4 Hear this, you who trample on the needy
and bring the poor of the land to an end,
5 saying, “When will the new moon be over,
that we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
that we may offer wheat for sale,
that we may make the ephah small and the shekel[e] great
and deal deceitfully with false balances,
6 that we may buy the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals
and sell the chaff of the wheat?” ESV
The Lord desires (requires) integrity.
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” ESV
The Lord cares (always) about the heart.
d] 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” ESV
The tendency to focus on the external as a guideline for the heart is always present; it is the heart that should inform the external.
27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.[e] ESV
Bold perseverance makes a way.
33 And the disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?” 34 And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” 35 And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over. ESV
Jesus provides more than enough. He calls the disciples to obedient faith and then multiplies their provision for all.
11 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
“when I will send a famine on the land—
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord,
but they shall not find it. ESV
The straining experience of physical “famine” harasses the flesh. It is a looming specter. Lord reminds me that a more desperate famine is one “of hearing the words of the Lord.” I do not want to wander and run- seeking the Word of the Lord- unable to find it. The famine of the soul is the most devastating of all.
Lord, keep my heart close to You. Revive me from the inside out. You call me beyond the finite realm to Your miraculous possibilities. Show me Your ways and have mercy on me. Amen