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, 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. 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; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
Many want to say that the Bible is nothing more than a man-made book. The passage we have just read indicates that the Bible is something much, much more. The Bible is God’s means of speaking to mankind.
God gave this special revelation to Jeremiah so that he might preach it to the nation of Israel.
Jeremiah 36:5 And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; (in prison) I cannot go into the house of the LORD: 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. 7 It may be they will present their supplication before the LORD, and will return every one from his evil way: for great is the anger and the fury that the LORD hath pronounced against this people. 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.
God did all that He could to warn His people of the judgment that was about to happen. Yet the rebellious people of Israel refused to heed God’s warnings. Consider the next part of this amazing story.
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. 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.
King Jehudi mocked God and His Word by cutting Jeremiah’s scroll into small pieces and throwing it into the fire. Yet this foolish act did not negate the power of God’s Word. The Bible says: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please…” (Isaiah 55:11)
How did God respond to Jehudi’s act of defiance?
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, 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. 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.
God told Jeremiah to not only rewrite all that was a part of the first revelation, but to add even more judgments to it!
Regardless of how men may view or treat the Bible – it isn’t going to go away. “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)