Branded by God

Sunday, October 29

Jeremiah 31:31-34

"I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” And so God declares he is writing himself into us, according to Jeremiah. In the evangelical tradition in which I grew up, we spoke of “letting Jesus into our hearts.” He stood there patiently and knocked, waiting as long as it took, and when we were ready, we swung the door open and invited him in.

The God of Jeremiah will have none of that. This God has grown weary of people’s inability to keep his law. No more will the covenant be written in stone, a covenant which was external and could be broken. Instead, God will write the covenant on his people’s heart. In the Hebrew God does not refer to “hearts” but says “I will write it on their heart.” The heart of the entire people will bear the covenant. This will be no privatized reformation of individual lives.

 

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