Today’s Reading: JEREMIAH 25:15-38, JEREMIAH 36:1-32; JEREMIAH 45:1-46:28
Today’s Post Reading: Jeremiah 36
For me this year has been a celebration of God’s Word. I have spent more time in God’s Word this year than any year since maybe 1983 – 1986 when I was in college actively studying with my college Christian group the Navigators. Back in those days I was in one or two Bible studies each semester, had regular quiet times, attended a solid Bible teaching and preaching church and was soaking up everything I could of my new found faith.
This year through men’s Bible studies through church, my chronologic daily reading plan, my sermons and my blog post preparation I have invested more into God’s Word than in many years. I am really enjoying it. I feel like I have responded to as the Berean’s did in the 1st century:
Acts 17:11 (NIV)
11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Please be assured I have not always been a member of the Bereans. Over the year sometimes I felt like I was living in Ephesus when John wrote them this little note:
Revelation 2:1 – 7 (NIV)
1“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
I am not saying that I had fallen and needed to repent – more so I am saying that I did not have the love for God’s Word that I had once had. I had lost that first love. I accepted it, I believed it, I valued it, but you just could not prove that by observing me in action. I took it for granted. I set it aside telling myself that I had enough knowledge and faith to get me by. I was content in my mediocrity.
But several posts and sermons this year have struck a cord with me. I have been impressed with how living and active God’s Word is. Though I have been reading and studying words written more than 2600 years ago they have seemed very living and active. Which reminds me of one of the verses that propelled the start of this 1 year, 1 book, many people Blog back in December 2009:
Hebrews 4:13 (NIV)
12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
All of this reminiscing came about while reading Jeremiah 36 today. Jeremiah, a prophet of God, was directed by God to take all of the earlier prophecies and put them down in a scroll. If you have been reading with us lately, there are some very sharp prophecies against Israel, Judah and the surrounding nations. Some terrible things are about to happen as a result of the people’s unfaithfulness. This scroll of Jeremiah is a rather dangerous document.
Jeremiah has his assistant read the scroll in the temple with the intent of reminding the people of their need to repent and return to the Lord. The scroll’s prophecies scares some of the temple officials. They are afraid the evil king will not like what he hears and the he will kill Jeremiah and his assistant Baruch. The decide to hide the scroll. The king eventually was read the contents of the scroll. As each section of the scroll was read, King Jehoiakim had that prophecy cut off from the scroll and thrown into a fire. He then sought to have Jeremiah and Baruch killed.
So many times we want to cut out parts of God’s Word and throw them away. We want to avoid what they say. If we don’t acknowledge them, they don’t apply to us – or so Satan convinces us.
God’s Word is more powerful than a king sitting by a fire. God hid Jeremiah and Baruch and directed them to rewrite the scroll of prophecies:
Jeremiah 36:32 (NIV)
32 So Jeremiah took another scroll and dictated again to his secretary, Baruch. He wrote everything that had been on the scroll King Jehoiakim had burned in the fire. Only this time he added much more!
No matter what you or do to deny the truth’s of God’s Word, they will still stand true. The prophecies of Jeremiah came true, the kingdoms were wiped out. King Jehoiakim’s family no longer ruled in Judah. We can’t avoid the truth of God’s Living Word, every part of it is for us – no cutting out pieces we don’t like:
II Timothy 3:16 (NIV)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness