7O Lord, you have enticed me, and I was enticed; you have overpowered me, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me. 8For whenever I speak, I must cry out, I must shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. 9If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. 10For I hear many whispering: “Terror is all around! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” All my close friends are watching for me to stumble. “Perhaps he can be enticed, and we can prevail against him, and take our revenge on him.” 11But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not prevail. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten. 12O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous, you see the heart and the mind; let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause. 13Sing to the Lord; praise the Lord! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hands of evildoers.
- What does this Scripture say about God?
- What does this Scripture say about life?
- What am I hearing in this Scripture?
- What am I going to do with this Scripture?
- Want to explore Scripture more deeply? Then check out our Exploring Scripture page!
Use these conversation starters to talk about life and God with your kids, spouse, or friends during the week! A great place to do this is at the dinner table. There’s one prompt for each day of the week!
Tuesday: Read the Scripture passage together.
Wednesday: Have you ever struggled with the will of God? How so?
Thursday: I hear God speaking to me when…
Friday: God fights for me when…
Saturday: How do you like to praise God?
Sunday: What does God see when God looks into your heart?
Monday: What have you heard from God over the past week?
This practice allows you to listen to the Scripture for the week and to open yourself up to God’s voice in that Scripture.
- Click on the audio link above and listen to the Scripture. As you listen this first time, ask God to point out to you a word or phrase from the Scripture.
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a second time. As you listen this second time, ask God to reveal to you the holy intentions for this word or phrase that is being spoken into your life.
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a third time. As you listen this third time, ask God how you might respond to this word or phrase being spoken into your life today.
Look at the image above. We sometimes forget in our wireless world the important role that cables and wiring still play in keeping us powered and connected. Even with wireless electronics and communication, there is a conduit that transmits signals from one point to another. That conduit might not be something we physically see, but it is working just the same to connect us. The scene above, though, of electric towers and wiring is still a common sight for us. It reminds us of the interconnectivity of our own little bubble with the bubbles of other people and families. All we need to experience is a power outage to know this truth.
In our Scripture, Jeremiah is acting as a conduit who connects the people to God. Like a cable or a 4G network, Jeremiah is transmitting holy truth to a people too often disconnected from – and disinterested with – God. This is not an easy process. What makes it even worse is that the people think they know God’s message for themselves, even though their understanding is the opposite of God’s understanding. When have you felt this way? Think of a time when you felt like you were getting one message from God and others thought God was saying something different. Did you need to adjust your spiritual antenna to hear God more clearly? Or were others out of sync with God? How did you find resolution?
Jeremiah is determined to speak God’s message, even though it is unpopular with society – even the religious society. In what ways do God’s messages conflict with the messages of the world? How do you tune out the world and tune in to God? Jeremiah likens the message of God inside of him to a burning fire that must be let out. The Word of God is like an electrical impulse that must be dispersed or it will “fry” his wires, so to speak. This speaks to the power surge of the message and the immediacy of the need it addresses. Have you ever felt God speaking through you so powerfully? What was that like? If God had a message for you to communicate, what would it be? How might you listen to God more intentionally so that you might receive God’s messages clearly? How can you communicate those messages in both truth and love? Listen, for God still speaks. Speak the Word of God, for the world needs to hear.
Spiritual Practice: Listening
Just as speaking the messages God gives to us begins with listening to God, practice listening to others nonjudgmentally this week. Have a conversation with someone and intentionally listen in order to hear. So often we use the time others are talking to form our own responses in our mind and completely miss what they other is saying. Bring empathy and a desire to understand to your conversations this week. You might be surprised at what you learn!
Breath Prayer: LORD God, speak in and through us.