Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Thus says the Lord GOD: Enough, O princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression, and execute justice and righteousness. Cease your evictions of my people, declares the Lord GOD.
By stipulating the size of the property belonging to the royal family around the temple complex, God corrects what had been an evil that historically marked the king's court. For many generations before the exile, the kings in Jerusalem had forcibly evicted people from their homes and seized property in a royal land grab. This was because Solomon had built his royal palace not far from the temple. As the administration and size of the government grew, future kings felt justified in taking over private property without caring for the people they displaced.
But God did not want the kings focusing on palaces and properties. He wanted them focused on worshiping Him and helping the nation. The test of the real governance was how they cared for the poorest among them. It had been tragic that adjoining the temple walls were royal properties seized by oppression and violence. By drawing out the property lines in advance of restoring Jerusalem, God was clearly limiting the size of the government so that the king could focus on worship and service.
God cares about our hearts. He wants us to love and worship Him. And He calls use into a relationship that does this. I believe this is more than basic for leaders. It is magnified in their leadership. That is why the royal treasuries were charged with providing the animals for festival sacrifice. The king is the worshiper-in-chief.
Our worship comes from our hearts and is also shown by the love we have for people. This means that we want to care for those most hurt by human suffering and the effects of the fall. Justice and righteousness flow from God through His people to the world. We should live that way.