Knowing God Actively

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him.Isn’t that what it means to know me?” says the LORD.

Jeremiah 22:16

When we think of knowing God, we rightly focus on our relationship with God, on his revelation in Scripture and, most of all, in Jesus Christ. But knowing God isn’t simply a matter of mind and heart. It also has to do with how we live in the world each day. We discover this surprising insight from God’s praise of King Josiah in Jeremiah 22.

This chapter of Jeremiah mainly spells out bad news for the kings of Judah. Jehoahaz, for example, was deported after serving only three months in 609 B.C. (22:11-12). Jehoiakim, king of Judah from 609 to 598 B.C., would “be buried like a dead donkey” because of his wickedness (22:18-19). His son, Jehoiachin, would reign for only a few months in 597 B.C. before being exiled to Babylon (22:24-30).

In contrast, King Josiah, the father of Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim, was an unusually righteous king, and was therefore blessed by God (22:15). “ ‘He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know me?’ says the LORD.” Josiah understood God’s commitment to justice and concern for the downtrodden. The good king acknowledged God’s superior sovereignty. Thus by doing what God had commanded, Josiah demonstrated that he knew God.

We know God through Jesus Christ. When we hear the good news of his death and resurrection and respond in faith, we come to know him personally as our Savior and Lord. But genuinely knowing Jesus as Lord isn’t simply a matter of what’s on the inside. It must be expressed in tangible action. Jesus himself once said, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter” (Matt. 7:21). We do not earn our entrance into the kingdom by what we do. But when we enter through faith, our lives will be transformed. Like Josiah, we will become people who do justice and help the poor and needy.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: In what ways do you help the poor and needy? Does your life reflect the fact that God is your Lord and Savior? How?

PRAYER: Sovereign God, Lord of heaven and earth, and my Lord as well, today I’m encouraged by the example of Josiah. Unlike most of the kings of Judah, including his own sons, Josiah did what honored you. He sought justice. He helped the poor and needy.

May I be like Josiah! May I seek your justice in every segment of my life. Give me particular compassion for the poor, the hungry, and the powerless. May I be quick to share with them what you have given me. And may I work in this world so that they might have the chance to prosper. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.