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His Word in My Heart

By Watchman | March 18, 2010

“O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed.  I am in derision daily; everyone mocks me.  For when I spoke, I cried ; I shouted, ‘violence and plunder!’  Because the word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily.  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…Cursed be the day in which I was born!  Let the day not be blessed in which my mother bore me!  Let the man be cursed who brought news to my father, saying, ‘A male child has been born to you!’  making him very glad.  And let that man be like the cities which the Lord overthrew, and did not relent; let him hear the cry in the morning and the shouting at noon, because he did not kill me from the womb, that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb always enlarged with me.  Why did I come forth from the womb to see labor and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?’   (Jeremiah 20: 7-9, 14-18)

     Yesterday I threw a temper tantrum at God.  Not a lady-like well-thought-out-and-presented explanation of my feelings of the moment, but a truly childish, hissy-fit of a shouting spree.  I stormed and raged and asked what kind of a good father would behave to his child as He does me:  the kind of fit that, when my son was very little and he directed it at me, hit a nerve at the back of my neck and made me want to really belt him one (no concern for him, please; I never did actually do it).  Not surprisingly, I spent the better part of this morning praying for His forgiveness and feeling like a big, huge, sinful putz.  Truly, brothers and sisters, we serve the most awesome God!  When I opened my Bible right after my prayers, He led me immediately to the 20th chapter of Jeremiah–one of the few chapters in the book of this astounding prophet of God in which I had made no markings or notes or underlinings, nor did I in the least recall the Scripture.  Yet here was this amazing man of God throwing a fit and declaring he would never again proclaim the word of God and cursing the day he was born and the person who had announced his birth! 

     Admittedly, Jeremiah had far more cause than had I to be frustrated.  In his position as priest and prophet to the nation of Israel, he warned his fellow countrymen of the anger of God towards their idolatries and wickedness for a good forty years before they were taken captive by the Babylonians; it resulted (especially in the later years) in his being beaten, imprisoned and put in stocks.  It was after one of these unwarranted punishments that he declared that he would “not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore His name.”  But the Lord’s word was in his heart “like a burning fire” and he could not keep silent! 

     Even David, that “man after God’s own heart” had his moments of dispair.  In Psalm 22, he begins his song,

My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?  Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?    

O my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; and in the night I am not silent.  But You are holy, O You  who inhabits the praises of Israel.  Our fathers trusted in You: they trusted, and You delivered them.  They cried unto You, and were delivered…But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.  All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake their heads saying, “He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver him:  let Him deliver him, seeing he delighted in Him.”

“Hey, God!”  he seems to be saying.  “Remember me?:   your servant, your  blue-eyed boy?    You delivered all those who came before me!   HELP!”     

     Now, please understand that I am not advocating shouting at God.  But we have a wondrous Father who listens to our rants and our tantrums and still loves us; still uses us for His divine purpose.    He forgives us our sin and picks us up when we fall.    He hears when we cry out to Him and holds us in loving arms while we try to weather the storms that come our way.  Who, among all the false gods loves his children as much as our Lord?  Islam’s Allah is a weigher of good deeds versus bad, and those who follow him cannot be certain of their salvation.  Can you imagine the wrath of this demon god if one of his followers shook his fist at him and accused  him of not paying enough attention to them?  Only our God–the one and only true God of infinite love and mercy–can listen to our childish outpourings and love us just the same and be waiting with open arms for our repentent hearts to turn back to Him. 

     Most people know, at least vaguely, the story of Jonah’s rebellion against God.  He was told by God to go to Ninevah and proclaim destruction upon that city because of the wickedness that was rampant there.  When he refused to do so, and instead chose to try to run away on a ship from what God wanted him to do, a storm came up; Jonah was thrown overboard and swallowed by a big fish (probably a whale).  After three days, the fish vomited him up onto dry land, and Jonah went to Ninevah to do God’s will.    That is the story as most people can tell it.  Yet there’s a bit more.  Because of Jonah’s dire predictions, the king of Ninevah proclaimed a fast and the nation repented of their sins and the Lord’s destruction of that kingdom did not take place.  Did Jonah rejoice?  Nope.  He sat down outside of the city and told God, “You said You were going to destroy them, and You didn’t!  I’ll just sit down here and die since You didn’t do what I told them You would do!”  Jonah was quite angry at God for sparing a repentant  people and making  him feel foolish!  We never know what Jonah did after that, but I’ll bet he got over his miftiness, asked the Lord’s forgiveness, and continued to preach the word of God!  Why?  Because I’m sure that, just as Jeremiah said, His word was in his heart like a burning fire shut up in his bones! 

     If you’ve ever gotten mad at God and lost your temper with Him, as I did yesterday, you can see that we are in pretty good company.  God isn’t mad at us.  He doesn’t hold a grudge when we show ourselves to be unrighteous–that is why He sent Jesus to be our righteousness for us.  As long as we live on this sinful earth we will exhibit human fears and failings, but we can always go to our loving Father for forgiveness and restoration.  And soon, my friends, we will see Jesus face to face and there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor any more pain!  Until that time, I will speak His name, because His word is in my heart, and I cannot hold it back!

Psalm 61

Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer.

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed;

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy.

I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. 

For You, O God, have heard my vows; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name.

You will prolong the king’s life, His years as many generations.

He shall abide before God forever.  Oh, prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him!

So I will sing praise to Your name forever, that I may daily perform my vows.

 

By Your Blood–A Praise Song (Hosanna Music)

By Your blood; This temple was built by Your blood; I am a king and priest.

You’ve taken my sins and removed them as far as the west is from the east.

By Your Blood; I am redeemed by Your blood; my soul is restored.

The Holy of Holies is the place I now worship You, Jesus Christ My Lord.  O Holy Lord!

 

Maranatha!

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