By Brooke Holt
“Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.’” – Jeremiah 1:9-10
Jeremiah was called to speak hard words to God’s people, and those hard words were not of Jeremiah’s making but from God. As we read here, the Lord himself would touch the mouth of Jeremiah; the Lord himself would literally put the words in his mouth. Obedience for Jeremiah was simply opening his mouth for the faithful delivery of God’s word. No excuses, no sugarcoating the message, just adherence to the words that were given to him.
Just as people were not eagerly awaiting the call to serve as a prophet for the Lord, people were not eagerly awaiting to hear the words of the Lord from Jeremiah or any prophet. Notice the impact of the words that Jeremiah would speak – the power “to pluck up and break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” God’s word penetrates as it cuts right to the heart of his people. The Lord sends forth his word in response to the hearts of his beloved. When hearts go astray, the Lord speaks hard words to reveal the sin of his people. When God’s people walk in his ways, the Lord affirms and blesses his people. God speaks so that his people will turn from sin and into faithfulness.
As the perfect heavenly Father, the Lord longs to see his people thrive in every way, and he knows that will only happen as they obey his commandments, walk in his ways, and keep their hearts attuned to the love and worship of him. Humankind was made by God and for God, meaning that the only way to truly flourish in this world is in intimate fellowship with him. God loves his people so much that he pursues them and speaks the truth to them that they would faithfully return to him.
Divine words often hurt so that God’s people can be healed. Is that how you understand his Word and truth? Do you receive the challenge that comes through the reading of Scripture, the Holy Spirit’s convictions and nudges, sermons, or the wise words of your Christian friends? God speaks hard words to you because he wants you to embrace obedience and enjoy the abundant life he has for you.
May we have ears to hear his voice, a heart to respond to his truth, and lives of obedience to his Word.
How has God been speaking to you through his Word? Do you recognize his voice of love? No matter what you have done or are doing right now, the Lord invites you back to him through grace. Through Jesus Christ, the old is gone and the new is coming. Will you embrace his hard words that lead to abundant life today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Crucified Life small group Christian study is designed to reflect upon the Seven Last Words of Christ from the cross and what they mean for us today. Walk the road of Calvary with Jesus in order to grow closer to Him. The Crucified Life small group study examines human suffering as it is mirrored in Christ’s suffering on the cross and what His seven last words say to a hurting world. Find out incredible insights into these words as Jesus teaches us, even in death, how we can use our suffering and triumph over it for His glory. Begin your Crucified Life today.
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