Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me “Behold I have put My words in your mouth” (Jeremiah 1:9)
Today’s big question: why were the Old Testament prophets so bold?
Bad news is never easy to deliver and rarely well received. Who really wants to be the bearer of bad news? Yet, many of the prophets in the Old Testament had to do this in a repeated effort to call the people of Israel to repentance. Jeremiah was certainly one of them. In a time around 620 years prior to Christ, the split kingdom of Israel and Judah was living with a rebellious spirit toward the Lord. Jeremiah was coming to warn them of the coming wrath of God and to expose their idolatry.
Jeremiah is in a list of many prophets who came to Israel with a similar message. Repent and flee from the coming wrath. Noah did the same before the flood. Isaiah and Moses did the same, and the list goes on. The one thing we see in common with all of these messages is that all of these men went forth with a similar statement: “thus says the Lord.” They were compelled to put their very lives at risk to bring a solemn warning and revealed truth to the people, and it wasn’t just because of their own concern for the state of the nation. They were boldly bringing the very Word of God. They were giving a message not of their own.
All through the Old Testament God called prophets to be His spokesman; in fact, this is what the Hebrew word for prophet means. Some were foretelling of future happenings to bring hope or repentance. Some were simply forth-telling God’s truth as a direct message for the time. The fact that we have seen God’s faithfulness displayed in the fulfilling of His Word through the prophets is testament to the authenticity of their claims that God had indeed put those words in their mouth. Whether a message of hope or a warning of solemn judgment, the prophets stood boldly in relaying a message knowing full well they were the mouth piece of the Almighty Creator.
Today’s big idea: “thus says the Lord” are some of the most important words you will ever hear.
What to pray: ask God to help you listen to His word with the reverence it deserves.