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Jeremiah 33:19-22 - Homilies By A.f. Muir

The covenant of God permanent as the laws of nature.

A curious inversion of Genesis 8:22 , but very instructive. There, what is considered by the secular mind as secured by the laws of matter operating mechanically, is declared as a promise, and consequently as dependent upon the good will and gracious purpose of God; here, what appears at first to be within the power of one or both parties to it, is stated to be as absolute and permanent as if it were not a moral engagement but a material law. Accepting, as in Genesis 8:17 and Genesis 8:18 , the Messianic as the true fulfilment of this prediction, what do we learn?

I. THE INTRINSIC POWER OF GOD 'S WORD . The creative flat was omnipotent; the promise is to be not less so. It is as if a power dwelt within it to bring to pass what it declares. Of course this is not so in the one case any more than in the other. God is in his Word, making it effectual even to its remotest end. We are reminded of Christ's utterance, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away," which seems to make an even stronger assertion. Equally potent is the Word of God in the gospel, its warnings, invitations, and transforming energies.

II. THE ABSOLUTE , ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST . The human element in the Divine covenant relation has ever been the variable and uncertain one. But through the unique personality of the God Man, and of his atoning sacrifice, that element is strengthened and made secure. An incarnation like that of Emmanuel, an act like the death on the cross, once achieved is irreversible, and its consequences must affect the remotest eternity. The spiritual laws comprehended and illustrated in the transactions of the gospel are as irreversible as those of nature; and in the person and work of Christ there is an objective basis presented that can never be destroyed by the weaknesses or unbelief of men, any more than "my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night."

III. THE SPIRITUAL INFLUENCE OF THE NEW COVENANT . ( Genesis 8:22 .) It is really a creative word, because it calls into existence the Church or community of believers, who are the true successors of the seed of David and the Levitical priesthood. In its constant triumphs and the ever increasing nature of the Messianic kingdom, fresh securities are given for the perpetuation of the kingly and priestly functions as developed through the grace of God in human nature. Where the gospel is faithfully preached, and spiritual life truly energizes, believers will, as at Pentecost, be "added daily" and "multiplied." It is like leaven, a seed, etc. As appealing to the deepest needs and yearnings of human nature, it is bound to overcome the world and comprehend the whole race within the zone of its influence. "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" ( Isaiah 55:11 ).—M.

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