The Proof We Know God

Michael Beck

“Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work; that saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him? He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the LORD. But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.” (Jeremiah 22:13-17)

God has shown us what He wants from us. Firstly, He wants us to “do justly.” (Micah 6:8) We all have desires that we want to see fulfilled. How we get to our destinations matter to God. The end does not justify the means. Jeremiah reproves those who build their house by unrighteousness, and fill their chambers by wrong. An example of this is to use the services of another without paying them.

God reproves the king who takes advantage of others in order to fulfill his own pleasure. We are to “do judgment and justice.” Instead of using people, we are to care for people. This is what it means to know God. This is where our eyes and heart should be focused, not on getting from others what we want, but on giving to others what they need.

The world is filled with violence and oppression because men are given over to covetousness. They are driven to get what they want at any cost. If they can’t manipulate others into doing their will, they will use force.
God’s judgment is upon all those who trample upon the dignity of others in their quest for self-fulfillment. God is love. Love seeks not her own. To dwell in love is to dwell in God. Those who don’t love don’t know God. The first commandment is to love God. The second commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Unless we are loving those around us by esteeming them better than ourselves, and looking to their things, we are not loving God.

Knowing God is not a merely a matter of intellect. Knowing God is evidenced by how we treat our neighbor. May all who profess to know God validate that claim by the tender, considerate, selfless love they show to those who are near them.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.