For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
— Jeremiah 7:5-7 (KJV)
Thoughts on Today's Verse...
What is the true measure of our character? Certainly, it is not merely how we act "at church." The real test of our character, our godliness, is our partnership with our Father in heaven and his work of redeeming the lost, forgotten, downtrodden, and broken — or quite literally in this verse, the "foreigner"* and "fatherless" and "widows" among us. When we live only for ourselves, when the "have-nots" are left so far behind, a culture collapses upon itself because it lacks the heart of God, and people become jealous and resentful of one another.
* The NIV 11, rather than our usual NIV 1984, is used for this passage because of the translation of the literal term, "resident alien," as "foreigner" in NIV 11 is closer to our modern usage of the terms.
Loving God, Almighty and Sovereign Lord, please forgive us and use your children to heal our land. Father, I especially pray that you will use me to be a blessing to someone who has no one to whom he or she can turn in times of crisis. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Monday, July 5, 2004