1 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us...God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

JEREMIAH - The Noisemaker

"Bible Pick 'Ems" is a curious animal.

Sometimes, the place where God puts me in His Word is a *poser*. I have to ponder and pray and wrestle for a lesson out of it.

Sometimes the lesson just jumps out at me.

Today would be one of the "leaping lessons"!

I'm always conscious of context when I do "Bible Pick 'Ems." I don't have any desire to "re-mold" or "reduce" Scripture to *Sharon-size.* There is a world of difference between "The Word According to Sharon – with some support from the Bible" and "The Word of God According to God!"

I want to hear from God.

But, because His Word is alive, I believe that He SPEAKS through it all the time. And therefore, words from the past are intimately and appropriately relative to my day, my mood, my heart, my need.

This is one of those passages.

It's from Jeremiah, one of the great prophets of God, and it speaks to a very particular time in history. So, I'm going to start with the background information the framework, if you will.

Jeremiah 46 contains messages given to the prophet Jeremiah from the LORD concerning foreign nations. They were given in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, the king of Judah, on the occasion of the battle of Carchemish.

At the battle of Carchemish in 605 BC, Babylon and Egypt, the two major powers after Assyria's fall, clashed. The Babylonians, led by King Nebuchadnezzar, entered Carchemish by surprise and defeated the Egyptians, who were led by Pharaoh Neco.

This battle, which passed the torch of world leadership to Babylon, was Nebuchadnezzar's first victory, and established him in power as the new king.

These words are from God's message about King Nebuchadnezzar's plans to attack Egypt:

"There they will exclaim, 'Pharaoh king of Egypt is only a loud noise; he has missed his opportunity.'" (Jeremiah 46:17, NIV)

The Egyptian pharaoh "missed his opportunity" because though he had come to help Jerusalem, he beat a hasty retreat when the Babylonians turned on him.

So, that's the historical background to these hearty words of judgment on Egypt.

But, they resonated deep in my heart because of when I read them, and what they spoke to me at that moment.

I've hinted around on my blog that the last month has been pretty stress-filled. In fact, last year had some challenges that I've never faced before – certainly not *onethingafteranotherafteranother* like they were. This last week was no exception. I am faced with some daunting decisions in 2012 – some situations that require wisdom and discernmentother situations that sorely test my "worry genes."

Last week, it all sorta got to me...

And when I'm overtired, and overwhelmed, I end up listening to the words in my head.

The words in my head are not usually good friends.

I mentioned in a recent post that I think there’s a committee in there. I've given them names. There's Nervous Nellie, the one who begins every sentence with "What if…" – closely followed by the very worst-case scenario. There's Belittling Bill, who always makes me feel like a loser. And his first cousin, Guilty Gail.

Give-Up Gus is a favorite. So is Irritable Irene and her twin sister, Cranky Carolyn. And oh, who could forget Doubting Thomas (c'mon, it was too easy…), who usually leads me down some trail that begins with this thought – "Can you really trust God???"

(DISCLAIMER: If any of my readers have these actual first names, it's a total coincidence!!)

Yup, I listen.

There are other voices, but these are the ones speak the most, and the loudest.

But, you see, the danger is this – I'm usually so busy listening to these blabbermouths, that I forget all about the guy who's running their show.


The enemy.

It's like one of those shadow government situations. You know what I mean. You see a country's leaders – but then there's the REAL leaders. The ones with all the REAL power. The master puppeteers who are pulling the strings.

That's how the enemy works.

He's the real voice behind the others. They are merely the mouths he animates with his words of poison. (Talk about Demon possession…)

So, when I read this one verse last week, it almost shouted its way into my mind. (I think it had to – the other voices were quite noisy). Yes, sometimes God speaks in the still, small whisper – but other times I need the whirlwind.

And instantly, I was greatly fortified by His Words.

They felt like a victorious battle cry. A banner I could stand under. A rallying shout to bring me back to my feet, and charge forward.

Yes, O enemy of mine – You are only a loud noise – You are nothing BUT a loud noise.

And you have missed your opportunity.

Way back at the beginning of my life, you lost my soul to the One who saved me. And though you try, you will ultimately lose every opportunity to defeat me.


God spoke, I heard, and I stopped listening to the committee. The Holy Spirit quieted their shadow leader.

I claimed these words for my own victory in the Lord (taken from the end of Jeremiah 46):

But do not be afraid, Sharon, my servant.
Do not be dismayed, Sharon.
For I will…return [you] to a life of peace and quiet, and no one will terrorize [you].
Do not be afraid, Sharon, my servant, for I am with you.


