“BECAUSE OF ALL THIS WE MAKE A FIRM COVENANT IN WRITING;
My friend Bobbie used to keep her schedule and appointments in a day planner. In her house cleaning business she would often have to move things around so she wrote everything in pencil. Work or personal, everything was written in that book…in pencil. Now Bobbie remains a faithful friend to me for over 30 years but I never liked the idea of our lunch plans being in pencil. It somehow lacked in naming the truth of her loyalty to me – it just wasn’t as permanent as she was.
I guess that’s how our joke got started. One day when she said she had penciled me in I just told her. “I don’t want to be in pencil – I want to be in ink!” It remains our code about important things to this day – “put this in ink!”
On this day of confession and humility, the Jews recognized their sin and rebellion had brought correction from a God who was ever faithful to love them. At a moment when their hearts were tender and grateful they wanted to tell the Lord they wished to be faithful. I can so relate. Oh God, help us – help me – to be faithful to You.
So, they made promises. And they wrote it down. And all the leaders signed their names. Just like the Declaration of Independence and John Hancock, they documented their aspirations…IN INK!
“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the LORD. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jer. 31:33