Jeremiah 13-22 includes a series of judgments against the nation of Israel, and particularly against the tribe of Judah - the House of David and the People of the Covenant. They have been unfaithful to the LORD for generations and generations, and now the Day of Reckoning has come.
In the last chapter of this section, the LORD speaks directly to King Shallum, and asks him hard questions about what it means to be a king: "Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He Defended the Cause of the Poor and Needy...Is that Not What It Means to Know Me? declares the LORD. But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion."
Upon reading this text, I thought of James' sermon, and his exhortation to his people.
What does it mean for me?
How do I defend the cause of the poor and the needy?