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Straw Market Purses and Misrepresented Words: as we see in Scripture

October 25, 2011

as we see in Scripture

God gave clear instructions to the Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah. He was not to give the leaders and the people his own words, but the words of the Lord.  “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says” (19:3)

Sounds simple enough.

But, to say that the words entrusted to Jeremiah were not easy to speak is an understatement of mammoth proportions. To say that the message was not well received is more of an understatement, considering that the leader to whom Jeremiah spoke had him beaten and put in the stocks. To make it worse there were other voices, also claiming to be from God, giving another message. Even his “friends” were waiting for him to slip. (See Jeremiah 20:1-2, and 10) This was really a hard reality. All this in exchange for his obedience.

No wonder this prophet of God had ups and downs as he wrestled with the reality of what God had called him to do. Jeremiah cried out to God as he was almost overwhelmed at the ridicule and mocking, insult and reproach which he received. On one hand he spoke truth to himself when he said, “But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior ….” (an UP day) And then in the next paragraph he is listening to his own weary heart and the pendulum swings to the other extreme. “Cursed be the day I was born!  Why did I ever come out of the womb…” (a DOWN day)

Even as Jeremiah struggled with discouraging responses from those around him and discouragement in his own heart, he continued to speak the words of God courageously. “This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.” (21:8) He called people to distinguish between a way of destruction and a way of escape.

He delivered God’s message untainted by his own personal struggles and agendas.

He was under a sacred obligation to speak God’s truth, not just what people wanted to hear and not what he wanted to tell them. That is still true now.

Those sent by God to bring His people into a rich relationship with Him (i.e. fulfill Acts 1:8 to “go and make disciples.”) have a specific charge, a clear mandate: But let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. (23:28)  We are to speak carefully so that we never hear the charge that we “distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God.” (23:36)

As we give forth His Word, as His ambassadors of reconciliation, our goal must be nothing else (and nothing less) than what His purpose is: I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord.  They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (24:7)

God reveals Himself through His Word for the specific purpose of being known, with the intension of being in intimate relationship with us. He cares about being misrepresented with Words that are not His.

 

P.S. (Just a few extra thoughts for those of you who want a second helping …)

Just as is taught in 19:3, we know that not all words presented as coming from the Lord are truly His words. Not every word is trustworthy, even though it comes from a source that proclaims itself to be trustworthy.

 

“I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied.  But if they had stood in my council they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.” (23:21, 22)

 

 There are prophets “who prophesy lies in my name” and there are those “who prophesy the delusions of their own minds.” (23:25)

 

Discernment is needed if we are to identify words that are merely personal dreams and human ambition. (23:28)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jan permalink
    October 25, 2011 11:32 am

    Woo hoo! Becky’s back! I love the new look.

    • October 27, 2011 5:59 pm

      Thanks, friend! Good to be back. Needed some “quiet time” to get my heart settled. Now there’s a better chance I will be a good influence. I think so anyway … But, tell me if I start to go in the ditch.

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