Palace in Jerusalem
This is God speaking to the Jehoiakim, King of Judah, through the prophet Jeremiah.
Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor. The king says, “I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms. So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red.
Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?
But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion. Jeremiah 22:13-17
I love verses like this about God. The Bible is full of them from beginning to end. He hates it when people oppress the poor. I think the only thing that makes him angrier is when the people burned their children alive to idols. If you want to know why God told Israel to annihilate some nations, that was only one of the reasons.
Who am I?
I’m one of those pesky poor types. I know what it is like to be on welfare when my first husband and I split up. I know what it is like when the bread winner loses his/her job. I know what it is like not to be able to pay bills. I know what it is like to live in a car. I know how good a dumpster can look when you have no food.
So, I love the fact that all through the Bible God calls on people to help the poor. That is the God who made the universe. That is the God who loves us.