One of the most oft-repeated phrases in this prophetic book is: “The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah…” It appears over thirty times in 52 chapters. Of course, this phrase is not confined to the book of Jeremiah. We read that…
- The word of the Lord came to Abram… (Genesis 15:1)
- The word of the Lord came to Samuel… (1 Samuel 15:10)
- The word of the Lord came to Nathan… (2 Samuel 7:4)
- The word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad… (2 Samuel 24:11)
- The word of the Lord came to Solomon… (1 Kings 6:11)
- The word of the Lord came to the prophet… (1 Kings 13:20)
- The word of the Lord came to Jehu… (1 Kings 16:1)
- The word of the Lord came to Elijah… (1 Kings 18:1)
- The word of the Lord came to Shemaiah… (2 Chronicles 12:7)
- The word of the Lord came to Isaiah… (Isaiah 38:4)
And Ezekiel says, over and over again, “The word of the Lord came to me.”
Where would the people of God have been without the word of the Lord, especially in the time of Jeremiah, when the world seemed so topsy-turvy, and all hope seemed like a distant dream? We all need a word from the Lord; we all need God’s guidance, not just in dark days, but in seemingly bright days as well.
In her book, A Slow and Certain Light, former missionary Elisabeth Elliot tells of two adventurers who stopped by to see her one day. They were all loaded down with equipment for traveling through the rain forests of South America. Interestingly enough they didn’t seek advice from Elliot; they just wanted a few phrases to use to converse with the natives.
Elliot makes this application to our spiritual lives: “Sometimes we come to God as the two adventurers came to me–confident and, we think, well-informed and well-equipped. But has it occurred to us that with all our accumulation of stuff, something is missing?”
Elliot suggests that we often ask God for too little. “We know what we need–a yes or no answer, please, to a simple question. Or perhaps a road sign. Something quick and easy to point the way.
“What we really ought to have is the Guide himself. Maps, road signs, a few useful phrases are good things, but infinitely better is Someone who has been there before and knows the way.”
It is our privilege to have the Guide himself living inside of us when we invite the Holy Spirit of God to live in our hearts. Has the word of the Lord come to you…to me?