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Aren’t you glad that you don’t have to sacrifice goats or doves or lambs every time you sin? And that you have a Bible (or a dozen of them) that you can pick up at any time to read God’s Word for yourself?
It’s such a beautiful thing that you can enter into His presence and be His so intimately, even though He is a holy God and you are a sinful person. Marvel at it for a moment.
When Jeremiah spoke to the nation of Israel, several times he repeated a promise that is recorded in Scripture dozens of times: I will be your God and you will be my people.
Related: The Sweetest Promise in the Bible
How Would that Change Things?
It’s easy today to take for granted the deep beauty of that promise.
You get to wake up in the morning and go about your day, talking to God while you drive your car. You get to read a quick devotion from an app on your smartphone. You get to lose your temper and pray for forgiveness, then move on with the assurance that His grace is sufficient.
You get to hide his Word in your heart and let it transform you.
Related: 11 Reasons to Read the Word
But that wasn’t always the reality for mankind, and so the promises here are even more beautiful when you take into consideration that they didn’t have the free access to God that you do.
Most people didn’t have a copy of the Scriptures in their homes. The Law was originally recorded on stone tablets. Only the rabbis and priests had access to it and they, in turn, would teach the people.
But God was about to make it personal:
For this is the covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord:
“I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.
And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor
and each his brother, saying,
‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord.
For I will forgive their iniquity,
and I will remember their sin no more.”
~Jeremiah 31:33-34, ESV
No More Laws On Stone
God was stating, boldly, that the Law would have a new home. And that meant that His presence would as well.
For always before, the Law was kept in His presence. First in the Tabernacle, then in the Ark of the Covenant. But now, it would be in the hearts of people. In Ezekiel 36:26, the prophecy is that He will remove hearts of stone and replace them with softer hearts of flesh. It all ties together.
God wanted to place His Word in you! He didn’t want it on stone tablets that could break or scrolls that could be lost; He seals His Word in the hearts of His children.
The Old Covenant failed because God’s Word wasn’t for everyone. It could be locked away and forgotten (and it was, many time in Israel’s history). But the New Covenant placed it in hearts, where it could never be lost.
Related: The Bible Changes Your Life
You Will Know God
The result of reading the Word is knowledge of God. And when that Word is planted in your heart, you will know God.
God can never be truly known through the Law; the Law was merely a guideline to show people how desperately they needed God.
Knowledge of God can never be fully achieved through anything external; He is a personal God. And by putting His law in your heart, He has made a way for you to truly know Him.
The Old Covenant failed because time and again Israel failed to know God for who He truly was. But the New Covenant placed the Word in hearts so you can truly know Him.
You Are Forgiven
There’s no mention of an atoning sacrifice here, no need for an altar bathed in the blood of slain animals. For the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world is enough. When His word is in you, you will repent when you sin and therefore your sin will be forgiven.
The Old Covenant failed because it depended on man’s faithfulness to God. Man had to offer sacrifices. But the New Covenant was based on God’s faithfulness to man and He offered the Final Sacrifice: Jesus.
Thank you, Lord, that You have placed Your Word in me. Thank you that my heart is no longer hardened against you, but a fertile place for You to plant seeds of Truth that will bear fruit.
Thank you, Father, that I can know You and am known by You. Thank you for forgiving my sins when I lay them at Your feet.
Thank you that all of Your promises come true because You are faithful.