Starving for God’s Word

September 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Posted in Devotional thoughts, Theology | 1 Comment

I have been spending some time in Jeremiah lately.  Here are five observations from the first ten chapters of that book.  Only a few quotes on each point can be used here without making this post way too long, but these thoughts run through the entire section.

First, the people of Jeremiah’s day didn’t know God. “For My people are foolish, they know Me not; they are stupid children and have no understanding.” (4:22)  “”Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons; and the turtledove and the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration; but My people do not know the ordinance of the LORD.” (8:7)

Second, they believed lies instead of the truth about God.  “’Lies and not truth prevail in the land.  For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me, . . .  Everyone deceives his neighbor and does not speak the truth, they have taught their tongue to speak lies. . . .  Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me,’ declares the LORD.” (9:2-6)

 Third, the priests, prophets, scribes and Levites are at fault in this matter.  “The prophets are as wind, and the word is not in them.” (5:13)  “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so!” (5:31)

 Fourth, the people must know God.  “Thus says the LORD, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the LORD.” (9:23f)

Finally, they must have God’s Word so they can know God.  This final thought is what prompted this post.  I am astonished at how often God mentions his own word in Jeremiah.  I have highlighted every reference to God’s word, including every time Jeremiah says, “the word of the LORD came to me” and other such phrases, and the times God reminds Jeremiah, “declares the LORD,”  That last phrase is in the first 10 chapters 40 times and in the book over 160 times!  There is not a column in the book so far (I’m now up to chapter 18) without some highlighting in it.  The climax of this thought in the early parts of the book comes in the first few verses of chapter 11, “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, ‘Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and say to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Cursed is the man who does not heed the words of this covenant which I commanded your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, “Listen to My voice, and do according to all which I command you; so you shall be My people, and I will be your God,”’”’”  That’s a lot of quotation marks!  But the point is clear, God want us to know it is his word that is proclaimed and his word that we need.

The same is true today.  People in our culture are starving for God’s Word.  Jeremiah was set aside before birth to be a spokesman of God’s words.  I believe that’s true of me also.  My commitment as a preaching pastor must be to always teach the Word of God and never resort to political rhetoric or current events, except that they illustrate, or are a direct application of, study in the Word.  Your commitment as a lay person must be to sit under a pastor who teaches only God’s Word.  Let’s get away from a political and social agenda and back to the Word of God.

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  1. Later, when Jeremiah was complaining to God about how he was treated because he spoke God’s word, he voiced the following, which just about any Bible teacher can relate to: “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.” (Jeremiah 20:9)


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