Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Burning, pounding words

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 23:21-40

TO CHEW ON: "'The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream;
And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.
What is the chaff to the wheat?' says the Lord.
'Is not My word like a fire?' says the Lord,
'And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?'" Jeremiah 23:28-29

As we finish the chapter in Jeremiah we began yesterday, the prophet continues on in his rant against Judah's false shepherds and prophets. Then God Himself breaks into the prophecy. He says, in effect (my paraphrase):

'(Despite all these false prophets) let the real prophets keep prophesying. For just as wheat and chaff are separated at harvest time, so someday it will be evident which were false prophecies (chaff) and which were true (wheat). My words are fire (effective, purifying, destroying) and a hammer (powerful, destructive, constructive).'

Scripture witnesses in many places to the effectiveness and power of God's words.
  • At creation: "Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light" (Genesis 1:3).
  • In the lives of people: Sometimes God's words took a long time to come true, as in Jacob's life (God's promise: Genesis 28:15; its fulfillment many years later: Genesis 35:7).
At other times they were enacted instantly (like in the story of Gehazi, Elisha's lying servant. When Elisha confronted him with his lies to Naaman and pronounced the punishment of leprosy, Gehazi became leprous in that instant - 2 Kings 5:27).
  • The Gospels are full of examples of the effects of Jesus' words — turning lives around by dealing with root causes of sin (Matthew 9:1-8), healing people, even raising some from the dead (Mark 5:22-43).

Bible writers weren't being fanciful or literary when they compared God's words to a fire, hammer or sword.

Which is why still today we can trust God's words as they come to us in the Bible. They are far more insightful than any human-authored words that seek to explain how life works and how we should live. For His words are true and will happen as surely as the One who spoke them is reliable. We can look to them for direction for life and hope for death.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your powerful and effective words. Help me to actually build my life on their truths. Amen.

MORE: Book wisdom

"I am a creature of a day. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God. I want to know one thing: the way to heaven. God himself has condescended to teach me the way. He has written it down in a book. Oh, give me that book! At any price give me the book of God. Let me be a man of one book.--John Wesley

"When you read God's Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, "It is talking to me, and about me." --Soren Kierkegaard

"The Bible is the greatest example of the whole being greater that its parts" –Michael Phillips.
Quotes from Tentmaker Quotes

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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