Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Saturday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on September 9, 2023 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Jeremiah 22:13-19 (NKJV)
22:13 “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by injustice, who uses his neighbor’s service without wages and gives him nothing for his work,
14 “who says, ‘I will build myself a wide house with spacious chambers, and cut out windows for it, paneling it with cedar and painting it with vermilion.’
15 “Shall you reign because you enclose yourself in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him.
16 “He judged the cause of the poor and needy; Then it was well. Was not this knowing Me?” says the Lord.
17 “Yet your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness, for shedding innocent blood, and practicing oppression and violence.”
18 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:
“They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Alas, my brother!’ or ‘Alas, my sister!’ They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Alas, master!’ or ‘Alas, his glory!’
19 “He shall be buried with the burial of a donkey, dragged and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem. “
Jeremiah the Prophet had the unpleasant—but very necessary—task of delivering bad news to people who did not want to hear it. But the news that Jeremiah had for them was God’s Word of warning, to call them to repentance for sins against Him and against each other. In particular, Jeremiah had these words to deliver to Shallum, the son of Josiah. Josiah had been a good and righteous king, but Shallum was content to use the wealth that he had inherited (a “wide house with spacious chambers”), and not fulfill his duties as king faithfully and honorably, as his father had. King Josiah had judged the cause of the poor and needy, but Shallum was much more focused on his own covetousness—especially his large and fancy house—and was not concerned with the welfare of his people.
Jeremiah prophesies that Shallum would not be remembered, but would be buried with the burial of a donkey, dragged out beyond the gates of Jerusalem. Today, we remember King Josiah, and parents name their children after him. We do not see many boys named “Shallum” today.
May God give us faith to value and esteem His righteousness more than the earthly wealth and comforts He may allow us to have stewardship of in this life, so that we can be more like Josiah than Shallum.
Collect: Almighty and Everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and that we may obtain that which Thou dost promise, make us to love that which Thou dost command; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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