God gets the last word.

The noisemaker is silenced.

And I am stilled.

What words does God say to you to silence the "loud noise" of our enemy?

Linked today with Peggy at SOAKING ON SONDAY!

"When in doubt, search God out!"


  1. AMEN and blessings Sharon on a fantastic BIBLE PICK'EMS once again!

    So glad that you didn't have Pesky Peggy!

    I'll be back later...after all...

    "God has the LAST WORD!"

  2. Amen, Sharon...I saw your linkup at Peggy's and just had to hop over...I have been reading in Jeremiah lately, too...and your post just rang of the victory that is promised to the children of God!

    Jeremiah 1:19 is going to be a special verse for me this year:

    "They will fight against you but never prevail over you, since I am with you to rescue you.” This is the LORD’s declaration.

  3. My dearest Sharon... Since SONday and now I have been PRAYing Peggy... and you know that I am praying for you and the victory!!!

    Since you did not 'Sharon size' God's Word of your Bible Pick'ems but hit it head on... confronting and context and
    even background... the Victory has already begun. Just giving voice to it.

    I love how you decipher and apply the WORD and your digging is a great benefit to all of us that are confounded (or dumb founded)(not really) in our study of God's Word. You do make His Word come alive with some very REAL characters and situations. And I applaud this while at the same time, hope to encourage you to just SOAK, REST, and LET GO as you let God.

    We certainly DON'T WANT to miss any opportunities... as the enemy is trying so hard to send you on these detours so you do not accomplish what you have purposed in your heart, planned along with God, and have a gift and passion to do...as we set aside "Procrastinating Peggy" which is really Sharon... (but could not think of an 'S' word for your name...

    Yes, your struggles and battles seem to have not only increased but have become relentless! (Karen has some wisdom on this)... so OVERtired and Overwhelmed Olive, it's time to shake this OFF and Be an OVERCOMER OLIVE that dares to plunge and press on in the ONSLAUGHT to OVERCOME and seize the OPPORTUNITIES around you. Not listen to those voices or allow those situations to sink your boat... because now you have exposed the ENEMY, let's send him running... as you march on to Victory, OK? Strength in the midst of all that encumbers you.

    Now I could have taken the stand of PITY PEGGY and joined in with the WORRY WIMPS but I choose to "send the legions fleeing"... (this isn't the verse but it will do) A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill. Isaiah 30:17 (my prophet to the rescue of Jeremiah---not really).

    It was the song that came to mind! And I could not find that either but clearly you sorted through this well, silencing the noisemaker!

    "Finally, be strong in the Lord" -- your empowering is in Him, not in anything else. It can only be found in Him. It cannot come from you. It cannot come from the flesh. It cannot come from any other source but Him. You can go to church; you can read your Bible, and you can go to Bible study. Those things may help you, but it has to come from the Lord. That is where our strength comes from. In the natural, a general's strength will come from the troops and from the equipment. However, in the army of God, it does not happen that way. Our strength comes from the Lord of Hosts. He supplies the strength that we need. This means a few of us can take a lot. If one of us can send a thousand to flight, two of us can send the legions running and fleeing. That is all it takes. The combination of God and us -- that is all we need. If God is not in that equation, we do not have anything. It only comes from Him.

    Course, you knew this... just wanted not to stop the flow... and the enemy's loud noise gets to me too and I just turn up the PRAISE music and DANCE with my tambourine, stomping out the noise of his with GLORY to the KING, my flags go up and I lift my arms to Papa/Abba!
    Not always so successful but I give it my all... for you too!(for Karen, Denise, Alice, Joan, Cathy, Deb...and on and on)... now PRODIGALS!!! WOW! I'm overwhelmed also... Praise God, HE GETS THE LAST WORD! Claiming your paraphrase of Jeremiah 46:28!

    Love and prayers (((hugs)))

  4. "Peace, be still."

    Those are the words from God's heart that silence me every time. When those inside/outside voices begin to assault truth, I often think upon the scene of the disciples in that Upper Room and that moment when Christ mediated his way past a shut door to stand in their midst. Every time I "go there", my soul settles before God's heart.

    Blessings to you as you make your stand for truth. Keep to it, sister.


  5. Awesome post Sharon. I listen to those voices in my head way too often too. I love the way you likened them to the ones whose strings are being pulled by the real enemy, the "shadow government."


"So I have been greatly encouraged in the midst of my troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives me new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How I thank God for you!"
(1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!