Posted September 15, 2015
I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.
What an astounding promise made by God! This verse lands in the middle of four chapters in Jeremiah (30-33) known as the Book of Consolation, which the Gospel Transformation Bible describes as the literary climax of the whole book. God declares over and over, in many ways and many words, that though His people are unfaithful and forsake Him, He will remain faithful and will not forsake them. Here in verse 40, it’s clear that God is the primary actor of these promises; He brings about what He promises. God describes two things He will do, and the result is a dual “un-turning.” Because of God’s actions, God will not turn away from us and we will not turn away from Him.
I Will Not Turn
Why will God not turn away from us? Because of our good behavior? Because of our passion for Him? No, God is committed to us because He’s made with us an everlasting covenant. In our day and age, we’re used to business contracts, where someone can back out if the other person doesn’t follow through on their part. We’re also used to marriages based not on vows, but rather felt needs. “I just don’t love them anymore… Whatever spark was there initially is no longer there. I’m simply not happy.” Friends, God is not like us and our weak agreements and fickle emotions! Here God makes not only a covenant, but an everlasting one! Philip Ryken said, ”The New Covenant will never end. All of God’s almost illogical, almost impossible promises will last forever. The reason God’s covenant will last forever is that it is established by the blood of Jesus Christ, the blood he shed on the cross for sinners. Because Jesus was raised from the dead to live forever, the New Covenant established in his blood will last forever.” There’s no end to His commitment to do us good… Even His discipline and pruning is an extension of His goodness! God will not turn away from His own and will never cease to do good to His children.
They May Not Turn
Even when it comes to our side of the covenant, we’re reliant on God! We need God to put the fear of God in our hearts… Fear of God in the Bible is connected to reverence and awe and respect. The truth is we can’t create this on our own; we need His Spirit to do for us what only He can do. This godly fear in turn blooms into a faithful life pointed at God that doesn’t turn away. The God who began a good work in us, who showed great power in saving us, is also the God who finishes the good work in us (Philippians 1:6), who preserves us. We are His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), and as the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), He will accomplish the work He set out to do!
May we be humbled over and over by this truth: that on the cross the Father turned away from His own Son that He might not turn away from us. He is our perfect sacrifice. He died the death we deserved that we might have His life. May, by His Spirit, we be marked by a beautiful reverent fear of Him and never turn away from the One who never turns away from doing good to us.
Devotional by Joel Limpic.
Song by Emery Clark.
Produced & mixed by Chris Clark.
Artwork by Jonathan Lindsey.