The written word is powerful. This truth is revealed through these chapters of Jeremiah in a story that I confess is new to me!
After the people of Israel continued to ignore the Lord’s messages and kept going their own, idolatrous ways, the Lord told Jeremiah to write all his prophesies down on a scroll. Somehow seeing something in print and hearing something that has been written is powerful. How much more powerful it is when it comes from the author of words Himself!
Jeremiah enlisted the help of Baruch. As Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on the scroll in ink. Then Jeremiah sent Baruch to read the scroll to the people, and the people were moved. In fact, the religious leaders of the day invited Baruch in to read the scroll to them, and as he did so, they became afraid. The words on that scroll were searing and to the point. They predicted the demise of King Jehoiakim. Knowing that Jeremiah and Baruch were likely in danger because of the scroll, the religious leaders told Jeremiah and Baruch to hide.
For good reason. When the king heard the scroll read, he tore off each section and burned it. He had no fear and no regard for he Lord, and the scroll was destroyed.
Did he think that destroying the scroll would somehow change the course of history? Did he simply disbelieve? Did he think if he buried his head in the desert that his kingdom would be safe? This just goes to show that there is no way to destroy the words of the Lord. They stand in the pages of our Bibles. If our Bibles were destroyed, the words are still with us because they are written on our hearts.
The Lord took care of King Jehoiakim and his wickedness: he had Jeremiah and Baruch write it all down again…and soon King Jehoiakim was no more.
God always finds a way, doesn’t He? When the people kept falling down and messing up, He sent his son to pay the price for us. Just as he found a way to get the word out to the people of Judah…just as he found a way to bridge the gap between human frailty and divine love through Jesus Christ…He finds ways to help us with our troubles, too.
I’m holding on to that promise!