W. Austin Gardner
What is your Response to the Word of God
Jeremiah 36:21 So the king, Jehoiakim, sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king. 22 Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. 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. 24 Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words. 25 Nevertheless Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the roll: but he would not hear them.
God gave Jeremiah a harsh message
God told Jeremiah what to write and what they were going to preach Jeremiah 36:1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
The message was an against message Jeremiah 36:2 Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.
The purpose of the message wasn’t to hurt them but to cause them to return from their evil way Jeremiah 36:3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way;
God desired to forgive them Jeremiah 36:3 that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
Jeremiah explains to us how he came to write the Word of God
God spoke to Jeremiah Jeremiah 36:4 Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.
Jeremiah dictated to Baruch who wrote it down in a scroll Jeremiah 36:5 And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of the Lord:
Baruch was later asked for a description of how he got what he was reading to the people Jeremiah 36:17 And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth? 18 Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book.
I wrote them down
After God gives His Word His man is responsible to deliver the Word
Baruch was told to read what God had said so that the people could hear from God Jeremiah 36:6 Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the Lord in the ears of the people in the Lord’s house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities.
The goal was that God’s people would repent Jeremiah 36:7 It may be they will present their supplication before the Lord, and will return every one from his evil way:
God was clearly angry about their sin Jeremiah 36:7 for great is the anger and the fury that the Lord hath pronounced against this people.
Baruch did his job Jeremiah 36:8 And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of the Lord in the Lord’s house.
The country had proclaimed a fasting day Jeremiah 36:9 And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the Lord to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem.
Baruch got where people could hear him Jeremiah 36:10 Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the Lord’s house, in the ears of all the people.
The response of the people follows
They heard the Words Jeremiah 36:11 When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, had heard out of the book all the words of the Lord,
He told his friends Jeremiah 36:12 Then he went down into the king’s house, into the scribe’s chamber: and, lo, all the princes sat there, even Elishama the scribe, and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, and Elnathan the son of Achbor, and Gemariah the son of Shaphan, and Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes. 13 Then Michaiah declared unto them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book in the ears of the people.
The friends wanted to hear the message first hand Jeremiah 36:14 Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them. 15 And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read it in their ears.
The message from God caused fear Jeremiah 36:16 Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words.
The princes knew the message would get Jeremiah and Baruch in trouble with the government and told them to hide Jeremiah 36:19 Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah; and let no man know where ye be.
They told the king Jeremiah 36:20 And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king.
Rejecting the Word of God is not a solution
The king had them read him the Word of God Jeremiah 36:21 So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king. 22 Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.
The king showed his great disrespect by cutting the scroll in pieces and burning it 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.
Those who were associated with the king showed no respect for the Word of God Jeremiah 36:24 Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.
They didn’t show fear, didn’t rip their clothes as sign of grief
A couple of guys asked the king not to burn the scroll Jeremiah 36:25 Nevertheless Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the roll:
The king refused to listen Jeremiah 36:25 but he would not hear them.
The king wanted to punish Jeremiah and Baruch but God had hidden them Jeremiah 36:26 But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the Lord hid them.
Destroying the Word of God doesn’t change the truth Jeremiah 36:27 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying,
God simply tells Jeremiah to write it again Jeremiah 36:28 Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.
The choice to not repent but to rebel sealed the deal that the king of Babylon would come to destroy them Jeremiah 36:29 And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast?
The king sealed his own fate and that of his children and grandchildren Jeremiah 36:30 Therefore thus saith the Lord of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost.
The punishment is deserved because they intentionally have not listened to God Jeremiah 36:31 And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not.
Instead of destroying the Word of God more was added to it Jeremiah 36:32 Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.
The truths we must take home
God’s Word contains a very harsh message but only with the desire that people hear and repent
Sin has entered and brought horrible consequences
God wants them to see their sin and turn from it
God doesn’t want them to suffer instead He wants to forgive their sin
God wants it clean in this chapter that what Jeremiah and Baruch have to say is from Him and not from them
If God is speaking and the man is simply reading then a rejection of the message is a rejection of God not the preacher
There must be an acknowledgment of the Word of God as our authority
The message hurt and so sinful man wants to blame it on anyone rather than accept it as truth
God calls a man to deliver His Word
Once you accept that the Bible is the Word of God you must then respond to it
God calls a man whose simple task is to repeat what God said, nothing more
The men of God here hope that the people will hear and repent
There is a varied response
One heard and shared what he heard
Others wanted to hear directly once their friend told them of the message
Upon hearing the Word some were afraid
Angry rejection of the Word of God is not a solution
You can try to get rid of the Word but you can’t get rid of the source of the Word
Your disrespect of the Word of God only shows that you do not truly fear God
Your rebellion will cause some to try and restrain you
When you reject the message you hate the messenger, the Bible, the church, and the preacher
You stop the message temporarily and think you have stopped God
You cannot destroy the inspired, preserved, protected Word of God unless you can destroy God
Your rebellion seals your fate
Your country will be destroyed
You and your family will suffer the consequences of your rebellion
God will simply give them another copy of His Word and keep giving more