BCL Grow: God's Covenant Attorneys — Jeremiah 34:17-18

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Jeremiah 34:17-18 (Law)

Bible Passage

“Therefore, thus says the Lord: You have not obeyed me by proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and to his neighbor; behold, I proclaim to you liberty to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine, declares the Lord. I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. And the men who transgressed my covenant and did not keep the terms of the covenant that they made before me, I will make them like the calf that they cut in two and passed between its parts—.” — Jeremiah 34:17-18


“Who were these prophets? As I mentioned earlier, they were God’s covenant attorneys, bringing his lawsuit against Israel and Judah. On the basis of the Sinai covenant, the prophets pressed the charges and announced the sanctions: death, destruction, and exile from God’s land.” — Michael Horton, Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story, p. 115.

Steps to Take

1. Consider: Like the Abrahamic covenant, the Mosaic (old) covenant was part of the covenant of grace but it was temporary in nature. The Mosaic covenant was a conditional agreement between God and the people of Israel that was mediated by Moses (Exod. 19–24). The people of Israel had to fulfill God’s stipulations in this covenant to stay and prosper in the land God had given them.

2. Reflect: Israel and Judah grievously sinned against God under the terms of the Mosaic covenant again and again while they were in the land God gave to them. They broke the terms of the covenant by failing to keep its stipulations. They disobeyed the Mosaic Law, including grievously turning away from the Lord—the one true God—to worship vain, false gods made of stone and wood. Because God must uphold his law, he declared through his prophets that he would execute righteous judgment by sending the people of Israel and Judah into exile to be ruled by foreign nations.

3. Rejoice: The Mosaic covenant shows us that, because of indwelling sin, the law is a taskmaster that humans can never appease (Rom. 3:19–20). Yet, through faith in Christ, you are declared righteous before God in his perfect justice, love, grace, and mercy, since Christ’s perfect obedience is counted to you and your sin is counted to Christ. All of this is because Jesus went to the cross and bore on a tree all of your punishment and paid in full all of your debts. (Rom. 5:12–21; Heb. 7:27; 10:14).

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