Thursday, 12 August 2021
“…he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully… “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:28-29)
The Prophet Jeremiah lived during a period when the people of Israel and Judea were deep in sin. A major reason for the nation’s deep rooted immorality was the ungodly and corrupt leadership and guidance of the shepherds. While Jeremiah declared God’s impending judgment that was to come upon the unrepentant nation, the false prophets offered watered-down prophesies of peace and prosperity that were appealing to the sinful people. As history reveals, the continued wickedness of the people led to calamity and captivity, just as Jeremiah had prophesied.
This Scripture portion is very relevant to us now. Jesus Himself warns us that in the end times, “false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24) In these days, we see many ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ rise up, preaching deceptive doctrines and prosperity gospel, leading even believers astray (1Timothy 4:1, 2 Peter 3:3 & Jude 17-18). To the body of Christ, this gives a clear warning - one that the people of Jeremiah’s time did not heed and ultimately led to judgment from God. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
Just as the Berean Jews examined the Scriptures daily to see if what the Apostle Paul taught was true (Acts 17:11), so we should diligently examine the teachings and prophecies of men of God to understand if they are in line with the Word of God. The prophecy of false prophets and true servants of God are as different as chaff and wheat. Just like chaff has no nutritional value, the word of false prophets will be empty, “feel-good” words that lead to destruction, whereas the divine Word of God will convict, instruct, correct and train us to be separated from the world and to lead holy lives.
The Lord’s command to all who are serving the Lord— be it prophets, pastors, elders, evangelists or teachers- is to be faithful in declaring His Word: “…he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.” (Vs. 28b) In a time and age where, the god of this world has blinded the minds of men so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, (2 Corinthians 4:4) such that they can’t discern the Truth from worldly wisdom, this is a call for God’s people to rise up as Jeremiahs, faithfully declaring the Word of God. It is our responsibility to ‘be the light of the world’, proclaiming the good news of the Gospel and preaching repentance from sin, that those in darkness may be led to Christ.
As we truthfully and diligently declare the powerful Word of God - which is likened to fire and hammer (Vs 29), it will take its rightful effect on the hearts of men. God’s Word, like fire will melt the heart of stone. It will cleanse, purify and purge the unbeliever’s heart of sin and every filth of the world. As a hammer chisels and breaks rocks, the power of God’s Word will break the hardened hearts of pride and arrogance and bring about a contriteness and humility. Like Jeremiah, we are to proclaim the Word of God to a perishing world, that their eyes may be opened to receive forgiveness of sin and place their faith in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Think on: We are called to faithfully declare: the Word of God which ‘is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.’ (Hebrews 4:12)