Knowing God

June 12, 2008

I read this on a message board and it peaked my interest:


Jeremiah 22:15-16

“‘Did not your father eat and drink, And do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; Then it was well. Was not this knowing Me?’ says the LORD.”


Walter Brueggemann, A Commentary on Jeremiah: Exile and Homecoming (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 201.

These verses “are a stunning act of social criticism, the most poignant of its kind in the Bible. The poet raises the question [in the immediately prior verses] of what constitutes legitimate social power. He asks with disdain if it is visible luxury that constitutes legitimate social power. The rhetorical question is answered in vv. 15-16 by comparison to Josiah, who ‘did justice and righteousness.’

“Again the key terms ‘justice and righteoussness,’ occur, placed in contrast to the seductions of cedar and vermillion, marks of affluence. ‘Justice and righteousness’ are a precise contrast to the base, self-serving values of Jehoiakim. As a result of his social policy of caring for the weak and needy, Josiah prospered and had secure rule….He is portrayed as the embodiment of the best of Moses’ covenantal dream.

“The final line of v. 16 is one of the most remarkable in Scripture. It equates ‘knowing God’ with doing justice to the needy. The equation needs to be seen in its full claim. It is not asserted that knowledge of God leads to justice, nor conversely is it claimed that social justice leads to knowledge of God. They are the same. One might, on the basis of this text, conclude that the practice of justice is the very reality of Yahweh.”



I really like the idea of knowing God through viable relationships within the Kingdom. I wouldn’t say that prosperity is something that the Bible looks down upon, but we engage in an active relationship with God through serving others and loving one another. It’s an interesting outlook that I thought was worth sharing with you all.


  1. Dope thoughts, bro. I’m swimming in the same thoughts. My friend told me about two mentors he had. He said that, though he learned much knowledge and had many conversations with the second one, he knew the first one way better. He said the difference was that he was in the trenches side-by-side with the first one. He lived life and served God with him. Maybe it’s like that with knowing God? Or maybe it’s like my buddy Jason. He hates watching movies, but he loves playing music. If I want to grow in relationship with him, maybe I need to at least learn to appreciate and enjoy engaging with him in what he loves?

    BTW, this post I did is related to that Brueggemann commentary: http://www.jmayblog.com/2008/03/worship-god-subvert-empire-rock-out.html

  2. nice.
    too many people ignore the old testament, I think.
    it’s so good.

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