“But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king! Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know me?” 22:15-16
Jehoiakim failed to properly care for the nation and therefore God was not caring for him. A disgrace, mournless death is the ultimate punishment for someone swallowed by pride.
A beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king. A large house does not make a happy family. A busy person does not make a productive person. Being married doesn’t make your life complete. Whatever materialistic version of life that the world has shaped for you is not the answer. But loving the way God loves, stretching out to the poor and working for justice, brings fulfillment and eternal happiness. Can you have these things and still please God? Apparently. It’s noted in the verse above that Josiah was a well-cared for king, but more importantly, he led well, so God was good to him.
We are stepping into the holiday season, soon to be smothered by materialism, over-spending, misdirection and greed.
How can we choose to focus on character in the midst of it all? Don’t miss this: God takes caring for the poor and needy incredibly seriously. He favors them. How can we align ourselves with his heart for them? In a season that will quickly expose our priorities, let’s be marked by our selflessness and not our selfishness.