27 March 2014

Jeremiah 7:23-28

“Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people.” (v. 23)


In verses 21-28 Jeremiah raised his basic conception of religion: God requires moral obedience, not sacrifice. It is something similar to what Hosea also said, "I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings" (Hosea 6:6). Jeremiah's word expressed his belief that the sacrificial system was man-made and secondary. What he is saying in verse 22 is that in the time of Moses God did not lay down any requirements of sacrifice, but only of moral obedience. However in Jeremiah's view - when the right spirit comes, the sacrificial system is irrelevant, if not idolatrous. He is being driven by the concept of the New Covenant, when God's word shall be written upon Israel's heart, wherein each person shall stand before God without any intermediaries. Probably at this stage, the best gift that we can offer God is to accept God's own gift, the Commandments.

To Ponder

  • How do you respond if God speaks to you, "I will be your God"?

Bible notes author

Tevita and Meleane Siuhengalu

Tevita Maliepo Siuhengalu is an ordained minister with the Methodist Church in Tonga, who taught at Sia'atoutai Theological College for seven years. Tevita and his wife Meleane were mission partners with the World Church in Britain Partnership Programme between 1996 and 2001, and Tevita continued as minister in the High Wycombe Circuit, until 2004.