“For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, and has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it?”
One of the big problems Jeremiah faced was, those who were supposed to be experts of the Word of God were neglecting it. Instead of studying the Word and instructing the people, they were playing ‘God’ by coming up with their own form of worship and lifestyle. Jeremiah wonders where are those who studied the Word of God and and are living according to it? Years later, the New Testament addressed the same issue.
Hebrews 5:12 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.”
Every generation is in need of those who will become students of the Word of God, and live according to its teachings. Here in Jeremiah, we learn how to become a student of the Word.
First, we must be those who will stand in the counsel of the Lord. The idea is, we are the ones who will come to the Word of God for our marching orders. Instead of looking at the culture of the day, or the behavior of those who have gone before us, we must become people who will look to the Word of God for instruction. In 2 Chronicles, when King Josiah stumbled across the Word of God, he immediately put himself under its authority. The highest ruler in the land saw that he must be ruled by the Word of God. If we are going to become effective students of the Word, we must see it as the authority of our lives.
Second, we need to hear the Word and mark it; meaning, we become serious students of Scripture. This involves time, effort and energy. If we want to understand the Word of God and live accordingly, we must devote ourselves to daily reading and study of the Word. The most common objection I hear is “I don’t have time.” While I understand that life is busy and there are seasons when things are especially hectic, I also have come to realize, we all have the same amount of time and make choices as to how we spend it. If we are going to be students of the Word, we must make time to study.
Finally, Jeremiah spoke of marking the Word. I think this paints a picture of a person who expects to hear from God as he opens the pages of the Bible. With pen or highlighter in hand, we should open up the Word and expect that God is going to speak to us about our lives. This expectancy will lead to hearing God speak from the pages of His Word.