‘And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.’ Jer. 32:38-41
What strong consolation is there in this scripture! Every sentence has an argument in it tending to establish peace with God, and to maintain it in the midst of war. How quieting and satisfying to the troubled conscience is His covenant purpose! ‘They shall be My people, and I will be their God.’ They shall because I will. My will shall make them willing. And in the day of my power, when my purpose takes place, I will give them one heart turned to myself, and one way to walk with me by faith, as obedient children with their loving Father. This I will do for them that they may fear me for ever, that the fear of offending me may rule always and by all means in their hearts.
O what promises are these! What can weak faith require farther to silence its doubts? How great is the goodness of God to His children, who knowing their frame and whereof they are made, for the good of them and their children after them, has laid such a foundation for their faith that they may build on it and not be afraid, yea, standing on it, that thy may fight the good fight of faith assured of victory. I will make, says their God, an everlasting covenant for them, a covenant ordered in all things, and sure by the counsel and oath of the blessed Trinity, the two immutable things in which it is impossible God should lie; the mountains shall depart and the hills shall be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from them, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy on them. My covenant was made for them, and shall be made good to them. As I live, saith the Lord, I will not turn away from them to do them good. I will never change my purpose, nor alter the word that is gone out of my mouth. I mean nothing but good to them. My heart is fixed upon it. And I will not leave the event to them. They shall not have the management of my purposes, nor have any power to defeat them. My will to do them good shall not depend on their will, nor on their faithfulness, or on anything in themselves. I have taken all their concerns into mine own hands, and I will conduct them all to the praise of the glory of mine own grace. I will put fear into their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. They are not the cause of their departing, but I am. I have taken it upon myself. I will give them grace to walk close with me, and to fear me always. I have covenanted for all, the means as well as the end, and I will keep them by my almighty power, till they receive the end of their faith, even the salvation of their souls. ‘Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good.’ This confirms all the rest, His purpose of doing them good, His executing it, His continuing it, His increasing it through time and through eternity, is a matter of rejoicing to the Lord God. He delights in it. It always was, and always will be, the joy of His heart, His crown and glory. He will not, He cannot be departed of His joy. Consider this, thou poor distressed soul, who art in heaviness through manifold temptations, and ready to faith through the weakness of thy faith. Take courage. Thy salvation is safe. Thy Father, who is in heaven, rejoices in it; He will save; He will rejoice over thee with joy, He will rest in His love; He will joy over thee with singing, and His joy too shall be thine. As sure as God is in Zion, thou shalt return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon thy head; thou shalt obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away for ever. William Romaine (1714-1795)