Posted by: JennyRain | February 25, 2010

The Principle of a Promise

This morning I was reading Jeremiah 34 and noticed a spiritual principle I had not seen before.

God delivered a Message to Jeremiah after King Zedekiah made a covenant with the people of Jerusalem to decree freedom to the slaves who were Hebrews, both men and women. The covenant stipulated that no one in Judah would own a fellow Jew as a slave. All the leaders and people who had signed the covenant set free the slaves, men and women alike. But a little while later, they reneged on the covenant, broke their promise and forced their former slaves to become slaves again. (Jeremiah: 8-10, 11) 


See that?

The people of Jerusalem changed their minds about offering freedom and grace to the slaves and enslaved them again.


So my first question is, did they think their actions were a secret? I mean, c’mon, it’s not like the Creator of the Universe missed what you were doing!

Our actions are not a secret people – God sees them – and it’s not like He has forgotten promises we made years ago.

But I digress…

In this passage te Hebrews had made a promise to God – a promise in covenental form – but reneged. 

I examined some areas of my life against this scripture and wondered, “What areas have I committed to God that I have taken back?” 

Areas of sin that I am not willing to completely let go of, things I am trusting God for that I have lost patience waiting for, or issues that I had given to God, but then picked back up and started to worry over them again.

In the moment, I find it so easy to “let go and let God” but then after time passes… I find that sometimes I pick back up the things that I had once let go of.

This passage also talks about trusting God.

If the Hebrews let the slaves go, they would have to trust that God would provide them alternative workers for fields, for chores around the house, or for tasks that led to a productive economy.

Maybe even the same slaves would return to their owners, just as freed people willing to work as bond-slaves for their former owners.

Yet, if God did not provide, the Hebrews would have to find a way to do these tasks themselves because the economy of their society depended on it.

Were they willing to trust God that if they let the slaves go, there would be a provision for these areas?

This passage also talks about forgiveness.

Those who have been set free from their own egregious enslavement are typically the first to help others find ways to be set free.

Those who are still entrapped within their own sin, those who have not fully realized the immesurable gift of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our redemption, are typically the first to enslave others.

Without understanding the depth and breadth of what it took for heaven to earn our freedom and forgiveness, we can’t possibly hope to offer it to others.

Now, perhaps heaven is looking down and saying, “Seriously, you saw all that in one passage?!?”

But I enjoy looking between the lines of scripture to see the principles behind the stories. It is in digging and wrestling that I learn best.






  1. i love hearing what you dug out of that story.

    makes me think of all the ways i’m an “indian giver” with God. taking back what i place in His hands, as if i might really trust myself more than i trust Him…

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