One of the first things I realised when I turned my life to the Lord and become a Christian, was that I would have to let go of my desire to find a quick way to be successful in my life. I realised that unless I made what I could, by hard work and honest means, my life would be worth nothing. I saw that any short cuts would have to be paid for eventually. I understood that with out the justice and honour of Jesus in my life there would be only sorrow waiting for me in future. I think we can all relate to the fantasy of the lovely house we might buy if we won the lottery, and the fabulous early retirement we might take. But how many of us often think about the injustice that is already built into the fabric of our whole society? The society that gives us our sense of who we are and what we should be. How many of us fantasise about winning the lottery and using the money to build a palace for the poor and needy? How many of us who aspire to be like Josiah, are actually living their lives more like his son, Jehoiakim?
Jeremiah 22:13-17 NLT
And the Lord says, “What sorrow awaits Jehoiakim, who builds his palace with forced labor. He builds injustice into its walls, for he makes his neighbours work for nothing. He does not pay them for their labor. He says, ‘I will build a magnificent palace with huge rooms and many windows. I will panel it throughout with fragrant cedar and paint it a lovely red.’ But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king! Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know me?” says the Lord. “But you! You have eyes only for greed and dishonesty! You murder the innocent, oppress the poor, and reign ruthlessly.”
Josiah, as it says in today’s passage, “also had plenty to eat and drink.” The trappings of power were not what made Josiah great, but he was wealthy and well provided for. God blessed Josiah and made him great because he cared about what the Lord cared about. Josiah was just and right in all his dealings. His dealings with his government, his dealings with his people and above all, his dealings with God. My goal is to try and do more of what God himself says it means to know him. I will aim to be just and right in all my dealings, and I will try harder to give justice and help to the poor and needy.
Dear Father in heaven, forgive me I pray, that I have been so blind to those in need all around me. Forgive my greedy eyes that see only what is good for my future. Help me see ways in which I can be of service. Help me to serve as if I was serving Jesus himself in whose precious name I pray. Amen
Jeremiah 22:1-23:20, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12, Psalms 83:1-18, Proverbs 25:11-14