Jeremiah 36

Jeremiah 36

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Jehoiakim Burns Jeremiah’s Scroll

36 In the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster that I intend to do to them, so that every one may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.”

Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah, and Baruch wrote on a scroll at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD that he had spoken to him. And Jeremiah ordered Baruch, saying, “I am banned from going to the house of the LORD, so you are to go, and on a day of fasting in the hearing of all the people in the LORD’s house you shall read the words of the LORD from the scroll that you have written at my dictation. You shall read them also in the hearing of all the men of Judah who come out of their cities. It may be that their plea for mercy will come before the LORD, and that every one will turn from his evil way, for great is the anger and wrath that the LORD has pronounced against this people.” And Baruch the son of Neriah did all that Jeremiah the prophet ordered him about reading from the scroll the words of the LORD in the LORD’s house.

In the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the LORD. Then, in the hearing of all the people, Baruch read the words of Jeremiah from the scroll, in the house of the LORD, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the secretary, which was in the upper court, at the entry of the New Gate of the LORD’s house.

When Micaiah the son of Gemariah, son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the LORD from the scroll, he went down to the king’s house, into the secretary’s chamber, and all the officials were sitting there: Elishama the secretary, Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, Elnathan the son of Achbor, Gemariah the son of Shaphan, Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the officials. And Micaiah told them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the scroll in the hearing of the people. Then all the officials sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, son of Shelemiah, son of Cushi, to say to Baruch, “Take in your hand the scroll that you read in the hearing of the people, and come.” So Baruch the son of Neriah took the scroll in his hand and came to them. And they said to him, “Sit down and read it.” So Baruch read it to them. When they heard all the words, they turned one to another in fear. And they said to Baruch, “We must report all these words to the king.” Then they asked Baruch, “Tell us, please, how did you write all these words? Was it at his dictation?” Baruch answered them, “He dictated all these words to me, while I wrote them with ink on the scroll.” Then the officials said to Baruch, “Go and hide, you and Jeremiah, and let no one know where you are.”

So they went into the court to the king, having put the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the secretary, and they reported all the words to the king. Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it from the chamber of Elishama the secretary. And Jehudi read it to the king and all the officials who stood beside the king. It was the ninth month, and the king was sitting in the winter house, and there was a fire burning in the fire pot before him. As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the fire pot. Yet neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words was afraid, nor did they tear their garments. Even when Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son and Seraiah the son of Azriel and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the secretary and Jeremiah the prophet, but the LORD hid them.

Now after the king had burned the scroll with the words that Baruch wrote at Jeremiah’s dictation, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: “Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned. And concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah you shall say, ‘Thus says the LORD, You have burned this scroll, saying, “Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and will cut off from it man and beast?” Therefore thus says the LORD concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat by day and the frost by night. And I will punish him and his offspring and his servants for their iniquity. I will bring upon them and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem and upon the people of Judah all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, but they would not hear.’”

Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words of the scroll that Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And many similar words were added to them.

(ESV)


Jeremiah 36 Commentary

by Hank Workman

It’s one crazy story.  And actually, there’s a part to this that I’ve always loved.

Reader’s Digest –  Jeremiah is given words by God to relay to the people, in particular, the king.  Not allowed to go to the temple, he asked his scribe to write down from his dictation.  Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe, is then to go to the temple and read the words of the Lord.  The words resonating, Baruch goes to the officials and reads and finally is brought before the King Jehudi.

Jehudi was completely indifferent to these words of God, which by the way was calling them once again to repent or disaster that was on their doorstep would overtake them.  In fact, the letter was cut up and burned in the fire as it was read.

Now, let’s pause a moment.  What is the most frightening thing to consider here is verse 24 where it says that when the words of God were read, “the king and his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear…”  You see, indifference had taken a grip on their hearts which had turned stone cold.

And here’s the part I’ve always loved.  In response to these people’s hardheartedness and destruction of the letter God tells Jeremiah, “Oh yeah, well you’re going to write another letter and… add a bit.”  The ‘add a bit’ are my words but that is exactly what God said for him to do.

God’s desire to bring His people back to Him was relentless.  It was an absolutely insatiable love He held for them that even if they rejected, even if they were indifferent, even if they would silence His voices of the prophets – He would go on reaching.  And in that reaching… he would “add a bit.”

It’s almost like, “Oh yeah, you’re rejecting me again… well let’s see what happens now because of that.”  And really, let’s get real.  God could have struck these people dead on the spot.  And even though some would consider His words of what was to come through ‘the bit’ added, it was mercy.  Truly, for He was once again giving chance for them to repent.

Here’s the point to consider if you are wandering right now from a deliberate relationship with Jesus or if you’re crazy burdened for someone who has become hardhearted and indifferent to Him – In both cases, God loves.  That love will go to whatever length to bring these who reject Him again and again, back.  And with each refusal – it’s like, “Oh yeah, well let’s see what happens now because I’m going to add a bit so you will be driven to me.”

And here’s the challenge – consider who you are burdened for now and assess their hearts and minds and absolute rejection of Jesus or at least following like they should.  And pray.  Pray boldly like never before that God in His relentless love will ‘add a bit’ to reach them.  Whatever it takes, save taking their life, that He would do in order to bring them toward relationship with Him.  Relationship He longs for.  Relationship He died for.  Relationship that dictates our and their eternity.  Because people – this is serious business.  Those who are not in relationship with Jesus are lost and eternity is going to be far different than those committed to Him.

So Jesus, do whatever you must – and add a bit.


Jeremiah 36 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about all the destruction that I intend to bring on them, they will turn from their evil ways. Then I will forgive their wickedness and their sins.”

Jeremiah 36:3 GNB

Perhaps.

Anyone could argue that God knew what was going to happen to these people.  He knew their hardened hearts.  He knew for certain that the King would do what he did.  In His sovereignty, He was outside of time, space and matter.  So why would He do this?  Why would He go to this measure if He knew the outcome?

Because He loves and longs for restoration. Because He would continue to extend His arm of mercy toward these hardhearted, belligerent people who were so hell-bent on doing what they wanted.  Even with the enemy on the doorstep of their kingdom, they still wanted to do their own thing. They were content to burn the Word of God. He would still extend His arm of mercy and grace with the hopes of ‘perhaps’.

I would contend God still offers grace in this same way today.  We are so determined to follow our own hearts and not listen, yet, He chases us anyway. Of course, we know that many times in the “perhaps” the lost are found. Jesus is in the business of raising the dead. What are the things He is asking of you? How do you respond to it? Perhaps your heart will hear His call and turn in obedience.

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