Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for July 23

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Jay T. Robertson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Mobile


Jeremiah 31:23–34

Blessings Promised (23–26)

The Lord of Armies — the God of Israel — promised to restore His people to the promised land. God booked His people on a round-trip passage to Babylon.

The Lord — the faithful, covenant-keeping God who had used Babylon to defeat them and send them into captivity — would also defeat the Babylonians and return His people back home. The people of Judah could trust the Lord to do exactly what He had promised to do.

The time will come when the people of Judah will return to their land, and they will call on God to bless them in their land. The compassionate God will satisfy the thirsty and feed the weak. He will meet both their physical and spiritual needs.

The same God is faithful to provide for His people’s physical and spiritual needs today. Are you trusting in Christ?

Restoration Sought (27–30)

Jeremiah wrote to encourage the people to trust in the Lord even though times were difficult and the situation looked impossible.

The Lord declared that “the days are coming” when He would repopulate Israel and Judah with people and their flocks. This declaration from the Lord acknowledged the destruction that both Israel and Judah had suffered. Both had their populations reduced and their agricultural production diminished.

God, however, promised to restore what had been lost.

In verse 28, we see that all that had taken place occurred according to the sovereign plan of God. It was God who had uprooted and torn down His people because of their unrepentant sin. He used foreign nations as His instrument to execute His righteous judgment. But the Lord who had uprooted and torn down His people would also build and plant them back in their land.

The people of Judah were unwilling to accept the fact that their own sins were bringing God’s judgment on them. They shifted the blame by insisting that previous generations had committed sins for which they were being punished.

A popular proverb of their day stated that “the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” It would be strange to bite into a green persimmon and hear a person standing nearby say that his teeth felt the acid of the sour fruit.

Many of the people of Judah believed they had been unjustly punished for the sins of previous generations. The Lord made it very clear that each person was held accountable for his own sins.

Covenant Established (31–34)

The exact phrase “new covenant” is not found anywhere else in the Old Testament, although the ideas associated with it are frequently expressed.

The five “I wills” in the passage indicate that God is taking the initiative in this covenant. The days were coming when the Lord would change the hearts of the people so they could obey Him. He would put his teaching within them and they would all know the Lord. They would understand what it means to live for God and have a God-given desire and ability to do so.

God promised that He would “forgive their iniquity and never again remember their sin.”

When Jesus initiated the Lord’s Supper, He told His disciples that His blood would establish the new covenant Jeremiah had foretold. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Call on the name of the Lord today and be saved.