S (Scripture): Jeremiah 22:1 The Lord proclaims: Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and declare this message: 2 Listen to the Lord’s word, king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne—you and your attendants, and all those who go through these gates. 3 The Lord proclaims: Do what is just and right; rescue the oppressed from the power of the oppressor. Don’t exploit or mistreat the refugee, the orphan, and the widow. Don’t spill the blood of the innocent in this place. 4 If you obey this command, then through the gates of this palace will come kings who occupy the throne of David, riding on chariots and horses along with their entourage and subjects. 5 But if you ignore these words, I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that this palace will become a ruin. 6 The Lord proclaims concerning the palace of the king of Judah:
Though you are like Gilead to me,
like the summit of Lebanon,
I will turn you into a desert—uninhabited cities.
I will summon destroyers against you,
who will use their weapons
to cut down your finest cedars
and hurl them into the fire.
O (Observation): The Lord seems to speaking in odd ways, here. God is threatening to destroy the Temple of the people STAY? Wouldn’t God wish for the people to stay?!?!
Well, God is more than disappointed in the people for worshipping other gods. God has allowed the Babylonians to come in and in a sense, God is inviting the people to trust in God again…this time by telling the people to leave the land God promised them and to trust that God would one day bring them back again.
The really challenging point is that some who will leave the Promised Land won’t survive to see it again…but their offspring will!!!
A (Application): Nothing in life is more difficult than saying goodbye to the old and waiting for the next thing (or taking the step towards that next thing). God’s people are called to trust God, once again, in the Scripture above.
As a person of faith experiencing major life changes (new jobs for me and spouse, moving, selling a house, new schools for kids), we are looking forward to getting settled soon.
We trust God. We have faith. But the stress exists all the same.
So – in the mean time – what to do? Well, do justice! Treat all people fairly. Don’t exploit or mistreat the refugee, the orphan, and the widow. Hmmm??
Well, let’s trust that God will lead us into the way of justice. Let’s trust that God will work through us to be kind to the most vulnerable in our society, instead of treating them like scum or the deplorable. Let us show mercy, that mercy might rule the day.
P (Prayer): Lord, soften the hearts of all of us towards compassion, that we might all benefit from your grace. Amen.