I sometimes forget stuff: names I know as well as my own, things I remembered an hour ago, where I put my keys or what I set on top of them! But some people and situations I never forget: broken covenants and pain. I may forgive and choose not to allow brokenness to imprison me, but I don’t forget.
In these verses God recalls a broken covenant, a time of judgment. But now “the days are surely coming” when God will initiate restoration: “I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.” God makes a deliberate choice to forgive sin and not remember it—an intentional decision not to allow the power or influence of sin to stand in the way of our relationship. God’s conscious choosing to cast aside our mountain of iniquities speaks volumes about the grace of our God who so desires a relationship with us that nothing will stand in the way.
God ups the ante and goes straight to the heart. In the past, God took Israel and Judah by the hand and tried to lead them home into the land of milk and honey, into relationship. Anyone who has ever dealt with a two-year-old or a mule or a headstrong person knows how that goes. God did not break that covenant; the faithful did.
God will write the new covenant on our hearts. It resides and operates from within. We don’t have to learn it; we simply have to receive it. God offers the gift of life, hope, and grace to each of us, despite our obstinacy and waywardness. God renews the possibility of relationship by restoring our hope and watching over us as we “build and . . . plant.”
Remember me, Lord. Amen.
Christians want help in understanding the signi cance of the Bible. Psalm 119 delights in the instruction of Yahweh. The text of the Torah is valued, not as a legal document but as an occasion for meditation and for the shaping of values, intuitions, and sensitivities. Scripture in Second Timothy is the gift of God and a guide for the practical life of God’s people. Its instructive role equips believers for every good work. Jeremiah 31 anticipates the time when God will write the law on the hearts of the people and reminds readers that at the core of “the law” is the covenant relation God establishes: “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” The parable of the persistent widow directs us to the companion of Bible study: prayer.
• Read Jeremiah 31:27-34. In what sense do you perceive God’s guidance coming from within you?
• Read Psalm 119:97-104. How immersed are you in God’s word? How does scripture guide your decisions?
• Read 2 Timothy 3:14–4:5. Who in your life has been a coura- geous teacher leading you toward God? How has he or she helped sustain your faith?
• Read Luke 18:1-8. How have your attitudes toward prayer changed? How does this passage help you to view prayer in a new light?
Respond by posting a prayer.
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