Sunday, January 8, 2012

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - 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 Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. I'm glad you didn't include Debbie Downer. She is officially off your committee list.

    I would love for you to appoint Debbie Delight Yourself in the LORD to a committee post. It will a standing committee too, no ad hoc friendship for me.

    Nope. I'm standing and staying and praying that whatever it is that is happened this week (email if you need to) will get the one/two punch.

    For we are more than conquerors...

  2. "The words in my head are not usually my good friends." So funny, Sharon! What a line. I have to steal that one. This morning while getting ready I was listening to the Christian radio station and every song was a worship song. Suddenly I realized how still and eager to hear from the Lord I was. It was very apparent so my answer will have to be that worship quiets my soul.

  3. This is wonderful Sharon... I love that you've named those voices, made me laugh as I recognized each one of them.

    "Be anxious for NOTHING".... one of my very favorites, as it leaves no room to squeeze in ANY of those niggling doubts and fears. Sometimes I'm already entertaining one or more of those voices before I remember this verse, but the lapse time is getting better. :)

    Wonderful words of wisdom for me here today. You say things so clearly. :)


  4. Sharon,
    I loved your thoughts here! You related this scripture in such a powerful way by sharing your heart. May God help you through this stressful time! One thing for sure, you are giving him the glory by by sharing how he comforts and supports you.
    I recognize those committee members! I like how you said God words must have been shouted to get through above all the others. They do all seem to talk at once, very loudly, incessantly...
    Great writing! May He continue to bless and use you.

  5. Hi Sharon -

    This is a sure encouragement indeed!

    I love what you expressed from Jeremiah.

    And how right you are that GOD gets the last word. What a relief that is!

  6. Where you setting on my shoulder this morning in my talk with God...yes for me it was time to refuse the noise maker...and remember he is powerless, but my God is mighty.

    Through tears I moved forward.....thanks for the second confirming word today.

    Oh and on your comment on "spunk" you are right on...I have already written a post on that and Nancy made the most beautiful comment on that post you jumped ahead. LOL

    This year...God fill me with the flowing of your Holy Spirit so I can silence the noise maker and move ahead in the battle knowing you have won the war.

  7. I share those names with you too sometimes Sharon. I think we all do at one time or another. It is easy to forget we don't have too - all we have to do is to go to Jesus. sandie

  8. AMEN! And Happy New Year Sharon! Confident the LORD will provide all that you need for 2012! God bless!

  9. Sweet Sharon, how I have missed the blessings I receive when I read your posts. I promise I will be a better blog friend in 2012!

    First of all, I will pray for you, for discernment, sound mind, and wisdom. I completely understand.

    Second of all, I love this, "I claimed these words for my own victory in the Lord". Isn't that awesome? Every promise is personal. Today we taught our four year olds the simple lesson from Matthew - God clothes the lilies of the field and feeds the birds of the air - and how much more does He love us? If only we *remembered* that. <3

    Thanks for being my friend! Love & Prayers!!!


"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!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)