Reading: Jeremiah 31:27-30
Verse 30: “Instead, everyone will die for his [or her] own sin; whoever eats sour grapes, their teeth will be set on edge.”
In this week’s passage from Jeremiah 31, God is beginning to look towards a new phase in the relationship with Israel. Even though Jeremiah lived about 600 years before Jesus, God is starting to prepare the people for his coming in the flesh. Jesus will usher in a new era and a new covenant between God and the people. We’ll delve deeper into this aspect on Friday.
In verse 27 the Lord declares, “the days are coming…” Living in the time of exile, these words are words of hope. Just as God has recently “watched over” Israel and Judah to “uproot… overthrow… destroy and bring disaster” for their corporate sins, God promises to one day watch over them as God “plants and builds” the house of Israel. God will one day redeem and restore the people of God. But they will have a new relationship. It will not be like when we reconcile with a friend and go back to being friends as if nothing had happened. No, this new covenant will be ushered in by a new relationship between God and the people of God. This change is indicated in verses 29-30.
In their current reality the “fathers” ate sour grapes – they sinned – and the price is being paid by their “children.” Generations suffered the consequences of others sin. Indicating a shift from the corporate to the individual, in verse 30 we read, “Instead, everyone will die for his [or her] own sin; whoever eats sour grapes, their teeth will be set on edge.” The relationship will be personal. If I sin, I alone am responsible. Just me relationship with God is impacted. My sun will set just my teeth on edge. This shift will be initiated and fulfilled in and through Jesus Christ, the one who stands in our place. Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Lord, I am grateful for the new covenant. Yes, the community of faith matters, but my relationship with you is the most important one in my life. Yes, as a body of believers we walk together in faith. Yet I am accountable ultimately to you alone. Yes, you died for the sins of the world, but you would’ve died just for me and my sins. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.