August 23, 2019

High Class, Low Class Alike

Jeremiah 5:1-5

I thought, “These are only the poor. . . . So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of the Lord. . . .” But . . . they too had broken off the yoke.

—  Jeremiah 5:4-5

Jeremiah’s words sound biased in favor of the leader class in his society. He was, after all, the son of a priest—not a farmer.

But Jeremiah could see the faults of the leaders of his people too. His hopes that “surely [the leaders] know the way of the Lord” were dashed.

God had set before him a challenge: “If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.”

This was an echo of God’s promise to Abraham—that if there were ten righteous people in Sodom, he would not destroy the city (Genesis 18:32). Actually, Jeremiah received a more generous promise: if he could find even one righteous person, God would forgive the city!

People in our day who are critical of the poor should look closely at the sins of the elite. Is there more acceptance of the Word of God? Is it only the poor who make unwise choices in their behavior?

“With one accord [the leaders] too had broken off the yoke.” High class or low, salvation is always and only by the grace of God.

Thank you, O God, that you neither patronize the poor nor favor the rich. Thank you that your offer of salvation is the same for everyone everywhere, in Jesus. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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