A History of Advent in 25 People-17


Seventeen books of the Old Testament (if you include Lamentations) are written by prophets. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel being classed as ‘major’ and the remainder as ‘minor’ a division based purely on their length and not on their importance!

They cover a huge range of issues. They challenge the people of Israel and Judah, the Northern and Southern Kingdoms to return to God and they carry warnings of the consequences of failing to do so. The indicate things that will happen both in the long and short term and they proclaim God’s word to all of God’s people. The books contain many foretastes of, and pointers to Jesus,  and for those who dig into them there is rich reward as in many places we see Advent history displayed.

I have chosen Jeremiah as one of the 25 (a number which has grown as I have written each day) for the following words:

 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbour and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Jeremiah 31.31-34

This should be read alongside Hebrews 8.8-13 which ends with these words:

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away v.13

Thus the great covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses and David are superseded by the coming of the mediator of the New Covenant, namely Jesus himself.

Those following the History of Advent were thus  given a wonderful assurance that all was on course and we may rejoice today that not one word of the LORD can fail.

For a further glimpse of Advent in Jeremiah turn to 23.5-6 and the theme of the righteous Branch and wonder at the further imagery in Zechariah 3.8-10  recalling how close the fulfilment seemed at the peak of Solomon’s reign 1 Kings 4.25.

The prospect of that fulfilment was dashed by sin and failure but it is here again in Zechariah and will come to pass under the New Covenant in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

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