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July 11: Jeremiah 7
Joshua 14–15; Psalms 146–147; Jeremiah 7; Matthew 21
Jeremiah preaches this sermon in the front door of the temple (1), because the people’s object of faith is the temple itself, not God (4). Even the things of God can become worthless idols. But God says: don’t bother darkening the door of my house, if you will not first “execute justice” with each other (5).
Our generation redefines justice with many adjectives: social, environmental, racial, sexual justice . . . etc. Thus we should look more closely at how Yahweh defines justice. Jeremiah supplies four connected aspects:
First, true justice means not oppressing the sojourner, the fatherless or the widow - the most vulnerable of society (6a). Do not take advantage of their vulnerability.
Secondly, justice means not shedding innocent blood (6b). Do not bother saying you are “about justice” when you stand up for the immigrant but kill in the womb.
Thirdly, injustice is the inevitable fruit of following other gods besides Yahweh (6c). False gods are projections of man’s heart, and thus they are always harsh; they always demand blood.
Lastly, to “execute justice” looks suspiciously like obeying the Ten Commandments (10) - which it is.
Yet the people are blind and deaf to Yahweh’s words (10-13), so He will bring destruction - the fruit of their idols (14-15). But Yahweh will later come Himself, and cleanse His temple (Luke 19:45-46), and then die for His people’s sins. The only solution is to trust Him for this cleansing, and then amend our ways, by making Him our King.
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