My college alma mater used to hold a golf tournament during homecoming festivities. Sponsoring the tournament was my favorite Old Testament professor, and he went strictly by the rules. As a duffer, I hardly knew the rules, much less played by them. On one of my big swings off the tee, my ball landed up against a tree halfway down the fairway. The professor told me to take a penalty stroke and place the ball a club’s length from the tree.

But that would hurt my score! My golfing partner was much more lenient in the face of my frustration. He said, “Just take a do-over! Just kick it out from the tree and hit it! No penalty as far as I’m concerned.” Well, you can guess which voice I wanted to listen to!

While this experience is trivial by comparison, ancient Israel was given a do-over by God. Israel had to suffer exile for her sins, but God reversed the exile, restored the Israelites to their land, and granted the promise of a new covenant. There would be a new people of God in a day to come. They would know him in the fullest sense, would have his law written on their hearts, and would experience complete and total forgiveness for sin.

Walter D. Zorn et al., “Promise of a New Covenant,” in The NIV Standard Lesson Commentary, 2017–2018, ed. Jim Eichenberger et al., vol. 24 (Colorado Springs, CO: Standard Publishing, 2017), 90.










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