When your words came, I ate them. Jeremiah 15:16
Billy Graham, the renowned American evangelist, once described his struggle to accept the Bible as completely true. One night as he walked alone in the moonlight at a retreat center in the San Bernardino Mountains, he dropped to his knees and placed his Bible on a tree stump, able only to “stutter” a prayer: “Oh, God! There are many things in this book I do not understand.”
By confessing his confusion, Graham said the Holy Spirit finally “freed me to say it. ‘Father, I am going to accept this as thy Word—by faith!’ ” When he stood up, he still had questions, but he said, “I knew a spiritual battle in my soul had been fought and won.”
The young prophet Jeremiah fought spiritual battles too. Yet he consistently sought answers in Scripture. “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight” (Jeremiah 15:16). He declared, “The word of the Lord . . . is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones” (20:8–9). Nineteenth-century evangelist Charles Spurgeon wrote, “[Jeremiah] lets us into a secret. His outer life, especially his faithful ministry, was due to his inward love of the word which he preached.”
We too can shape our life through the wisdom of Scripture despite our struggles. We can keep studying, as always, by faith.
How has your life been shaped by Scripture? As you accept it by faith, how do you expect your life to change?
Heavenly Father, show me new things about You as I read the Bible. Teach me Your ways. Show me Your love.
The prophet Jeremiah ministered some forty-seven years (627–580 bc) through the turbulent reigns of Judah’s last few kings (Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah) before Jerusalem was destroyed and Judah exiled to Babylon (Jeremiah 1:1–3; 39:1–10; 2 Kings 23–25; 2 Chronicles 36:1–21). Jeremiah witnessed the destruction and devastation of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 52). Because of his young age and inexperience when he was called (1:6), along with the persistent unfaithfulness and unrepentance of Judah, his prophetic ministry proved to be extremely challenging for him. In chapter 15, Jeremiah laid bare the reproach, fears, unending pain, and incurable grief he faced (vv. 15–18). Could God be trusted? Would He deliver him from danger, scorn, and persecution? Jeremiah’s fear was answered when he remembered that God was with him, that the words of God wouldn’t fail (vv. 19–21).