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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

August 22, 2021

Daily Reading: Jeremiah 33-37


Jeremiah 36:23

And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.


In chapter 36 the story of Jeremiah goes back in time about 17 years. He rehearses what Jehoiakim, the eighteenth king of Judah did to the written Word of God. God gave the Word to Jeremiah who gave it to Baruch that he might recite it to those in the Temple at Jerusalem. Upon delivering the Word of God and all the words that the Lord spoke concerning Judah’s rebellion, disobedience and coming overthrow by Babylon, the King cut up the Word of God and unceremoniously threw it into the fire.


Destroy the Word of God he did, but that did not mean that the Word of God was destroyed. Not only did Jeremiah reconstruct the written Words of God, but they were fulfilled seventeen short years later during the besiege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon (Jeremiah 37-38). The year of the events in chapter 36 was 604 B.C. The events in chapters 37-38 take place between 588-586 B.C. during the reign of Zedekiah the twentieth and last king of Judah.


Throughout history and even unto today there are many who hate what the Word of God has to say to them. Many hate it to such a degree that they try to destroy it from having any influence in their lives. They ignore it, change it, ridicule it, and persecute (to one degree or another) any who try to proclaim its teachings. It does not take long, for those that hate the Word of God are soon made manifest by their attempts to divorce themselves from its very presence. Then there are those who, perhaps to a greater degree, are greater enemies of its teachings. These are those who claim to embrace it yet pick and choose that which they will allow to influence them. They glean that which is sweet, ignoring the rest.


Yet, the Word of God prevails. It is not bound by being bound in a book. His Word lives. It is personified by a man, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is demonstrated in the lives of its faithful adherents. It is manifested in the world by good works of selflessness, sacrifice, and duty. Cut all the hard bound Bibles up with a penknife, burn it with fire, ignore it, change it, stamp it out from all polite society yet it still will be true, it still will be powerful, it still will do its work, and it still will be in the world. Again, one can destroy the Word of God physically, but that does not mean that the Word of God is destroyed. It lives on. It will be found to be true in the end for it is everlasting, settled in Heaven. Psalm 119:89 proves it: For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.


Jehoiakim could have accepted the Word of God, he could have changed the entire future of all Israel. Too late he learned. After all, when he died his body was discarded to decay unburied outside the gates of Jerusalem, just as the Word of God to Jeremiah proclaimed.


Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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