Our Old Testament reading for this week is Jeremiah 31:31-34.

“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. 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 them,” declares the Lord. “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. 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.”

The prophet Jeremiah speaks to a people who have lost their way and eventually suffer destruction of their nation and captivity in Babylon. While he doesn’t pull any punches in calling out their sin, he also reminds them of God’s love and provision for them. He tells them the time is coming “when I will make a new covenant with the people” (v. 31).

The apostle Paul writes to the persecuted church of Rome in a similar way “God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). What a blessing and promise! The lesson here is that God wants us back, regardless of our sin. It is not up to us to clean up our lives to return to God but rather return to Him who will make us whole again.

God has been constant and consistent in His desire to reclaim us from evil since the beginning. He doesn’t care what our current circumstances are, only that we turn from sin and accept His forgiveness. Let God lead us no matter what, and our salvation is assured.

Loving Lord, we often seek our own gain and selfish pleasure in disobedience to Your love and Your law. Help us to see that only by our acknowledgement of sin and return to You can we be saved. Amen.

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