The Old Testament sets the stage for the Messiah, Jesus Christ by recording repeated failures of the people to be able to keep the stringent laws of God. They were constantly falling, sinning, and running after false gods and idols. In discouragement they would adopt the detestable practices of the surrounding pagan nations. They would abandon justice and mercy and allow their society to become coarse and corrupt. Compared to the holy standards of the Lord, even our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
But on the horizon of failure and condemnation, a bright light of hope was detected. In our scripture for today the Lord declares that the day is coming when He will make a new covenant (solemn contract) with the people. No longer would their lives be characterized by discouragement, dead laws, and broken rules. The day was coming when the people would have a living relationship with the Lord. The day was coming when they would not just “know about” Him but would “know” Him! This promise was fulfilled in Jesus, our Savior. “Do you know Him?”
“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.”