Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 35:1-36:32 (additional reading: Psalm 89:14-37and Proverbs 25:25-27)
How many of you are familiar with the expression “I’ve made up my mind, don’t confuse me with the facts?” How many of you know someone who fits that description? It describes a lot of people in this world. And it also describes the attitude of the king of Judah in Jeremiah 36. In today’s reading we seen how he reacts to a word from God that he doesn’t want to hear.
Jeremiah’s scroll is not merely a harsh word of warning that the Babylonians are coming. It’s also a wake up call to come back to the God who loves you before it’s too late. In verses 8-11, Baruch reads it to the people. And there’s a guy there who says “Holy Man! God’s people are in big trouble! The royal palace needs to know what’s going on!”
And so verse 23 says that “Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe’s knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire. 24 The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes.” So instead of tearing his robes in repentance the way his father King Josiah did in 2 Kings 22, he decides to tear up the word of God!
God then tells Jeremiah in verse 28 “Take another scroll and write on it all the words that were on the first scroll.” Jeremiah did what he was told. Then in verse 29, God says “You tell the king “You burned up that scroll, but I want you to know that everything written in the scroll will come true. Including the part about your death.”
God’s Word stands firm forever! The word of God can be challenged, but it cannot be changed. The word of God can be attacked, but it cannot be altered. The word of God can be rejected, but it cannot be repealed. The word of God can be opposed, but it cannot be overcome. How do I know that? Because Isaiah 40:8 says that “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.
But just like King Jehoiakim, we all struggle with sections of Scripture that we’re not ready to receive. Mark Twain once said “My problem with the Bible isn’t that I don’t understand it. My probably with the Bible is that I DO understand it! And it challenges me on every level!” When we say “I don’t like that verse in the Bible that says ………” because we think we know better, we are destroying God’s word over that part of our life, but one of the things we learn in Jeremiah is that God’s Word stands firm forever.