“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” (Jeremiah 20:9)
When God’s Word really becomes a part of one’s soul, that one can never be the same again. As dejected Jeremiah said in his imprisonment: “The word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily” (Jeremiah 20:8). So, he said: “I will not…speak any more in his name.” But he could not quit! God’s Word was burning in his bones, and he must let it out. “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29).
The psalmist David had a similar testimony. “I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue” (Psalm 39:2-3). When the resurrected Christ “expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself,” the two disciples from Emmaus later testified: “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:27, 32).
Of all the symbols applied in the Scriptures to God’s Word, that of fire is the most awe-inspiring. Fire was not a discovery of some primitive man, as evolutionists imagine, but has always been an instrument of God’s judgment, from the flaming sword in Eden (Genesis 3:24) to the lake of fire in hell (Revelation 21:8). In fact, God Himself is said to be “a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).
The word of fire in the burning heart cannot be contained but must be proclaimed at any cost. As Paul acknowledged: “Necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). HMM