9 But if I say, “I will not mention His word or speak anymore in His name,” His word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
Jeremiah seems to wish he could avoid speaking God’s word because of what it brings upon him. However, he cannot hold it in as His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. Why did this come about, Jeremiah’s But if I say?
The answer is in the first verses of this chapter
1 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the official in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, 2 he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the Lord’s temple.
What things had Pashhur heard Jeremiah prophesying? Turn back to the end of chapter 19 to find out.
14 Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court of the Lord’s temple and said to all the people, 15 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to My words.’”
For this Pashhur had Jeremiah beaten and placed in stocks. When released Jeremiah prophesied against Judah and Pashhur; especially against Pashhur.
6 And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.’”
Jeremiah paid a price for being God’s prophet. In fact verses seven through eighteen are labeled Jeremiah’s Complaint in the NIV. Still it is in verse nine, our verse of the day, we find out what it is like to have God’s word planted in us, in our hearts: But if I say, “I will not mention His word or speak anymore in His name,” His word is in my heart like a fire, fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
Today we have the Bible with God’s word in it throughout. It has what we have labeled the Old Testament and the New Testament, but it is one Book the Bible. Reading through it, meditating on it, praying over it results in it being planted in our hearts. What do we do with God’s word once it is planted in our hearts? There are many verses in the Bible that provide an answer to that question. I will provide a few for you, but the reality is our testimony and the Gospel should compel us to witness to others … especially by our actions.
I will declare Your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise You. Psalm 22:22
My tongue will proclaim Your righteousness, your praises all day long. Psalm 35:28
I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. Luke 12:8
So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 2 Timothy 1:8
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect 1 Peter 3:15