When God’s prophet, Jeremiah, came carrying the burden of the word of the Lord, it burned like fire in his bones. He had a word from God to deliver. He was assured by God himself that his word would be like fire to burn up the chaff of human religion and a hammer to break in pieces every idol.
The weeping prophet took his work seriously. He knew that he spoke as God’s ambassador. He knew that he lived in and ministered to a generation under the judgment of God. But the people to whom he spoke, following the prophets and priests of their day, laughed him to scorn. Whenever he stood up to speak for God, they would derisively, scornfully, mockingly say, “What is the burden of the Lord?’
Because they despised God, despised his Word, and despised his prophet, the Lord God told his faithful servant to respond with a word of stern reproof. He said to Jeremiah, you respond to these mocking infidels, “What burden?” In other words the Lord said, you who have despised my word will never be burdened with it again. “I will forsake you!”
Over and over again, the Lord God warns, Do not speak derisively of my word. He says, Since you have perverted my word by scornfully saying “the burden of the Lord,” your own words shall be your everlasting burden. Because you have despised my word, I will utterly forget you “and cast you out of my presence: And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.”
This word from God to the people of Israel in Jeremiah’s day is the word of God to us today. “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith.”
1. There is no greater blessing and privilege in this world than that of having a man sent from God to declare to you the burden of the Word of the Lord. It is by the faithful preaching of the gospel that God saves his elect and comforts, encourages, strengthens, edifies, protects and inspires his saints (1 Cor. 1:18-24).
2. The preaching of the gospel is, to those who are called, the power of God unto salvation. All who are born of God, called by his Spirit, and granted faith in Christ are born again by the incorruptible seed of his Word (James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23).
3. You who despise the burden of the word of the Lord court eternal reprobation, everlasting abandonment by God himself! If God forsakes you to yourself, you are as sure for hell as those who are already damned. You will seek to know what God has spoken (Jer. 23:35, 37); but he will not send his word to you. He will punish you and your house with the blind delusions of false prophets. What light you had will be everlasting darkness and confusion to your soul!