I Do Not Know How to Speak
Have you ever said “I do not know how to speak” or heard someone else say it?
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
25 August 2013
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
Have you ever said “I do not know how to speak” or heard someone else say it?
We often wonder how many people are comfortable with speaking before an audience or even a small group of people.
And then we wonder: how many of the people who are not comfortable doing public speaking will actually speak publically because their message needs to be heard.
Being able to speak publically is very important for any believing children of God, who truly seek to free creation from its present corruption, and they should be willing and able to do so.
One of the most common excuses we hear from people about speaking before a group of people is, “I do not know how to speak.”
Well, nearly all of these people know how to speak or communicate with others, but they are either afraid or uncomfortable speaking in public or before a gathering of other people.
When I was a youth, I felt the same way; but when I became an adult, I learned to be a very effective speaker and teacher.
This is also what happened to Jeremiah as we are told in verses 1:5-8, when God calls upon the reluctant Jeremiah to be His spokesperson.
And as we’re reading this passage, remember that Jeremiah became one of the major prophets of Israel.
5. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you;
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
We believe that this is a very common call to a lot of people, but Jeremiah, like so many others, was afraid of this calling and responded –
6. Then I said, “Alas, Lord GOD!
Behold, I do not know how to speak,
Because I am a youth.”
7. But the LORD said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
Because everywhere I send you, you shall go,
And all that I command you, you shall speak.
8. “Do not be afraid of them,
For I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD.
The key is that God is always with us, even if He doesn’t always protect us or deliver us, and this shouldn’t matter because they also killed Jesus for telling the truth.
Therefore, if we are Christians, which means followers of Jesus, then we should also be willing to speak out about what is the heavenly will of God, and no longer say, “I do not know how to speak.”
We need to speak out against our society’s hardness of heart and warring madness that causes millions of our fellow human beings and billions of other animals to suffer and die every year.
They need our voice, because they cannot speak for themselves.
Moses also had this fear of speaking problem, as we are told in Exodus 4:10-12.
10. Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
11. And the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
12. “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.”
In the beginning, Moses and his brother, Aaron, acted as a team for God, but as time went on, Moses took full command and became a true leader of the people on his own.
There is nothing wrong about working with others to speak for the animals and others who need our help to end their suffering.
So, if any one of us feels the need to say something, then as a leader with a message go and deliver it, or get others to help; but we can never afford to keep silent just because we think that “I do not know how to speak.”
Every suffering being in this world is depending upon us to speak for them.
After Paul wrote about the fact that our struggle really isn’t against other people, but a spiritual one, he addresses our speaking out boldly in Ephesians 6:18-20.
18. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
An important part of our prayer is to recognize the source of all unrighteousness and evil that can harm us and those who are trying to make this a better world for all creation.
And, I believe that since all animals have souls and spirits as we do, and that they also go to heaven, that they should be included as being among the saints that we pray for and do our best to protect.
19. and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,
Likewise, we are to pray for ourselves and others that we, too, will also be given this Godly unction to speak out boldly about God’s heavenly will for the whole of creation.
We may not be in prison as Paul was at that time, but we need to break the spiritual chains that make us feel that “I do not know how to speak.”
20. for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Also, don’t forget that we are also ambassadors of God’s heavenly will and, as any good ambassador; we need to be able to represent with full authority our leader, the Lord God.
In Hebrews 12:1-13, we are encouraged to focus even more on the heavenly will of God for our strength to speak out boldly, so that never again will any of us feel like “I do not know how to speak.”
1. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2. fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We hope we all see that we are to rely upon and trust the Lord our God and all the spiritual witnesses of His heavenly will, and to have our heart, mind, and soul fixed upon the ultimate goal of freeing creation from its present corruption and ending the suffering of both animals and humans.
And, no longer be afraid.
3. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
This is a good example, for we know of very few people who have actually been physically harmed or had their own blood shed in their peaceful efforts to end the pain, suffering, and death in this world.
As has been said: we have nothing to fear, but fear itself.
We cannot give up; the animals need us desperately, for they cannot speak for themselves.
4. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
5. and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
6. For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.”
Most often, it is not the Lord who reproves or disciplines us when we are doing His heavenly will; for the abuse (mostly verbal or written) comes from the people who do the evil things in the world and cause so much bloodshed and who try to shut us up for they don’t want us to expose the truth to the world around us.
7. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8. But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Perhaps this is the reason that our task is so challenging and difficult, for if it was too easy, we may forget to rely upon the Lord, and build our characters into becoming peacemaking children of God.
9. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
10. For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.
11. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
12. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble,
13. and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
In other words, we are to no longer say, “I do not know how to speak,” but say, “Here I am Lord; send me to help free creation from its present corruption.”
We all can do this, and when we do, the whole world will change for the better.