“Thus says the Lord, stand in the court of the Lord’s house and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not hold back a word.”
This is huge for understanding the role of the prophet, and huge for understanding the role of God’s word in our lives. So, the prophet was commissioned by God. Specifically here in the book of Jeremiah, Jeremiah is commissioned by God to proclaim the word of God, and by the word God means all the words. All the words that he commands Jeremiah to speak he is to speak. He is not to hold back a word, and there are some hard words in Jeremiah for gods people.
Jeremiah was commanded not to hold back a word. May God help us to boldly proclaim the fullness of His Word knowing that even difficult passages are for our good.
There are some hard words to proclaim, and you could almost picture the temptation for Jeremiah to say, “Okay, I’m willing to say these words, but if I say these other words from God that will cost me. That will anger people. That will cause all kinds of effects. That could cause me to lose my life if I say those words.” And God is saying, “Say them. Say every single word. Do not hold back a word.” And Jeremiah faithfully proclaimed all that God had said, and as a result, he was persecuted. He did experience cost.
Many were angry and it cost him greatly. So, put that picture now in our lives, and there are so many different applications, I’ll mention two. One, the role of a pastor and leaders in the church is to proclaim the word of god. All the words of God. Not to hold back a word, and there are so many temptations. I say this as a pastor, there are so many temptations to hold back words. To not say this or that part of the Bible, because of the effects of that.
And I just want to encourage pastors who are listening, don’t hold back a word. Do not hold back a word. Proclaim all the words that God has given us to speak, and I would encourage members of churches to encourage your pastor, don’t hold back. Please don’t hold back, because it is not good for gods people when God’s word is held back by those who are leading, which is something we see all throughout the book of Jeremiah.
So, in our churches that’s an application. Pastors, don’t hold back, and members of churches encourage your pastor, don’t hold back, and pray that he would have boldness to proclaim every single word of scripture. And then in our own lives, this is where we must be careful not to ignore certain words. If we’re not careful we can pick and choose the parts of the Bible we like, that fit with our lifestyles, that fit with our preferences, our understandings of what we would like Christianity to be, and in the process we can miss the whole point.
We must hear the whole word of God, we must receive it all, every single word and obey it all. Every single word. We can’t hold back, and pick and choose, and we’ve got to realize the tendency in us to do that. To gravitate in the Bible toward the verses that make us feel good, and to virtually ignore the verses that challenge us the most. May we not do that.
So, God we praise you for your word, we praise you for its fullness. Father, I pray for myself and other pastors right now. Help us to proclaim every word. Help us not to hold back a word. Help us to proclaim your word fully, completely, faithfully. God, we pray for churches to want that. God, we pray for members of churches to desire to hear every word, even when it hurts, even when it challenges, even when it convicts. And God we pray that then for our own lives. Lord, help us to hear every word you have spoken. Help us not to pick and choose which words we like as if we know what is best for our lives. God, you are good. You are supremely good, and even your hard words are for our good. So, we pray that you’d help us to hear and obey them all. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
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