“…I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.”
God established a new covenant with man which is better than the old covenant (Heb. 8:6) and is built upon better promises. One of those promises is a promise of perseverance (Jer. 32:40). This powerful prophet spoke of a two fold promise from God. First, God promises “that I will never turn away from them, to do them good;”.
God promises his continual presence and his commitment to doing us good. This is an outstanding promise of mercy and grace. Imagine a never ending fountain of goodness directed towards us.
Secondly, and in the same verse, God speaks through Jeremiah, “but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me”. Built into our new relationship with God is the truth of perseverance. We will not depart from God. Of course, God knowing our weakness plus the strength of Satan’s world system, he must also build some assurance into this relationship, so he places his fear in our hearts. Scripture does not promise that we will never succumb to sin and fall, but we have great assurance that we will never fail to the point no recovery. “For a just man falleth seven times” the wise man said, “and riseth up again…” (Prov. 24:16). Note: he rises up one more time than he falls. David, who fell more than once, sang, “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” (Ps. 37:24).
Our Lord spoke of the certainty of security to those who have eternal life (Jn. 10:28,29). Paul spoke of the same (Rom. 8:28-39) and Peter echoes the sentiment (1Pet. 1:5). Salvation certifies that genuine believers will make it to the end. Those turning away prove they never had true salvation (1Jn. 2:18,19). God’s gift is eternal life and this begins at salvation.
William A. Bembeneck