God Demands Justice
Key Verse: I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, “I will not listen.”
n Jeremiah 22:21
There is a remarkable contrast between the godly King Josiah and that of his foolish son, King Jehoiakim. Josiah’s lifestyle is worthy of imitation; the lifestyle of his son was despicable.
King Josiah treated people with justice and mercy. He did not rob people so that he could make his life more comfortable. He cared about orphans and widows. He did not exploit the working class.
King Jehoiakim ignored the example of his father. His eye was on luxury for himself. He even forced builders to work without pay to keep down the cost of his lavish remodeling of his palace.
Worse than Jehoiakim’s selfish indulgence was his unjust treatment of the poor and the needy. The disadvantaged in society need an advocate, but this wicked king was deaf to the complaints of the powerless. Little wonder that no one mourned his death and that his dead body became food for buzzards.
Prosperity is dangerous. Throughout history people have turned a deaf ear to God in times of affluence. Jeremiah warns the people that they are as rebellious as King Jehoiakim. They too have refused to listen to God. From their youth they have chosen not to obey God.
In every age God speaks through His living Word. He has spoken plainly through His Son. The message of Jesus about material wealth is clear. Life does not consist in the abundance of things. Our first concern should not be more stuff but more of God.
Our primary interest should be
doing the will of God, not the feathering of our own nest. We are not to lust
after wealth but to seek first the
Silence in the face of injustice may be one of our chief sins. To refuse to speak against the abuse or neglect of the poor is to refuse to listen to God. If we ignore the opportunity to share generously with those in need, we are obviously not listening to nor obeying God.
One of the cardinal principles of the kingdom is revealed in the example of King Josiah. Clearly we see in his life that blessing follows obedience. Disobedience leads to disaster. God loves us. He wants us to love him so much that we obey him. Then he will pour out his blessings upon us – in this life and the next.