he would “build” and “plant” (Jer. 1:10) The thought is, of course, that these activities would be the subject matter of Jeremiah’s prophecy.

It is interesting to note that in his prophecies pertaining to God’s dealing with Israel beyond their seventy years of captivity in Babylon, Jeremiah goes far beyond a reformation of the people from their sins and their return to freedom in their homeland. In this lesson, for example, he tells, not of returning to harmony with their original Law Covenant, but that God will make a “New Covenant” with them. We quote: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them.”

The Israelites had been permitted to go into captivity because they had broken that covenant. But now the Lord promised that he would make a New Covenant with them, and that this covenant would be “not according” to that original covenant. The law of the New Covenant will be basically the same as in the case of the original covenant, but one of the “not according” features will be in the fact that instead of being written on tables of stone it will be written “in their inward parts” and in their hearts.

This was the situation with man in the beginning, when created in the image of God. The promise of this New Covenant, then, implies a restoration to the original perfection of mind, heart, and body, as enjoyed by our first parents before they transgressed the law which God gave to them concerning the forbidden fruit. This work of writing the law of God in the hearts of the people will be accomplished during the “times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”—Acts 3:19-21

While this promise in the first instance is made to “the house of Israel, and the house of Judah,” its blessings will be extended to all mankind. And when the work of making this covenant is complete the whole world will know God, and the willing and obedient ones will have his law in their inward parts and in their hearts.

Through Jeremiah the Lord continues, “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember sir sin no more” This glorious outlook will not become a reality until the close of the thousand-year reign of Christ.

JEREMIAH 32:36-41

In this section of the lesson also, Jeremiah outlines a program of restoration which goes far beyond the return of the captive Israelites to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of that literal city. We quote: “Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in Mine anger, and in My fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.”

This is undoubtedly a reference to the regathering of Israel to their own land. And in this prophecy also we are assured that the Lord will give them “one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them, and of their children after them.” And how blessed is the further reassurance, “I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul”


When will the New Covenant be made?

Is the present return of the Israelites to their land a fulfillment of prophecy?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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