Meditate is a monthly column in which insights gained from meditating on the Word are shared. We welcome your insights, too, in the form of comments or even your own article. Contact us if you'd like to write a submission for this column. -Editor
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." Philippians 2: 3-4 (NIV)
"This is what Jehovah has said: 'Render judgment in the morning and snatch spoil from the hand of the oppressor, so that my fury does not go forth like fire and burn (and no one to quench it) because of the wickedness of their deeds.' (Jeremiah 21:12)
Rendering judgment is saying what is true. Snatching spoil from the hand of the oppressor is doing good deeds that embody love for others. The fire stands for the hellish punishment experienced by people who do not act that way—that is, who live by the lies that hatred spawns. In the literal meaning, this kind of fiery fury is attributed to Jehovah, but in the inner sense it is exactly the opposite." Secrets of Heaven 1861
The quote from Jeremiah caught my eye in my reading; maybe because it seems thoroughly slathered in appearances. Sure, God is talking about his own fury burning us on account of our misdeeds, that appearance is all over the place, but telling us to steal? It begs further contemplation. The meaning Swedenborg relays is entirely simple: say truth (in the morning) and do good deeds that embody love for others. But why put it in terms of stealing?