Many people find reading the Bible hard, and many Christians do not know their Bible well. However, Jeremiah makes a powerful point: if you wish to have a heart that rejoices, read God's word. In deed, read it as the best mental 'food' you may ever eat.
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)
Many struggle to find things that make them happy- and how few reach a point of sublime rejoicing! To be able to say something we find might be a joy to our heart!
Many think of a 'Jeremiad' as a rebuke, yet Jeremiah must be full of words of Yahweh that cause us to rejoice. The rejoicing is even more remarkable as for those words Jeremiah himself suffers rebuke.
O LORD, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke. (Jeremiah 15:15)
The key to Jeremiah's rejoicing, is that he sought truth and right- and that all others walk in ways of truth and right. What if by heeding Yahweh's rebuke they were given good life in the Promised Land?
Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. (Jeremiah 2:2)
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. (Jeremiah 3:14-18)
We can see why Jeremiah rejoiced. What a promise of glory- to be the greatest nation on earth!
To the humble that loves goodness, Jeremiah is given the greatest words of rejoicing ever heard.
Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
We have comments from Jeremiah as to why he rejoices: He rejoices in the word as there not such wisdom to be found anywhere else.
Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee. (Jeremiah 10:6-7)
Jeremiah says another point of rejoicing is that that Yahweh's word brings rain and makes all things.
When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. (Jeremiah 10:13)
Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things. (Jeremiah 14:22)
The prophet Ezekiel speaks of the sweetness of the word of God- like eating the finest sweetest food,
Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll (scroll), and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. (Ezekiel 3:1-3)
The Apostle John also illustrates the joy of the word of God which is symbolised in a “little Book', but shows us another aspect which may well explain Ezekiel and Jeremiah – and indeed our own reactions to reading the Bible.
I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. (Revelation 10:9-11)
The word of Yahweh is as sweet as honey, rejoicing the heart to all those that love truth. So many refuse to even taste it, and many who honour the words fail to allow them to be a sweet rejoicing of the heart. The first reward for hearing the word of Yahweh Elohim is wisdom. If this is not enough, as Jeremiah knew for him personally there was great reward – in this life his safety and his enemies dealt with, and then, the greatest reward of all, life eternal. As the Psalmist says the word of Yahweh is better than gold and sweeter than the best honey from the honeycomb.
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:7-11)