|Jeremiah 31 |
1 "At the same time," says the Lord, "I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people."
2 Thus says the Lord, "The people who survived the sword, found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest."
3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying, "yes, I have loved you [Israel] with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.
4 Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin of Israel. You shall be adorned again with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances of those who make merry.
5 You shall yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria. The planters shall plant, shall eat, and enjoy them routinely.
6 For there shall be a day that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, 'Arise and let us go up to Zion to the LORD our God.'"
7 For thus says the Lord; "Sing with gladness for Jacob and shout among the great of the nations. Announce, praise, and say, 'O LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel.'
8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and she who labors in childbirth together. A great company shall return there.
9 They shall come with weeping, and I will lead them with prayers. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
10 Hear the word of the LORD, O you nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, 'He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd does his flock.'
11 For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he.
12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall rejoice together over the good bounty of the LORD — for the wheat, the wine, the oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd. Their soul shall be as a watered garden, and they shall not have sorrow any more at all.
13 Then the maidens shall rejoice in the dance with both young men and old together for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
14 And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness," says the Lord.
15 Thus says the Lord; "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were dead."
16 Thus says the Lord; "Refrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears for your work shall be rewarded," says the Lord; "and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.
17 And there is hope in your end," says the Lord, "that your children shall come again to their own border.
18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus: 'You have chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke. Turn me, and I shall be turned; for you are the LORD my God.
19 Surely after I had been turned, I repented; and after I had been instructed, I struck my thigh. I was ashamed, yes, even confounded, because I bore the reproach of my youth.'
20 Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For since I spoke against him, I still earnestly remember him; therefore my inward parts are stirred for him. I will surely have mercy upon him," says the Lord.
21 "Set up road marks, make your stone sign markers high. Set your thoughts on the highway by which you went into exile. Return by that way, O virgin of Israel; return again to your cities.
22 How long will you go about, O you backsliding daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth: A woman shall compass a man."
23 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "Yet again they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity, 'The LORD bless you, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness.'
24 And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all its cities together, husbandmen and those who go forth with flocks.
25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul."
26 At this point I was awakened, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet to me.
27 "Behold, the days come," says the Lord, "that I will plant the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of livestock.
28 And it shall come to pass, that just as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant," says the Lord.
29 "In those days they shall no longer say, 'The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.'
30 But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Every man that eats the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
31 Behold, the days come," says the Lord, "that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.
32 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 covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them," says the Lord:
33 "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days," says the Lord, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall no longer teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," says the Lord, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.1
35 Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divides the sea when its waves roar; the LORD of hosts is his name:
36 'If those ordinances depart from before me,' says the Lord, 'then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.'
37 Thus says the Lord; 'If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done,'" says the Lord.
38 "Behold, the days come," says the Lord, "that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel to the gate of the corner.
39 And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb and shall compass about to Goath.
40 And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields to the brook of Kidron, to the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy to the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more forever."
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1 Regarding spiritual Israel in the later days: The Lord will write his law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. This is the process of listening to the Lord, hearing his commands, and then keeping them. They all shall know me from the least to the greatest.
The old covenant was laws written in stone, outward; the priests were to read the words of the Law, to be heard by outward ears. The new covenant is inward: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts. The new commands (laws) are from the word and light of the Lord, heard and seen from within a man, in his heart: The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach. Rom 10:8,Deu 30:14. This word of God, within a man's heart is heard by your soul's ears: So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom 10:17. This word of God is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb 4:12.
We hear and see God's commands (laws), tailored to our life's circumstances, by waiting on God, which is to persistently and patiently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him. This is the key to spiritual growth: to wait on God, listen, and watch; this is part of the cross. This is how to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his words, which Jesus told us was the "good part" and "only one thing needed:"
And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard his word.
