Week 5, Day 1
Begin with two minutes of silence.
Scripture : Jeremiah 31:31-34 NIV
31 The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to[a] them,[b]” declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Devotional : Help
by Chris Curry
Foursquare Missionary to Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand, regularly supported by Pullman Foursquare.
At the time of the prophesy above, the northern Kingdom of Israel, had already been conquered and dispersed by the evil Assyrian army, and Jeremiah’s painful prophesy spoke of the fast-approaching Babylonian occupation of the Southern Kingdom of Judah when Nebuchadnezzar would defeat Israel and carry away her people as slaves. So, we see bad news followed up by horrible news for God’s people.
God’s prophetic word spoken through Jeremiah is especially relevant in our current state with COVID-19, surrounding political events along with a new variant of the virus. With others, I’m like, “Could we just get a break already?!?” We all know people deeply affected by the events of 2020 and now into 2021. Most of us are reaching out; we’re wanting God to help us by relieving the pain and suffering. By reflecting on this passage, I’m reminded that asking for help with these very present, pressing needs is fine, though there is most certainly another more important need.
Sure, like most of us, God’s people in Jeremiah were looking for help. They looked for things like freedom from their oppressor, a new Jerusalem, along with relief from poverty, difficult laboring, pain and suffering. To be certain these are all worthy items for requesting prayer, just like our prayers for help during COVID-19 are worthy. They are cries for help that are fine as long as we’re not missing the big “help” that God is dying (and sent His Son to die) to give.
The big call for “help” that He desperately wants to hear is in response to verse 33. It’s one that sounds something like, Abba or Daddy. That call of close intimacy in relationship. When we look at what Jeremiah penned over 2500 years ago we see how it relates a NEW everlasting covenant between humans and their God. Let’s look at verse 33. God states that the old covenant was broken. We can even hear the sadness in God’s voice, “They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife.”
But God set out to once again rescue us by announcing a new covenant, one with His very words written on our hearts, so that we wouldn’t break covenant with Him again. His love written on our hearts that we might not break His heart and sin against Him again. What a powerful gift and promise. This is all for God’s sole purpose: “I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
While all sorts of calls for help are fine, this is the big call for help we need to remember during these difficult times. Prayers to alleviate the pain & suffering are fine as long as the we remember the one call for help above all. The one that brings us closer in relationship.
Question to Consider: Am I grabbing hold of the promise of intimacy with Father God? Am I praying for a deeper relationship?
Abba, forgive us for loving our comfort, convenience, freedom and worldly pleasures more than we love our covenant relationship with you. We cry “help”. The kind of “help” that you respond to with healing, mending, enlivening and intimacy with you, our Father. Thank you for going so cosmically out of your way to build relationship with us. With love we pray this. Amen.
Close with two minutes of silence.