Piety from the Teeth Outward
“Piety from the teeth outward is no difficult thing,”said Matthew Henry. How true! What a great title for today's blog and such a fitting quote in reference to the treachery that surrounded Jeremiah in his day and thrives still, in our lives today.
1 Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
2 Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.Jeremiah was concerned, and genuinely inquisitive, about the mortal prosperity of the wicked. He saw how their happiness seemed to attract and magnify and bear fruit despite the evilness of their ways and wondered why God suffered their pious masquerade. It's a good question and one that I too have pondered at great length (far too much I think). Why indeed does it seem that those who cast aside the teachings of Christ prosper and bear fruit while professing Christianity?
There's the whole agency argument – God won't intervene in the choices of man – but lately I am leaning more toward the simple argument that “…it mattereth not.” Seriously, the more time I spend whining and complaining about my lot and my righteousness in comparison to others, whom I deem with less moral stature but an abundance of mortal treasures, the less time I will be blessed with the reality of true happiness. Jeremiah figured it out in due course but how perfect it would have been for The Lord to respond as He did when Moroni asked God to give charity unto the Gentiles…
37 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.There it is…why am I, we, bothered with it? We see the wickedness around us. We see through the façade of piety that so many project and therefore have to know that God is not blind to it – we are mere mortals and He is The Almighty God. Let the judgements and things of God be His and let us worry about ourselves - our own weaknesses. I have plenty of chinks in my armor that need attention and have no cause to waste one more second in thought of another's issues…it mattereth not!
Where does my piety begin?