“Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.”
God spoke these words to Jeremiah as a message to the king. It was a request and command that the king execute justice in the land. His reward would be peace and his punishment would be destruction. What I found interesting in this particular verse (within the broader passage) was that the phrase “resident alien” came up in the message. It made me wonder what this meant.
Without looking further into the Old Testament, I wish to hazard a guess. Perhaps these aliens were drawn in and they should have been compelled to worship Yahweh because of His people. Israel should have been a bastion of light to the surrounding land, shining brightly in the dark world. Instead they oppressed them and defamed God’s name.
I wonder how often Christians defame the name of God when they oppress other people. I can only think about the awful things done in the name of Jesus in the past history that have broken his heart. The very people that God wanted his chosen nation to care for were those who were instead crushed. Instead of acting as a taste of heaven, a colony for the King of kings, I wonder how often the Church has destroyed the poor and powerless in the name of riches and power. My guess would be too often. Instead of being salt and light unto the broader world, Christians act as corrosive agents and radiation to others.
How it must break the heart of God to have His Name used in the oppression. Instead of the spirit of Christ being spread out in the culture, the spirit of anti-Christ is twisted into its place.
They defamed the name of the LORD, and destroyed people under God’s banner. Maybe that is why it was such a big deal!