Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 35:1-37:21 / 1 Timothy 2:1-15 / Psalm 119:49-56
The famous French philosopher and atheist, Voltaire, wrote a number of tracts demeaning the Bible. He said, “One hundred years from today the Bible will be a forgotten book.” That quote was forgotten by man but not by God! After Voltaire died, about 100 years later, his home was used as a book depository for the French Bible Society. Bibles were printed and sold out of his house… today it is a museum! People have forgotten Voltaire but the Bible is not forgotten!
The Bible has been attacked, banned, mocked and ridiculed but it has withstood every destructive attempt. There have been more than 6 billion copies of the Bible printed and it is the most read, most published and most translated book in the world. It will not die…”Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
God spoke to Jeremiah about the coming judgment upon Israel. Jeremiah dictated all the words to Baruch who wrote them down on a scroll. God’s purpose was to warn Israel and bring them to a place of repentance. “Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin.” (Jeremiah 36:3)
Baruch read the message to Israel and to the royal officials. They were shaken, convicted and feared God’s message. They then took the scroll and read it to King Jehoiakim. The King responded in rebellion, “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. The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes.” (Jeremiah 36:23,24)
After a few columns of the scroll were read, the king would cut them from the scroll and throw them in the fire. The scroll was read, cut and burned until it was entirely destroyed. The king was defiant and prideful. He had a very high opinion of himself and a very low opinion of God. Jehoiakim was not moved to brokenness or repentance.
Like so many throughout history, the belittling and dismissal of God’s Word simply displays the ignorance and foolishness of man. The Bible is the authoritative, divine and inspired Word of God. The unbelieving will be judged according to God’s Word and will not escape eternal judgment. But most importantly, the Bible powerfully changes lives of those who believe and embrace its truth. It’s not just another book… it’s God’s Living Word!