Scripture reading for August 10th: Jeremiah 21-25
Many people claim to know God and speak for Him. Jeremiah’s day was no different from ours. There were many self-appointed prophets giving a message of peace and safety to people who were living in sin and idolatry. (Jeremiah 14:13-15) These were not pagans, but people whose ancestors made a covenant with the Lord to walk in faith and obedience. What does it mean to really know God?
Jeremiah used the example of King Shallum (Jehoahaz) , son of Josiah, who had gone into captivity. He focused on building a bigger palace and exploited the people of God for his own gain. “Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father (Josiah) have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy so all went well. Is that not what it means to know Me?” declares the Lord? “But your eyes and your heart are set on dishonest gain, on shedding of innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.”” (Jeremiah 22:15-17) This wicked king was sent ahead into captivity as an example to the people; Jeremiah used his failure to follow his godly father as an example to the people.
Knowing God is very practical. It is humbly following the ways of truth and justice laid out by God in His law and word. It is being merciful to the poor and needy. It is confronting injustice and defending those whose innocent blood is being shed. It is refusing to be under the oppression of sin and unbelief, but truly knowing the heart of God by faith in His holy word!
We must be vigilant today concerning our own knowledge of God. He has given us His word and His Holy Spirit to take that word and reveal a true knowledge of God to each person. No longer do we need to be deceived by self-appointed prophets or political leaders. We are each called to live by God’s word and speak truth to our neighbors. We are to live a practical life that demonstrates we know God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Some leaders of our nation and even some leaders of God’s church are speaking lies that take innocent life and oppress and extort from God’s people. Check out their lives and fruit!