Todays readings.. 2 Samuel 18, Jeremiah 22, Romans 9
Who was told to preach this to his people? He also preached God’s message, “You have eyes and heart only for your dishonest gain … for practicing oppression and violence.” This could also be said in many places today! But what a negative reaction the preacher would get today!
We read the above today in Jeremiah 22 v.17. But the previous verse illustrates that in the life of Jeremiah, that not many years earlier, when the good king Josiah reigned, then the behaviour of the people had been better. This can be said today, in comparison with 100+ years ago when the great majority had Bibles, and many read them – at least, sometimes.
We read in Matthew’s Gospel last month, the warning of Jesus,( Mat 6:24) “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Jeremiah was surrounded by those who despised God – shown by their actions. This is just as true, if not more so today!
Jeremiah calls upon the people to recall the earlier time; “Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him.” [v.15] Who was this? The teaching of Jeremiah in today’s chapter ended with a most powerful phrase! It is what the LORD said in praise of the former good king Josiah who “judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? declares the LORD.” [v.16]
It is indeed the way, the only way to “know” God – our actions prove the real truth of what we say we believe. God caused Jeremiah to make a promise to the people of what would ultimate happen “if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David,” [v.4] Thsere parallel promises to this!
Our 9th chapter of Romans today ends with the statement, “whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” [v.33] Paul means – genuine belief in Jesus! (confirmed by actions) Our actions must reflect our intimate knowledge of the words of Jesus and others, such as these words of Paul, whom the Father inspired!
Let us make sure we answer God’s question through Jeremiah – “Is not this to know me?” To do this we constantly read and absorb the divine word – in our hearts.
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