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  • Chad Werkhoven

Jeremiah 31:31-37 - Unchanging Goal

The more things change, the more they stay the same, right? Yes, and no.

Read / Listen

Read Jeremiah 31:31-37

Listen to passage & devotional:


Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 122

Q. What does the first

request mean?

A. “Hallowed be your name” means,

Help us to really know you,

to bless, worship, and praise you

for all your works

and for all that shines forth

from them:

your almighty power, wisdom,

kindness, justice, mercy, and truth.

And it means,

Help us to direct all our living—

what we think, say, and do—

so that your name will never

be blasphemed because of us

but always honored and praised.



The more things change, the more they stay the same. This old adage has proven itself true time and time again. The pattern of God's people has been familiar and consistent: peril overtakes them and they cry out to God for rescue; God hears their prayers and delivers them to freedom; after a short interlude of faithfulness, the subsequent generations fall back into sin and God allows peril to overtake them until they once again cry out in repentance.

But this time it would be different. Not the part about Israel falling into sin and invoking judgment upon themselves... that part is just as consistent as ever. But this time God's not going to rescue and restore them to the same old thing. He's going to break the pattern. The old covenant, in which the people would fulfill their obligation to God by keeping the laws He handed down through Moses, had never really worked. Sinful people can't be made holy by following rules.

God would be faithful to His people. That part won't change either; as we saw a couple of weeks ago reading Daniel, God's people would repent, return and rebuild. But things would be different this time. A new covenant would be coming, one that would fulfill the old Mosaic covenant and bring true freedom to God's people.

This time God's law will be put in our minds, and written on our hearts. This new covenant would restore the purpose you were created for in the first place, in which you truly know God, so that you can "bless, worship, and praise Him for all of His works (HC 122)" for all eternity.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. God gave the same promise to Jeremiah that He gave to Adam, Abraham, Moses, David and many others. It's the same promise He gives to you: He will be your God, and we will be His people (v33).

Dig Deeper

When you pray the words "hallowed be your name," or words similar to it, you're praying that God will continue to make good on His promise to complete the purpose He created you for. As the Catechism puts it, you're praying "Help me to really know you."

Praying that the Father's name be hallowed both acknowledges God's holiness - His perfection and separateness from creation - and it aligns your life with His will. You're not praying that God's name will be hallowed in general, because it already is and always has been. What you're praying is that His name will be hallowed in your life, so that all of your living - what you think, say, and do - will honor and praise God.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our faithful covenant Father, who has put His law in your heart and written it upon your mind;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God's name will be hallowed in your life;



Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - 2 Thessalonians 1


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