Displaying Justice

The only drawback to Kylie’s house was Kylie’s little sister, Lois!  She was so annoying.

Jeremiah 21:1-14

Reference:  v.12  O house of David, this is what the Lord says: “Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done – burn with no one to quench it.” (NIV Bible)

Explore:  When I was young I used to go to my friend’s house to stay over night.  Kylie lived on a farm just outside of town so there were always different places we could go and explore.  The only drawback to Kylie’s house was Kylie’s little sister, Lois!  She was so annoying.  She would never leave us alone and seemed intent on ruining all our games.  And so we would do our best to hide from Lois and leave her out of our playing.  One day, Lois had started throwing stones at us for leaving her out and so we ran away from her until her shorter legs were too tired to follow and she went back to the house.  As it got closer to dinner time we headed back to the house to find Kylie and Lois’ parents in a rage.  Lois had totally dobbed on us and so her parents had come to her defense.  I realised we were in trouble and probably going to get a firm telling off but nothing had prepared me for the leather belt that came out.  My poor friend Kylie curled up on her bed to try and escape the belt as best she could and all I could do was stand by in horror as the belt came down, one, two, three times.  As a young child I knew that this experience did not feel right but I could not put it into words.  Yes, we had been mean to Lois and so there should have been a consequence, however Kylie being struck with a leather belt seemed really extreme.  In one sense I felt guilty because I had been just as mean to Lois and had not been punished at all but I also knew that our actions did not deserve such severe retribution.

Application:  When I read of the punishments that the prophets speak of in the Old Testament I sometimes think they seem rather harsh.  However, the people had not just turned their back on God but it seems they had turned their backs on each other as well.  God was not punishing them for being ‘naughty’ but their whole behaviour was being destructive to the whole nation.  Our Lord is not like Kylie and Lois’ parents.  He does not dish out punishments that are way beyond the deed.  In fact, our God is so gracious that He probably leans the other way.  He is a good father and therefore allows for consequences but He is also just and loving.   There are many people who are not just and loving, but as we commit to being followers of God we must take up His character and commit to displaying justice and peace to the people in our lives.

Prayer:  Lord, may I serve You in such a way that people will notice the difference in my character.  May it be a reflection of the great love You have for all people.  Amen.

When have you been treated unfairly?  When have you maybe not treated someone justly?

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.