We can all picture what a hammer and a fire looks like can't we? But perhaps we should think a little bigger and picture a massive bonfire and huge 24-pound hammer! Both the fire and the hammer could be used in dramatic ways - one to burn a whole lot of things and the other to break down some stubborn rocks or walls.
It is both of these images that Jeremiah presents to us in Jeremiah 23:29 "Is not my word like fire ... and like a hammer that breaks a rock into pieces?"
God's word is usually used to strength and to encourage us, as well as to direct and guide us. However, today we are reminded that God's word is not to be messed with - if God needs to use the word to refine us or chip off the rough edges, then He will do it.
Let's hold God's word with respect and honour. It is life-changing.