Friday, February 25, 2011

The Cause of the Needy and Poor

Jeremiah 22:13-17

The scripture that I am looking at today is just as convicting as the reference I looked at for a few days in Isaiah. As God convicts our hearts, we begin to look at verses such as these in a whole new way.  They no longer apply to a disobedient Israel or selfish kings; we see how God looks at their hearts and behavior and how those are very issues that plague us today.  Please look up Jeremiah 22:13-17.

This section of scripture is what God said to King Jehoiakim, king of Judah, son of Josiah.  God was unhappy with him because he chose live lavishly while he ignored the needs of the poor and unfairly oppressed his people.  God told him that riches didn't make him great; doing what is right and just and defending the cause of the poor and needy is what God wants to see.  I don't believe that God was wanting him to live in rags; however, God was pointing out that he was more consumed with his personal comfort and gain that he neglected the very people that needed his help and protection.

We as a church family need to be very careful of our own attitudes when it comes to justice.  This may mean that we have to do church differently and sacrifice our personal preferences and comfort to do what is right.  Think of the fact that according to WHO-UNICEF approximately 884 million people in the world do not have access to clean water (this works out to be about one in eight of the world's population).  I once was in a planning meeting at church where we were going to spend a significant amount of money until someone mentioned that it was the same cost of drilling a well in a community.  It changed our focus and we were willing to do without so another community could have a well.

God wants us as a church to ask, where are we putting up ceder walls instead of defending the cause of the poor and needy.  Where are we willing to sacrifice our comfort to provide a basic need for someone else?

Please watch the following video:

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