• Christ Church, Willesborough

Trinity Twenty-Second Sunday Youth-led Family Worship Service (31 October 2021) Jeremiah 31:31-34


Today’s meditation is based on our Old Testament reading from Jeremiah 31:31–34. “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, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, 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. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, 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 their sin no more”.

God made a covenant with Israelites when they came out of Egypt. Leviticus 26:12 says, “I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people”. God gave commandments to His chosen people through Moses. Judges led the people but the LORD God was the king of United Israel. Israelites asked for a king like other nations and Saul became the first king of United Israel. When Saul’s ways did not please God, He gave the kingdom to David. David was not always perfect but he repented and turned to the God of Israel whenever he was convicted. God made a covenant with David about his kingdom and the throne. God found David to be a man after His own heart. In 2 Samuel 7:16 God promised, “thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever”. God made the same covenant with King Solomon, David’s son. The twelve tribes of Israel formed United Israel until King Solomon’s reign. When Solomon went away from the God of Israel, the LORD God cautioned him. But he did not listen to the caution. As a result, only two tribes were given to Solomon’s son Rehoboam. This was the Southern kingdom. The other ten tribes were given to Solomon’s servant Jeroboam. This formed the Northern kingdom. Every year, the twelve tribes of Israel used to go to the LORD’s temple in Jerusalem which was in the Southern kingdom. The king of the Northern kingdom wanted to stop people from visiting the temple of God every year. He wanted to disconnect the ten tribes of Israel from Jerusalem. So he made two golden calves and set them in Bethel and in Dan. He encouraged and promoted idol worship. The kings who succeeded in both the Southern and Northern kingdoms led the people away from the God of Israel. When the people did not listen to God’s warnings, He allowed their enemies to rule over them. The northern kingdom was given to Assyrian king. The Southern kingdom was given to Babylonian king.

Jeremiah’s ministry was around 626–585BC. His prophecies were a call to the backsliding Jews to repent and turn to the LORD God and to caution about God’s judgement on Judah. In chapter 31 we can read about the prophecies to both the Northern and Southern kingdoms. God promised to restore the nation if the people repented and turned back to Him. In Jeremiah 31:4 God promises, “Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry”. Verse 27 also says, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast”. Although the United Israel was split into two kingdoms, the God of Israel did not consider them as two different kingdoms. God called the twelve tribes to turn back to Him. Jeremiah 31:31 says, “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”. The words ‘the days come’ holds at least three Messianic prophecies. I would like to meditate on the three times these prophecies will be fulfilled.

First Time

Jeremiah 23:5 is similar to 31:31. The verse says “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch”. The LORD God did not forget His covenant with David. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” To fulfill His promise, God sent His only begotten son Jesus Christ to be born in the tribe of Judah. Jesus preached about repentance. He called the people to repent and inherit the kingdom of God. The people in darkness saw a great light through Jesus. But the spiritual leaders of Israel killed Jesus on the Cross and Jesus gave His life as the Passover Lamb. Before His crucifixion, He celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples. He shared His spiritual body and blood with the disciples and made a new covenant. By doing this and by making a new covenant with all of us, Jeremiah’s prophecy in chapter 31:31 was fulfilled for the first time.

Second Time

Jesus said, “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”. The resurrected Jesus ascended to heaven and is now seated on the right hand of God the Almighty. He sent the comforter Holy Spirit to convict us and guide us to inherit eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. Holy Spirit was poured upon the people on the day for Pentecost. The church was established on that day. Jesus will come to receive the church as His bride. The church will meet Jesus and the world will be given to Antichrist. At the end of Antichrist’s seven-year reign, Jesus will come to save Israel. After Armageddon war, Jesus will be the last king from the tribe of Judah to rule Israel for 1000 years. By doing this, the prophecy in Jeremiah will be fulfilled again during Jesus’ 1000 years reign.

Third Time

The ‘Great White Throne Judgement’ is the final judgement to the whole world. Those who do not believe in Jesus, the devil and his followers will be judged and cast into the lake of fire and brimstone which will be their second death. God will create new heaven and earth after this. Revelation 21 says, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son”. When this happens, the prophecy in Jeremiah will be fulfilled for the third time in the kingdom of heaven.

Today is Trinity 22 Sunday. We have a few weeks before the start of Advent season. But the reading portions are about second advent and the Messianic prophecy. We follow Book of Common Prayer orders. The Book of Common Worship says today is the fourth Sunday before Advent. In our earthly life, we are waiting for the Advent season to begin. As the church, we are waiting for the second coming of our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ which is second Advent. If we want to celebrate a meaningful advent season, we must prepare ourselves for the second advent.

We have received all the laws and commandments. We are continually being taught about the Word of God. Above all, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us every step of the way. What are we doing with this wealth of information that is available to us? Luke 12:48 says “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Have we kept our part of the covenant? David kept his part of the covenant and God says David is a man after His own heart. Or are we hardening our hearts although we are being repeatedly convicted? We heard about the end of Saul and the wisest man Solomon when he turned a deaf ear to caution. Jesus made a covenant with the disciples. They received the Holy Spirit. They took the Gospel of repentance and remission of sins throughout the world. They died for the gospel. We, the church, are living in this age of grace. We don’t know when Jesus will come to receive the church as his bride. Our Lord is always true to His promises. He will come quickly to receive the church as His bride. If we keep our part of the covenant, we will be on Jesus’s side when He fights against the devil and his army. We will inherit eternal life. In spite of being cautioned many times, if we don’t keep the covenant, we will be on the opposite side fighting against Jesus. We will face eternal death. Let us examine ourselves to see which side we are in today. We still have time to switch sides. The choice is ours to choose between eternal life and eternal death.

I pray our God who is the Alpha and Omega will prepare and preserve us to the second Advent. The grace of our LORD Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen!

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