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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Jeremiah 23:29

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"Like A Hammer"

"'Is not My word like fire?' declares the Lord, 'and like a hammer which shatters a rock?'" (Jeremiah 23:29).

Home workshop 
Like many men I enjoy my home workshop which in my case is out in our utility barn. Among my personal interests is puttering around, repairing stuff and making small improvements to our home and lawn. While growing up I recall how much my Dad enjoyed puttering around in his workshop out in our garage. He was a thrifty, resourceful craftsman with a variety of skills and could fix just about anything.

Photo frame from window project 4/23/13Presently two projects I am working on are both made out of reclaimed old windows that were discarded when people had new windows installed by a home improvement company we serve. I am making a cold frame for Brooksyne so she can plant earlier in the spring and a large photo frame using the panes in an old window as frames for an assortment of photos. I have seen them used this way and the crackle texture of weathered wood only adds genuine character to the project.

In a tool shop you need a lot of tools since you never know what might be needed for a specific job. I inherited quite a few of my dad's tools and also have purchased many others through the years.

HammersOne of the most common tools needed for a wide variety of projects is the hammer and I have quite an assortment; regular claw hammers, both large and small, a ball pein, a sledge hammer, and a soft-faced rubber headed mallet. Each has a particular purpose and through the years I have used all of them at one time or another.

The hammer is an ancient tool first referenced in the Bible in Exodus when a lampstand was hammered out from pure gold (Exodus 25:31). One of the goriest uses for a hammer is found in the sad record of Judges, a period characterized by "everyone did as they saw fit." Many of us feel our country is increasingly becoming like the period of the Judges.

On several occasions we have used today's text in this series but always focusing on the first phrase,
"'Is not my word like fire,' declares the LORD" *

Today I want to consider the phrase, "like a hammer which shatters a rock." In context this is speaking of God's Word, "'Is not My word like fire?' declares the Lord, 'and like a hammer which shatters a rock?'"

In the context Jeremiah is preaching against false prophets. A powerful section from verse 28 should be heeded by all preachers, "Let the one who has my word speak it faithfully."

The analogy of God's Word being "like a hammer which shatters a rock" likely has the sense of the power of God's Word in shattering and breaking up the hardness of our hearts. John Gill, a Puritan writer commented on this passage, "to which the heart of man may be compared, being hardened by sin, confirmed in it; destitute of spiritual life; stupid and senseless; stubborn and inflexible; on which no impressions are made, and is impenitent and inflexible; see (Zechariah 7:12); now the word of the Lord, in the hand of the Spirit, is a means of breaking such hard hearts."

I am sure we have all dealt with a hard heart and need the hammer of God's Word to do a softening work in breaking down the hardness of our heart.

Charles Spurgeon looked back upon dark hours in his own life and said: "I bear willing witness that I owe more to the fire, and the hammer, and the file, than to anything else in my Lord's workshop. I sometimes question whether I have ever learned anything except through the rod. When my schoolroom is darkened, I see most."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, the teaching of Your Word is like a hammer that breaks away the clumps of hardness in our hearts; our stubbornness, pride, and rebellion. When we read and apply Your principles they open our blinded eyes, guide us out of darkness into light and put a fire in our spirit; a fire that doesn't burn out but empowers us to live for You all the days of our life. We thank You for the fire of Your Spirit. It is in Jesus' name that we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Soften My Heart"
 Video  Kelly Willard and the Maranatha Singers  What a blessed song of consecration!

"Soften Your Heart"
 Video  Keith Green  One of his many convicting songs.

"O Refuge Of My Hardened Heart"  Video  Jars Of Clay

"Hard Heart"  Video  Cindy Morgan  Not really my style preference but some good lyrics.

* "Is Not My Word Like Fire?"  Previous message on the first part of our daily text.

Here's a brief Bible study on "the Word of God Compared to a Hammer"

Here is an entire sermon based on this verse! Webpage
His points are:

For any who may be curious about my reclaimed window project here are a lot of ideas. Reclaimed windows

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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