(26 verses, 3:10 to read)
What I am about to READ
God tells of the coming woe that Judah and Jerusalem are storing up for themselves.
MARK and LEARN
As the people of Israel had fallen into all kinds of folly, God promises them that the blessings that they so enjoy will be taken away from them as a consequence. Bread, water, protection, sound government, and even the prophet and false prophets cannot continue while there is so much folly in the land. While this is divine punishment for their “deeds against the Lord” (vs 8) God makes it very clear that the people have brought it upon themselves and that their folly and misuse of what God had entrusted to them have consequences.
The Lord’s accusations against the people fall into three categories: general lack of leadership in the nation, the fleecing of the poor, and haughtiness and lust. These accusations come as the people have misused the gifts of God. Good government is indeed the gift of the Lord, but when used for evil purposes, as in plundering the poor it is used improperly. Fine apparel is indeed a gift, but Israel’s women are also taken to task for their love of finery. Sexuality is also a gift but they are taken to task for their “mincing along” casting “wantonly with their eyes” (vs. 16) making men lust after them. All of these sins are corruptions of the good gifts which God has given.
The right use of God’s gifts includes the recognition that all good comes from our Lord. That these things are indeed daily bread. Luther is instructive to us in the Small Catechism:
What is meant by daily bread? Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.
Lord God, give us this day our daily bread, and teach us to use these gifts in faith and thankfulness to you. For the sake of Jesus, Amen.