“Why don’t you just shut up? All this preaching and prophesying ever does is get you in trouble.”
Jeremiah’s own family probably asked him this question. Jeremiah himself asked this question. God told him to take a pot and break it in front of some of the priests and elders of the people, using it as an illustration of the judgment that was coming on Judah. He then went to the temple courts and warned all the people there of the judgment that was coming.
When Jeremiah did, one of the priests, Pashur, had him beaten and put in stocks.
And so Jeremiah complained to God,
O Lord, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. (20:7-8)
But then he said,
But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (2o:9)
Jeremiah’s feelings are completely jumbled as you look at this passage. In one verse, he’s praising the Lord, believing he will be vindicated (20:11-13), the next he’s cursing the day he was born (20:14-16).
But one thing he could not do was shut up. The word of God burned too strongly in his heart and soul.
How about you? How strongly does the word of God burn in your heart and soul? Is it but a spark that is quickly extinguished? Or is it a roaring fire that cannot be quenched?
Lord, let your word burn in me as it did in Jeremiah. Let this world not be able to quench it. Let it burn away all the trash that is in my heart. Let it purge the dross and leave only pure gold. And as I speak, may your Word have the same effect on others as it has on me. In Jesus name, amen.