Pray together: Thank God for experiences, ask for God‘s help.
How well could you keep God‘s ten basic rules? Which ones were easier? Which were more difficult? Share your observations.
Pray together, that you may get to know new aspects of God and that your friendship with God would be strengthened and become deeper.
Read the text quietly
Read the text out loud
Retell the text (from memory – closed Bibles)
Contributions from the group to complement
31“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord. 33“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people. 34No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord ,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear. 2But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
What sins do we need God‘s forgiveness for? Our personal sins or the general sin of humanity (rejecting God and choosing to listen to the snake) or both?
Read the first paragraph of the commentary after discussing the preceding question.
COMMENTARY ON THE TEXT:
Let’s be honest. Are you able to keep the Ten Commandments or are you aware of persistently breaking them? These rules may be able to fight evil, but they cannot completely eradicate it. It remains a fact that we humans are not free from evil and that we are not able to change ourselves.
That is why God spoke of a time in which there will be a new way of living. But some things need to change for that to happen:
When we humans decided against God and chose to follow the snake, we had to leave the garden and thus the close relationship with God. We have sinned against God and we cannot reverse it. But because God loves us so much, He announced that He will forgive our sins. That is the most important requirement for getting the kind of relationship the first humans had with God.
God needs to change our heart so that we are no longer under the influence of evil and can choose freely between God and the snake (evil). If we choose God and thus what is good, God’s rules will apply to us again, but if we choose to listen to the snake we will fall under the influence of evil again. But for us to be able to make such a decision, we first need to know God (get to know Him). So God spoke of a time when everyone will be able know Him personally. When we are able to have such a relationship with God, we no longer need to follow the rules of a book, instead God will write His rules directly into our hearts so that it becomes a part of us.
Then we will belong to His people and He will be our God and many things will become what God intended them to be in the first place.