“and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ then the nations will be blessed by him and in him they will glory.” — Jeremiah 4:2 (NIV84)
Jeremiah (known as the weeping prophet) prophesied to God’s people prior to their destruction and exile. He was one of the last voices warning them of their rejection of the truth and calling them to repentance. Notice in today’s verse where truth, justice and righteousness have their root. It is not in the hearts of people. It is not in politicians and courtrooms. It is not in university professors and presidents. These noble characteristics begin with the acknowledgment, “As surely as the Lord lives…” Only with the recognition that God exists can a nation receive the blessing He has to bestow. Only God can define and direct a nation to know what makes truth, justice and righteousness noble characteristics.
One does not have to look very far in the United States to see how damaging it has been to our country to have abandoned God. We were a nation that was created by our forefathers to aspire to the noble characteristics like those mentioned in this verse. And today, we drive ourselves crazy in universities, courtrooms and legislative halls trying to define what these characteristics mean. We struggle to give them definition because we have abandoned God who alone can give them definition.
As Christians, we must stand firm in our faith in God. We must continue to proclaim to the world around us that their pursuit for these noble characteristics is good and right. We need to defend our faith and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, convince them that it all begins with the acknowledgment that God exists. Although I am concerned with our nation’s abandonment of God, I am hopeful that many of its people still struggle to understand noble principles like truth, righteousness and justice. We must use their pursuit of these characteristics as our bridge to witness to them of the love and grace of God. God has placed us here at this time so we (like Jeremiah) can cry out to our society about the truthfulness of God.