Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 23:21-25:38 (additional reading: Psalm 84:1-12 and Proverbs 25:15)
It’s been said that the pen is mightier than the sword. What that means is that words can be powerful. Words can be weapons. A careless, harsh word can cut a person like a knife. Words can also be helpful tools. Wise words spoken at the right time can prevent tragedy. A kind word can also provide comfort and consolation to someone who’s hurting.
Jeremiah likens God’s word to a hammer. One of the first things we’d use a hammer for would be pounding, or even breaking. That’s the picture God paints concerning his holy Word. It functions like a sledge hammer – shattering and breaking down. That’s exactly how Jeremiah understood God’s Word to be used.
We might think we can contradict his Word, in order to find freedom and happiness. In the end we find ourselves playing with lies. The Lord smashes down our defenses, breaking our strong lies and crushing our self-reliant hearts. At the same time he uses his powerful Word to build up hearts. God breaks down the stubborn casing to get to the heart of the issue – rotten, sin-infested hearts. He reveals all weakness and frailty, so that he can replace it.
RA Torrey once said “The truly wise man is he who believes the bible against the opinion of any man. If the bible says one thing, and any body of men says another, the wise man will decide, “This book is the Word of him who cannot lie.”
The Holy Spirit smashes down our stubborn hearts, rips out all that is rotten and replaces it with good. He reminds us that God hammered his own Son in our place. He hammered him to the cross. Christ Jesus suffered for our stubbornness, doubt and worry. He was nailed to the cross for our hard hearts that are so slow to trust. The wonder is that God left all our sins nailed to the cross. There is forgiveness and hope.