May 24, 2020, Jeremiah 22:1-10 – Post 2 – ISSL Reflections

You can this week’s Scripture here –
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+22%3A1-10&version=NRSV

IV.
A couple of things particularly caught my attention this week.

In last week’s reading Jeremiah told the King “… deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed…” (Jeremiah 21:12). This week we hear him speaking not just to the King –

Thus says the Lord: Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, and say: Hear the word of the Lord, O King of Judah sitting on the throne of David—you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. (Jeremiah 22:1-2)

He calls “… the King … your servants, and your people who enter these gates” to pay attention to how they live out the call to justice.

And speaking of that call to justice and righteousness, last week we heard mentioned those who are robbed and this week we hear –

Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place. (Jeremiah 22:3)

V.
Notice he calls attention to “the alien, the orphan, and the widow.”

Does that sound familiar? If you did a search in Scripture for where those three are mentioned together you would find our attention called to them in several of the prophets, in Deuteronomy and in Psalms.

Who are they? Certainly we take this to mean literally The Lord calls for the protection of anyone who falls into one or another of those groups.

But might it be taken even more broadly than that?

A couple of days ago as I was reading the notes in The New English Translation, I came across this –

These were classes of people who had no one to look out for their rights. The laws of Israel, however, were careful to see that their rights were guarded (cf. Deut 10:18) and that provision was made for meeting their needs (cf. Deut 24:19-21). The Lord promised to protect them (cf. Psalms 146:9), and a curse was called down on any who deprived them of justice (cf. Deut 27:19) (NET Bible: Full Study Notes Edition, p 1428)

VI.
People who had no one to look out for their rights”

We might think of them as folks who had lost their support system, they were cut off from the people who recognized them and counted them as family, they were “displaced,” that is, no longer on “home ground” and were in the midst of people who talked and acted in ways that were not familiar to them.

Can you think of times when you might have felt “displaced” and cut off from what is familiar and makes you feel secure?

What did you need? What might you pray for? Who did you look for? How would you want people to treat you?

Turn over those questions for a while and see where it takes you.

We’ll get back together later.

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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