Jeremiah is one of God’s major spokesmen in the Bible. His role, like any other prophet, was to declare what God wanted to say to a person or to a group in any given situation.
In Jeremiah 20, he is sent to speak to the leader of the temple, and to tell him that he needed to set things straight in God’s house or else. Everyone was doing their own thing and totally disregarding the laws of God.
As Jeremiah brings this strong word, he is rejected and the following day is beaten and chained.
Now you would think that Jeremiah would be really made of strong stuff as he was used to delivering pretty harsh words to bring people back to God, but notice what he says after delivering such words…
Jeremiah 20:7-9 You deceived me, Lord, 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. But if I say, ‘I will not mention his word 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.
It’s what I call the pain of speaking out.
Speaking out on God’s behalf brings with it a very real sense of pain and even insult and reproach at times. You can make a lot of enemies as well as friends for saying what’s right.
Have you ever felt like giving up because your words are seemingly always met with disdain?
Do you feel that the cost of being a mouth piece in this generation is too high?
Jeremiah certainly wanted to just bury his head in the sand and say ‘enough is enough…I’m not opening my big mouth again.’
But no sooner had he said it when he described a feeling of God’s word being like ‘a fire shut up in his bones’. He couldn’t stay quiet, he had to speak out. That is exactly what God had called him to do with his life.
If you feel like quitting from time to time, then jooh the club…you’re normal.
Jeremiah was no different to you or I today. One day you feel like speaking up with boldness and couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks and then the next you are totally sidelined with such forceful negativity that you just want to die.
Listen to his further thoughts about his life, after communicating exactly what God wanted him to say…
Jeremiah 20:14-18 Cursed be the day I was born! May the day my mother bore me not be blessed! Cursed be the man who brought my father the news, who made him very glad, saying, ‘A child is born to you – a son!’ May that man be like the towns the Lord overthrew without pity. May he hear wailing in the morning, a battle cry at noon. For he did not kill me in the womb, with my mother as my grave, her womb enlarged for ever. Why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?
My friends, take a lesson from Jeremiah’s book; if you speak up, you may well get shot down by others, and if not you may well want to shoot yourself down.
If you can identify with this today, then don’t dismay. They are just feelings, and they will come and they will go. God needs your voice.
Don’t be silenced – speak up!
A daily devotion for a better way of living.