Jeremiah 20

Jun 4, 2024    Pastor Daryl Zachman

“Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.’ But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones. I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.” (Jeremiah 20:9, NKJV)

It had become very risky for Jeremiah to speak the word of the LORD. Every time he opened his mouth he got into trouble. He was beaten, put in stocks, and made a public spectacle. Everyone held him in derision and mocked him. His own family conspired against him. Therefore, Jeremiah determined that he would keep his mouth shut. He wouldn’t mention the LORD or give any other prophecies. But the more he tried to stay quiet, the more the word of God built up like water in a reservoir. It burned like a fire in his bones, and he could not hold it back. When Jeremiah observed lies, idolatry, rebellion, slander and contempt for the LORD, he could no longer remain silent.

Have you ever experienced the truth burning like a fire in your bones? Others want you to keep quiet, but you cannot help yourself. You cannot stand by and watch truth sacrificed on the altar of self-indulgence and wickedness. Come hell or high water you must speak and relieve the pressure.

Now the challenge is to speak the truth in love. We have all experienced those times when righteous indignation has morphed into fleshly anger. The face gets red, the voice raises, the veins bulge, but we must remember that the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:20). If we take the fire out of the fireplace, it can burn the house down! But if we control the fire so that it burns away sin will seeking to save the sinner…if we utter worthy words according to the will of God…if our motivation is love rather than hatred, then our words of truth can accomplish much good. People may not like what we say at the time; they may even hold us in contempt; but in the long run they will respect us. Yet even if they don’t, God will be pleased, for this is what He requires of prophets, priests and people who are called by His name.

“Heavenly Father, forgive us when we have failed to speak the truth to people who need to hear it. Give us grace and power to always speak the truth in love. Make us fearless representatives of Jesus Christ. In His name we pray, amen.”