Starting Over From Scratch
by Terry W. Benton
Jeremiah had become very disallusioned at his job of delivering God's message. He had become the most unpopular preacher in town. At this point he is disallusioned with God. "You induced me" to preach this very unpopular message, he said to God. Then he decided that he would quit preaching. What was the use? Nobody liked his message. Nobody wanted to hear what he had to say.
God was the only reason he had been preaching this message anyway, and right now, God did not seem to be so near when all was going so wrong with his life.
He tried to be silent, and quit preaching, but, the word was the only hope for a dark world, and what would happen if nobody preached it? Was it worth it to let himself and the next generation down by letting them hear only the lies that the false teachers were spinning? Who wins when conscientious preachers decide to quit preaching the word, and let the false teachers be the only voice that is heard?
Jeremiah had that smoldering fire of truth that he could not hold in, because his love for God, for the nation, and for the generations to come, became a hot burning fire of passion raging within and he could no longer be silent. If you think that the word of God needs to be popular before it needs to be preached, then please don't preach. If you think that you need to be popular when you preach, then please don't preach. But, if you believe that the word of God must be preached because the truth is the only thing that will set anybody free from the shackles of sin and condemnation, then preach the word and never let yourself become ashamed of it, and never let some hypocritical brother steal your fire.
God will break the vessel that has inclined itself to self-serving ways, and God has ways of delivering the godly out of temptation and severe trial. Jeremiah will need to stand. Shame would eventually come to the story of Judah, but the name of Jeremiah would be highly honored in time. Look what a legacy he left behind! No one thinks Jeremiah preached in vain, but we all know that the false prophets went down in shame.
Read Jeremiah 18-20 and be strengthened to stand up for the truth like Jeremiah. Find ways to get the truth out. Only the truth will set us free from the wrath to come. We can go down in shame and leave a legacy of shame for not standing up for the truth, but if we stand for the truth, truth-seekers and truth-finders will know that we exercised faith in the Lord and did not labor in vain. They will honor us, but more importantly God will honor us. Whose honor do we seek?