"There is only one thing needed, and Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:39,42
We hear his word from within our hearts. Rom 10:8,17. The words he speaks to us are spirit and life-giving. John 6:63
As you wait on God, the commands requiring your repentance that you hear from the Spirit are new laws of the new covenant, written in your heart:
"For this is the [new] covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they will be to me a people."Heb 8:10
The words he speaks to us are spirit and life, imparting the life of God to us as his spoken words are engrafted into our heart, John 6:63, James 1:21. These words are teachings and commands; those commands requiring your repentance become laws that he puts into our mind and writes them into our heart. Each law you receive is added to the inner law in your heart. From the Word of the Lord within: "When you have heard the dead words in the Bible and recall them, heed what is said; always obedient to His commands. You must obey every law the Spirit establishes.
For you to be free from this inner law, by which all men shall be judged, you must submit to God condemning the sins in your flesh, with commands tailored to your life's circumstances and that you hear when waiting on Him; those commands are established as additional laws in your heart, in which are all the laws you must obey and continue to obey until you are completely crucified, to then walk in love and liberty under no laws because you are continuously guided by the Lord who supplies your every word to be spoken and everything to do.
If we believe what the light shows us, if we believe what we hear spoken, then we believe in Jesus and are believers; and with persistence in waiting, by grace through faith, we are delivered from all sins. The new covenant differs much from the old, but its principal difference is that the grace of being freed from the bondage of sin, is received by belief and obedience to what we see or hear revealed and spoken by the light and word in our hearts, which is faith as defined in the Bible.
From George Fox's The Second Covenant:
Jeremiah saw beyond the first covenant, first priesthood, and tables of stone, statutes and ordinances; and the Lord said by him; I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, says the Lord, after these days, [mark,] I will put my law in their minds, I will write it in their hearts, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Mark, here were days when the law was written in stone, and they were to write them upon the walls, and upon posts, and they were to have fringes on their clothing to put them in remembrance of the law. Now that was in days past; but the Lord said, after those days, I will put my law in their hearts; the hearts of those that had put them in tables of stone, in those days where the people were to be taught the law, and to have the Lord taught, and his laws, and his statutes, and his ordinances.
Now the law has been written in the heart according to the promise of the Lord, who performs and fulfils his words according as they were spoken; when he said that he will put his law in their inward parts, and write them in their hearts, after those days [mark,] after the former days, and I will be a God to them, and they shall be my people, 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 greatest to the least of them, says the Lord, and I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sins no more. Now while the law was written outwardly, in the tables of stone, or upon the posts, and on fringes of clothing to put them in mind of the law, they taught every man his neighbor, and every man his brother; but these were the days when the laws were written upon stone, the first priesthood, the first covenant then standing. Now after those days, the end of the first priesthood, the first covenant, and the decaying of it; people come to witness the Lord having written his law in their hearts, and put them in their inward parts, [mark]. The Lord having done this, every one feels what the Lord has done, having put his law in their inward parts, and having written his laws in their hearts. Thus they feel the Lord near them; and they, who feel this, feel the promise of God fulfilled and know the Lord, he having put his law in their hearts; for this will teach every man to know the Lord. Thus everyone shall feel the Lord is merciful to their unrighteousness, and their iniquities, and their sins he will remember no more. Those who feel the law written in their heart as his promise fulfilled, know this and know the Lord; yes the least of them, to the greatest of them, so that they shall not need to teach one another, saying, know the Lord; thus said the Lord who has promised this, which gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon, and the stars, for a light by night, which divides the seas when the waves thereof roar, the Lord of hosts is his name; [mark,] if these ordinances depart from before me, says the Lord, then shall the seed of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.
And now is the Lord known, and his promise fulfilled, and his ordinances performed, who has put his law in their hearts, and written them in the inward parts of his people, and he is their God, and these need not teach every man his brother, and every man his neighbor, saying, know the Lord, for they shall all know me from the least to the greatest, says the Lord, and these, who can show this, that the law of God is written in their hearts, they know the Lord, from the least to the greatest, Jer 31:34.
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