[今日經文 Today’s Reading: 耶利米書 Jeremiah 20-22]
耶利米的工作使他付上沉重的代價，他被祭師毆打，被扣上枷鎖關起來。 於是，他向神抱怨被神欺哄了，因他終日成為笑柄，被戲弄。 是的，要成為上帝的先知是需要付出代價，但如果耶利米保持沉默，則要付出更大的代價——我若說：「我不再提耶和華，也不再奉他的名講論」，我心裏便覺得似乎有燒着的火悶在我骨中，我忍受不住，不能自禁。(5:9） 的確，這是上帝造成的 -“看哪，我使我在你口中的話變成了火”。 （耶利書 5:14）好消息是上帝應許 “耶和華與我同在，好像可怕的勇士。因此，迫害我的都絆跌，不能得勝。”（耶利書 20:11）
先知, 今天的上帝的使者，必須不惜一切代價說出真理。聽眾可能更願意聽到盼望的話語或對其已經相信的事物的確認，但我們必須承認ㄧ半的真理，片面或不完整的看法去描述上帝對現實的觀點是一種欺騙。這些錯覺可能會在價值澄清課程中獲得接受，被廣泛納入可接受的社會文化規範，或官方宗教認同的講道 ，但上帝的使者被要求抵制流行的誘惑和政治正確。先知性的講道 The Prophets as Preachers by Gary V. Smith
Jeremiah’s job cost him dearly; he was beaten up by the priest, put in the stocks overnight, and locked up in a dungeon. Jeremiah lamented that he had been deceived by God and had become a laughingstock to all. Yes, there was a price for Jeremiah to pay in order to become God’s prophet, but there was an even bigger price to pay if Jeremiah tried to keep silent, for he felt “a burning fire shut up in [his] bones”. Indeed It was God who caused this: “Behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire.” (Jer. 5:14)
The good news, though, was God’s promise to Jeremiah that He would be with Jeremiah “as a dread warrior; therefore [his] persecutors [would] stumble; they [would] not overcome [him].” (Jer. 20:11) Yes, we need evenglists to share the gospel to nonbelievers, but we also need prophets to speak to believers and the churches.
“A prophet, and God’s messengers today, must tell the truth at all costs. An audience may prefer to hear a word of hope or a confirmation of what it already believes, but a half-truth, a one-sided or partial perception of God’s view of reality must be recognized as a deception. These illusions may gain acceptance in a values clarification class, widespread inclusion as acceptable cultural norms in society, or official religious sanctions in a sermon but God’s messengers are called to resist the temptation of popularity and political correctness.“The Prophets as Preachers by Gary V. Smith
May the Word of God burn in our bones like a raging fire, so that we cannot bear it and cannot help preaching the full truth of God to the church and this generation！
Prayer: Dear Lord, may You put a burning fire in your servants to speak the Truth, in spite of the spirit of this world which seeks to silence churches. In Jesus name, Amen!