-Jeremiah, during the reign of Jehoikiam in his fourth year, was commanded by God to take a scroll and write all the words which He spoke on it concerning Israel and Judah and all the nations from the day He first spoke to His prophet up until the present day (Jeremiah 36:1-2). The LORD is absolutely clear as to the reason for this. It was to perhaps give His chosen people another chance to turn from their evil ways so that He could forgive them and restore them and not bring calamity (Jeremiah 36:3). Jeremiah called Baruch to transcribe the material as God had ordered and deliver it to the house of the LORD (the Temple) since he was not allowed to do that by the authorities. Baruch was told to do this on a fast day before all the people for the purpose of allowing them the chance to make supplication before the LORD in a solemn occasion reducing the LORD’s wrath and anger towards them for their wicked deeds (Jeremiah 36:4-7). Baruch obeyed the prophet and did it in the fifth year of Jehoikiam in the ninth month when the people came for a fast before the LORD. When the people heard the message from the prophet of God, they went down to the king’s house, into the scribe’s chamber, to have the higher officials hear the word. After these men heard the word, they had Baruch, along with Jeremiah, go and hide so that they could present the material to the king in earnest (Jeremiah 36:8-19). The scribes brought the message before the king’s court to the scribe Elishama. As a part of an official delegation, the scribe Jehudi read the prophetic word in the king’s presence with all his officials around. The king, who was in his winter house in the ninth month, was sitting by a fire burning in the brazier. Only three or four columns into the word the king took the scroll, cut it, and threw it into the fire until it was totally consumed by the blaze. “Yet the king and all his servants who heard these words were not afraid, nor did they rend their garments (a sign of lamentation and repentance, Jeremiah 36:20-24).” There were men pleading with the king not to burn the scroll, but he would not listen to them. The king commanded that Baruch and Jeremiah be seized, but the LORD hid them (Jeremiah 36:25-26).
-After this the LORD came to Jeremiah again with words to write down, the former words plus some additional words for Jehoiakim because of his disobedience and rebellious response. “He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. I will also punish him and his descendants and his servants for their iniquity… (Jeremiah 36:27-31a). All the calamity that God had declared would come upon them because they simply would not listen and heed the prophetic message so as to turn from their sin, idolatry, and depravity. So Jeremiah rewrote the Word of God and the added words, which the LORD gave him (Jeremiah 36:31b-32). *Application* Defiance is not a quality God desires from anyone, much less His own people. What message have you gotten from Him and choose to disbelieve and disobey? This is a serious matter with the Sovereign. Listen and take heed to the things He is trying to straighten you out on. Rebellion will only cost you everything in the end. Don’t metaphorically toss the Word of God into the fire.
Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 36:23-24