Read this passage from Jeremiah:
Life’s Been Nothing but Trouble and Tears
1-5The priest Pashur son of Immer was the senior priest in God’s Temple. He heard Jeremiah preach this sermon. He whipped Jeremiah the prophet and put him in the stocks at the Upper Benjamin Gate of God’s Temple. The next day Pashur came and let him go. Jeremiah told him, “God has a new name for you: not Pashur but Danger-Everywhere, because God says, ‘You’re a danger to yourself and everyone around you. All your friends are going to get killed in battle while you stand there and watch. What’s more, I’m turning all of Judah over to the king of Babylon to do whatever he likes with them—haul them off into exile, kill them at whim. Everything worth anything in this city, property and possessions along with everything in the royal treasury—I’m handing it all over to the enemy. They’ll rummage through it and take what they want back to Babylon. 6“‘And you, Pashur, you and everyone in your family will be taken prisoner into exile—that’s right, exile in Babylon. You’ll die and be buried there, you and all your cronies to whom you preached your lies.'”
7-10You pushed me into this, God, and I let you do it.
You were too much for me.
And now I’m a public joke.
They all poke fun at me.
Every time I open my mouth
I’m shouting, “Murder!” or “Rape!”
And all I get for my God-warnings
are insults and contempt.
But if I say, “Forget it!
No more God-Messages from me!”
The words are fire in my belly,
a burning in my bones.
I’m worn out trying to hold it in.
I can’t do it any longer!
Then I hear whispering behind my back:
“There goes old ‘Danger-Everywhere.’ Shut him up! Report him!”
Old friends watch, hoping I’ll fall flat on my face:
“One misstep and we’ll have him. We’ll get rid of him for good!”
11But God, a most fierce warrior, is at my side.
Those who are after me will be sent sprawling—
Slapstick buffoons falling all over themselves,
a spectacle of humiliation no one will ever forget.
Jeremiah Is In Big Trouble Now!
Or so you would think if you just stopped reading right there. Now granted, I’m not sure I would want to own up to being so verbal before GOD, but Jeremiah, he’s just telling it like he feels, and like it is, well, at least to his worn out, weary troubled soul.
Read on now and find out how just Jeremiah hit that high not of woe is me, he quickly pulls back and knows that he’s got to get it together. As we often say, if GOD calls you to it, He’ll see you through it. Jeremiah and many other folks in the Bible teach us this. So, take a read and see for yourself just how Jeremiah turns a frustrated and quite honestly, I think a very lonely time in his life, over to GOD quite quickly.
12Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, no one fools you.
You see through everyone, everything.
I want to see you pay them back for what they’ve done.
I rest my case with you.
13Sing to God! All praise to God!
He saves the weak from the grip of the wicked.
14-18Curse the day
I was born!
The day my mother bore me—
a curse on it, I say!
And curse the man who delivered
the news to my father:
“You’ve got a new baby—a boy baby!”
(How happy it made him.)
Let that birth notice be blacked out,
deleted from the records,
And the man who brought it haunted to his death
with the bad news he brought.
He should have killed me before I was born,
with that womb as my tomb,
My mother pregnant for the rest of her life
with a baby dead in her womb.
Why, oh why, did I ever leave that womb?
Life’s been nothing but trouble and tears,
and what’s coming is more of the same.
Jeremiah, Bold Before Men, Oh So Broken Before GOD
He’s my hero Jeremiah. I mean that. I know a lot of people choose so many of the NT people as their role models but I just loved Jeremiah from the get go. I truly think there are a lot of people like me out there who also love Jeremiah and his desire to want to get the Word out to the Body. The Body before him that just kept on getting all excited during the miracle and blessing times, the times of being saved, but then they go back to all their planning and fun and games, and well quite honestly if you can’t see this is how it is today, and I do believe it, and that we have way, way to many good feeling times going on, as opposed to someone being willing to step out of their comfort zone, like Jeremiah did, and be oh so bold before the Body.
I can’t help but think of a line from a movie, well two actually. Here is the first:
Eric Matthews: Why don’t you just shut up?
Gracie Hart: Why? You’re shutting up enough for both of us.
I think that sometimes that is exactly what GOD is saying to us. We’re doing way to much shutting up to each other. Last evening at dinner my son and daughter and I had this amazing conversation about judging. I know right? We had sides, yes it’s okay to judge, no it’s not. You know how it goes. What in the end we discovered, or at least I was hearing, is it is okay to have those scales of justice on the table of life. Something we don’t see to often in all these super duper big new shine, shine on me churches. We have people still doing the same old go to retreat and come back all refreshed, but quite honestly, all that money spent to feel oh so good, didn’t really make any lasting changes. It just was whoop-d-do feel good times. It keeps going on and I think GOD is saying, you know pastors, governing church bodies, you are shutting up way to much.
I’m just saying, if you take a look at how Jeremiah handles things, even in some of his most frustrating times, GOD is right there beside him to guide him all the way, even through the woe is me, beam me up GOD times.
You can even jump ahead and just as sure as shoot’n you can see that GOD has something to say about some of those preachers out there who are trying to get people to behave in a manner becoming of a CHRISTian. It’s that balance, those scales of justice and love. We’ve got to get on with the business of not going on retreats, but maybe holding a few all night events within the Body where we do some crying of our own, some cleaning up of not the church grounds, but of the church people. I think it’s high time, I truly do. I think it’s high time before we hit our lowest time and GOD says, enough is enough.
We’re so busy trying to get the outside world in, but how can we when what’s inside isn’t all that appealing; trust me I know this I work in a very secular world. Sure you’ll always be able to draw in people who don’t really want to change, but how is that any different?
We had a discussion last evening as well about traditional services vs. contemporary. We discussed how each of us like something different, or how we don’t care for one or the other because of how people behave. Neither side came out a winner. That in itself should tell us all that something within us all has to change. It has to change because we can no longer afford to do business as usual. Usual has to leave the building completely so a brand new, not survey says, but GOD ordained and led ministry can come forth out of us being willing to submit to the harshness of that change.
Personally, it sure doesn’t sound like good times does it? Yet, can we afford any longer that furnace of transformation? I think not. I know not.
Any one up for a quick fire?
Probably not. At least I was willing, as the song says, “I will not be silent any more.” I’ve got everything to gain and that which I let go of is for His glory, and always my good.
I’m not recommending that we all get out there and get all sassy pants in GOD’s face about whatever we are going through. I’m just saying that GOD understood the passion behind Jeremiah and his obedience to do what needed to be done for GOD. Jeremiah’s failure comes with frustration and getting all up in GOD’s face about it. Let’s face it though, it happens. I have a friend who say’s “Ministry would be great if it weren’t for the people.” I know, right? If you work with people you get this. We the people, tend not to do much that forms that perfect union thing. We in fact do much that hinders the plans of GOD. So, just be really careful going, and doing what GOD leads you to do, and don’t get all crazy up in GOD’s face when the people don’t get you. GOD does, and in the beginning, middle and end of it all, if you are obedient unto His plans, it’s all gonna work out to His perfectellence!
Until all have heard of His Love,