“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16 ESV
These words found in the book of Jeremiah remind us how the prophet perceived God’s message for himself and for the people under his care. Jeremiah was a spokesperson for God at a difficult time in Judah’s history. Having been called into service during King Josiah’s reforms (circa. 626 B.C.), he saw the fruit of the efforts to hearken the people back to covenant faithfulness. Jeremiah observed the hearts of the congregation return to the Lord. And things were well for a season.
But it was not long until the people once again started playing the harlot and following after other gods. The wickedness reached a climax under the evil King Manasseh. It wasn’t long before the Jews were “tasting” another message and their ears had become dull to God’s word.
Ezekiel encountered the same experience- ministering in a difficult time, yet knowing of the sweetness of God’s word. Notice the imagery of consumption is used to illustrate Ezekiel’s receiving God’s message. Ezekiel 3:1-3 “And he said to me, ‘Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.’ So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.’ Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.”
As Christians, we are living in an unprecedented time. More and more people in America have no religious affiliation. Church attendance has been dipping for the last number of years. The effects of the Coronavirus have only sped things up in that direction. Could it be that God is sifting His church and separating the sheep from the goats? Is He calling you to a more genuine faith in the Lord Jesus, while seeing the church lose some of its popularity? Will you remain faithful?
Be encouraged to seek the Lord at this time. Reorient yourself to the more precious things, like Bible study, prayer and devotional reading. You will not be disappointed, as God said in Jeremiah 29:13: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” It is time to “take up and read,” while seeking the shepherd and guardian of your soul, the Lord Jesus Christ.