Our Hebrews reading includes a long quotation [Ch. 8 v.8-12] from the prophet Jeremiah. This starts with “Behold the days are coming” and ends with “for they shall all know me (the LORD) from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” This Epistle shows how the old covenant through Moses had come to an end because “Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.” [v.6]
Once again we see how the Bible has to be taken as a whole if we are to fully grasp what God has revealed to those seeking to have a relationship with him. We serve a merciful God, but we cannot expect him to be merciful if we have no genuine inclination to seek to know him.
What a marvellous picture we have in Isaiah today describing the result of those better promises! “He will swallow up death for ever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces … It will be said on that day, Behold this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us … “ [Ch. 25 v.8,9] Death swallowed up for ever!
The whole world is to ultimately become a Garden of Eden. There are more marvellous verses in the next chapter, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you.” [v.3] because such know that God has been and “will be merciful toward their iniquities”
Yet this chapter has a sobering comment about “he who does not learn righteousness” [v.9]. There are those, of whom it is stated, “They are dead, they will not live; … they will not arise; to that end you have visited them with destruction and wiped out all remembrance of them.” [v.14].
A fitting climax to our thoughts is the last verse of our Hebrews reading, “so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” [Ch.9 v.28] How eager are you for this time? It may not be long now! How are you showing your eagerness?
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