Today’s readings: Ezekiel 16:42-17:24, Hebrews 8:1-13, Psalm 106:13-31, Proverbs 27:7-9
The Lord was determined in His pursuit of Israel in two ways. First, He insisted on righteousness and condemned their idol worship and general wickedness. This is summarized in Ezekiel 16:59. Second, he not only remembered His covenant with them, He promised to make that covenant eternal in Ezekiel 16:60.
59 “Now this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will give you what you deserve, for you have taken your solemn vows lightly by breaking your covenant. 60 Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were young, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.
Hebrews 8 is all about Jesus as our High Priest, who clearly exceeds all preceding high priests. And Jesus represents a better covenant – the one that God promised in Ezekiel 16:60. Some of the language is the same. The phrase, “I will be their God and they will be my people,” appears frequently in the Bible. In fact, it appears in 43 different Bible verses, according to the Knowing Jesus web site. However, the idea that God’s laws will occupy both our hearts and our minds was first stated explicitly in Jeremiah 31:31-34, which is the source for this quote in Hebrews.
10 But this is the new covenant I will make
with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds,
and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 And they will not need to teach their neighbors,
nor will they need to teach their relatives,
saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’
For everyone, from the least to the greatest,
will know me already.
12 And I will forgive their wickedness,
and I will never again remember their sins.”
I always love to see when the readings from the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament align so well. God has not forgotten His followers. It is reassuring to see God’s desire for His people and commitment to them (or should I say us) comes through clearly in both passages.