Ruin or Redemption?

Read: Jeremiah 22:1-5

Do what is just and right. (v. 3 NIV)

In Jeremiah 21, God denied a king’s cry for help. God refused because his people had refused his past offers of help. They had trusted alliances with pagan neighbors instead of trusting God. God would use these very alliances to ruin Jerusalem.

But in Jeremiah 22, God offered redemption. God said, “Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow . . .” (v. 3 NIV). God urged his people to trade the strategies of this world for the strategies of his kingdom. God would redeem his people if they chose righteousness and justice over violence and greed.

We place our hope in earthly strategies too: political power, economic prosperity, and military might. We turn to God when our strategies fail. But to receive God’s help we must become agents of redemption. We do so by pursuing justice, righteousness, and peace. God tells his people in every time and place to release the wrongly imprisoned and rescue the unjustly oppressed; to give refuge to the migrant and relief to the poor. These are not magic rites that guarantee God’s favor. They are acts that demonstrate communion with God’s heart. In other words, God says, “If you love me, you will love them.” He adds, “You can love them because I love you.” Likewise, Paul said, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8) —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, thank God for our redemption in Christ.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.