And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking to all the people all the words of the LORD their God…
I. A PROPHET IS ONE WHO HAS TO SPEAK THE WORDS OF JEHOVAH. Not his own words, not the words of other men. This applies to the substance of the message; for it is plain that each prophet has his own style. The chief thing to be remembered is that a prophet never goes forth on his own impulse. Men in their zeal for right may go out to protest against wrong and fight against it, but this does not make them prophets. The prophet's strength and claim and responsibility lie in this, that he can ever preface his announcements by "Thus saith the Lord." And all preachers and teachers will approach the prophet's position just in proportion to the extent in which they can fill their addresses with Divine declarations. The essential elements of prophecy can never be out of place.
II. HE HAS TO SPEAK ALL THE WORDS OF JEHOVAH. The prophet is not to be an eclectic, picking out some of God's words as suitable and others as unsuitable. God's omniscience can alone judge what is suitable. If to him it seems suitable a word should be spoken, then it is suitable. God speaks not to apparent needs, but to real ones. God, always saying something for the present, makes his weightiest words to bear upon the future. The responsibility of the prophet is simply that of being a brave and faithful messenger.
III. HE IS SENT TO SPEAK THESE WORDS. He does not merely take up words of Jehovah which he thinks suitable for the emergency. This is his work to act as a special messenger from Heaven. Others have to expound the Word already spoken, already written; but the prophet hears a voice directly from the excellent glory, "Go and make known my will to men." And in all prophecy there is evidence, to one who will look for it, that the prophet is a sent man.
IV. HE HAS TO SPEAK WORDS TO THOSE ON WHOM GOD HAS A CLAIM. Jehovah is not only the God of Jeremiah, he is the God of all the people. This was an historical fact of which they could not get rid. It was the glory, security, and blessing of the people, if only they could see it. And is not Jehovah also our God? - God coming for a while more closely in contact with one nation, that ultimately he may be in contact with all. If we admit the claim of Jesus, we admit the claim of Jehovah also. He speaks through ancient prophets to us, because the essentials of their message have to do with the permanent life of men.
V. HE SPEAKS TO ALL THE PEOPLE. In this particular instance the request came from all the people, so the message was correspondingly to all. Prophets, of course, had often messages for particular men, but even these messages are so founded upon general principles as to become worthy the attention of all. Prophecy concerns man as man; it meets the young with dawning consciousness, and grasps the old till their latest hour.
VI. THE PROPHET MUST TAKE CARE TO MAKE AN END OF HIS PROPHECY. He does not simply cease speaking; he has to make people feel he has said all he has to say, and that the time has come for them to have their say, or rather for them to enter with promptitude and devotion upon corresponding deeds. They may not hear all they would like to know, and thus it must be made clear they have been told all that it is good for them to know. With God all things are for edifying, not to inform curiosity or comply with every actual desire. - Y.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, even all these words,