Throw Down

April 22, 2013 at 10:14 am | Posted in Common Expressions, Jeremiah | 7 Comments
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Lord, I pray that Your Holy Spirit would work in the lives of people and in their circumstances to bring them to a place of confrontation concerning their souls and their standing with You. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Have you ever heard someone say, “It’s time to ‘throw down?'”

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This a colloquial expression meaning that it is time to fight. Originally, it meant a challenge to a gun duel or some type of physical confrontation (“throw down the gauntlet”) but these days it can refer to any type of competition – even a barbeque cook-off.

You can find the expression several times in the Bible, but there it usually has a connotation of destroying pagan altars, places of worship, or positions of worldly power: Judges 2:2; 6:25; Jeremiah 1:10; Jeremiah 31:28; Ezekiel 16:39; Micah 5:11; Malachi 1:4.

Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

Jeremiah 1:4-10 (emphasis added)

God knew Jeremiah before he was born. He not only formed him in his mother’s womb, but He already had a special job for him to do.

Jeremiah had objections to God’s command: “I am a child. I can’t speak. I am afraid.”

The Lord touched him, and put words in his mouth. Why? So he could build up a name for himself? So he could be Jeremiah the famous and well-liked prophet? So he could have a Holy Ghost conference and show off his power? So he could get wealthy? No. God set up Jeremiah to root out, to destroy, to “throw down.”

When God calls us to do something, we need to be obedient. Our answer should be “yes.” Not “no,” or even “why?” Jeremiah was humble, but he wasn’t disobedient. It is in our human nature to seek explanations, but it’s easy for us to allow “evaluation” to become an excuse for delay. I had a professor in law school who liked to call on us in class when we least expected it. The result was often a blank stare and an open mouth on the part of the students. He didn’t like that. He preferred a quick answer, even if it was an incorrect answer, to no answer at all. He often referred to a “fatally logical chicken” which starved to death when it found itself poised exactly equidistant between two equally appetizing pans of grain.

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All too often, as fallen sinners, we are all too ready to “throw down” for the wrong reasons: someone gets on our nerves; someone offends us; someone cheats us out of something we feel like we deserved. When God tells us to “throw down” we might need to throw our hands down, and throw ourselves down on our knees, and throw ourselves wholeheartedly into what God wants us to do.

The Danger of Presuming to Speak for God

September 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Posted in Jeremiah, Uncategorized | 16 Comments
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Jim, somewhat of an impulse buyer, came home with a new Corvette. It was the envy of his friends for a few weeks, but then, one day, Jim had to trade it in for a less expensive, more fuel-efficient vehicle.

His wife wanted to know why. “Honey,” said Jim, “I realized that car was a gas guzzler, and we couldn’t really afford it. I guess I just came to my senses.”

Later that evening, Jim’s neighbor came over. “Hey old pal,” said the neighbor, “I’m glad to see you got rid of that Corvette. With the way you drove that souped-up sports car, I was afraid you might lose control on a curve, and make your wife a widow.”

Jim’s wife was upstairs vacuuming, so Jim said grudgingly, “It was people like you that caused me to give up on my dream car. You spoke a spirit of fear into my life, and I panicked.”

Sunday morning Jim brought the family to church in their station wagon, only to be greeted by his pastor in the parking lot. “Good morning, Brother Jim,” said the pastor. “What happened to your Corvette?”

Jim dawdled until his family was out of earshot, then confided piously, “Oh, Pastor, the Lord spoke to my heart. He told me it was time to stop being so prideful, and to get a less-showy automobile, so I could better witness to my less-wealthy neighbors on their level.”

A once-familiar hymn proclaims, as evidence for the resurrection of Christ, the fact that He must be alive if He speaks to men today:

He lives.
He lives.
Christ Jesus lives today.
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.

“He Lives,” Alfred H. Ackley

Certainly Christ Jesus does speak to His people today. But what does He say? The answer may be different for each and every person, but we must beware of the temptation to justify our own actions by rashly claiming out loud that the Spirit of the Lord gave us a special private instruction.

This was a big problem in Jeremiah’s day. Jeremiah was a true prophet, and he was faithful to repeat exactly what God told him. The false prophets spoke lies and then attempted to give them credence by claiming they came from God. However, God put an end to their party when He proclaimed:

Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD. And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house.

Jeremiah 23:30-34


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