We had a day of rest yesterday, and we got back into our Bible reading time. The boys were eager to come together, and it was a really blessed time.
They remembered we last talked about Jesus’s names (wonderful counselor, etc.), and this time, I go through the history – Israel splitting into the northern kingdom and southern kingdom, and most of the kings in each kingdom were so bad. There are some good kings in southern Judah, but most of them were bad kings who did not fear God. Even with all these prophets who keep telling them to obey God, they do not listen. God already punished and scattered the northern Kingdom, and he will also punish the southern Judah as well.
After the history and context, we read this passage.
It is a hopeful passage! God says he will make a new promise with Israel. Even though Israel continue to reject and disobey God, he is never going to give up on them. With the new promise, God is going to put his law in our hearts. Before, we had to obey the laws, but now God is going to move our hearts.
Evan asks why God punished Israel from time to time. John and I answer that it is the same reason why mom and dad punishes you when you do wrong. It’s not because we don’t like you, but because we love you and want you to do the right thing. He then says, but God’s punishment is different from parents punishing. He kills people. John answers, that’s how powerful God is. (A better word would have been holy, but the boys do not know that word yet) We explain that God’s punishment is very serious.
So when Jesus comes to die for us, it is serious. It is not an easy thing for Jesus to do. But Jesus came, so he can show how much he loves us and to turn our hearts. God is never giving up on his people! That is his promise!
(For a shorter version, read Jeremiah 31:31-34)