“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; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.”
Due to his experiences, Jeremiah no longer wanted to publicly declare the Word of God. His message had been ignored and rejected, and now his listeners were becoming hostile. He was mocked, ridiculed, then arrested. It is not difficult to understand why he reached a point where he thought this is simply not worth it. Scarred, scared, and perhaps somewhat embarrassed by the lack of positive response to the message, Jeremiah declares emphatically, he is done. He will leave preaching to others and find something else to do.
I have to admit, I had my share of times when I felt as Jeremiah did. In the early years of ministry, when things were growing so slowly as not to be detectable, it was easy to become discouraged. As time moved on, there were seasons when it seemed as though people were not listening. Those who have been believers for quite some time, begin to drift from the Lord, and make foolish decisions. This can be so discouraging, it leads to a desire to pack things up and call it quits.
Fortunately, God had placed His Word within Jeremiah and His Word is volatile. As it sat within the prophet, it began to burn like a flame, until he was forced to proclaim it once again. The Word of God will always work like that. When we take the time to read, study, and memorize the Word, we will find it begins to burn within us. This burning will lead to a changed life, as well as opportunities to tell others about salvation found in Christ. The more time we take to get the Word in, the more effective we will become in getting the Word out.