Out Of The Earth

October 25, 2013
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Listen while you read: "When He Cometh"1 (Lyrics)

Jeremiah 36:4 – So Jeremiah sent for Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated all the prophecies that the Lord had given him, Baruch wrote them on a scroll. (NLT)

Jeremiah 36:23 – Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up. (NLT)

Psalm 85:11 – Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. (KJV)

Last summer, I read an interesting Bible study based on the book of Jeremiah. The article mentioned a fascinating 1986 archaeological find: four artifacts known as bullae, small lumps of hardened clay that were once used as seals on official documents. The individual's name or signet ring left an impression on the clay, similar to a postal stamp. Two of the bullae have seals with the full name of Jeremiah's scribe: "Baruch son of Neriah the scribe". Interestingly, Baruch's fingerprint is also marked on the seal.

According to the Scripture, Jeremiah sent his scribe to the temple where he publicly declared God's prophetic Word to the people of Israel. He warned the nation to repent; otherwise God would hand them over to their enemies. Unfortunately, King Johoaikim, as well as his countrymen, did not heed the Word of the Lord. Subsequently, it happened just as Jeremiah predicted: the kingdom of Judah fell to the Babylonians, and many were massacred or carried away into captivity.

Reflecting on today's verse in the Psalms, I doubt that Baruch's seal was unearthed by accident. It is believed that the fire which destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C. actually helped to preserve the object by hardening the clay. Is it not ironic that Jehoiakim attempted to destroy the Word of God by burning it, yet the seal of God's messenger was preserved by fire, springing out of the earth as if it were yesterday? Now, thousands of years later, the bullae are on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, still bearing witness to the fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy.

God's Word cannot be altered by human actions, nor will it ever wither away because of unbelief. But sadly, there are many like Johoiakim who utterly despise it; others simply ignore it; but for those who love the truth, it means the difference between life and death.

1 Peter 1:24-25a – For all men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever. (NIV)

So then, how important is Bible teaching to you? Will you take time to read Jeremiah 36? What can be learned from the characters and events in this story?

Prayer: Sovereign Lord, we acknowledge that You are the King of the universe and the King of our lives. We thank You for the faithfulness and courage of Jeremiah's messenger, who spoke Your Word to a people not willing to hear the truth, yet his testimony lives on. May all who hear Your Word today choose to live by it. Fill those who believe with Your life-giving Spirit and the hope of eternity through the precious gift of Your Son. In Jesus' blessed name we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <dlalsina@mchsi.com>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A good reminder Lori.

    What a wonderful, thought-provoking devotional.

    Dear Lori: Thank you for today’s Word.
    Blessings on you.

    Another really well written and powerful word today Lori.

    Dear Lori,
    well you learn something new everyday! I guess I should not be surprised, but I am!

    Lori, again your words have given me hope that if we stay in God’s Word, He will keep us through everything life here on earth brings us, and to tell the truth, even if it seems no one is listening. Thank you so much.

    I look at Jehoiakim and wonder how he could be so blind & stubborn. Yet,
    don’t I do essentially the very same every time God’s word speaks to me and
    I disregard it? Thank you for a timely, poignant lesson!

    Good Afternoon, I was wondering if the book you mentioned would be good for a bible study group. We are looking for one for after Christmas. Also does it have a study guide. Many thanks.

    Dear Lori!
    Amen to your prayer and Amen to your words.
    Thanks for writing to us!

    Lori, Thank you for these words. You always catch things in the Word that a cursory reading misses. Thank you for the sharing, especially about the bullae find in Jerusalem. Blessings.

    Lori – Thank you for another look into the treasures of the Old Testament and the message of the prophets. This has a modern day application as a warning to those who would parse the Bible to just the passages that please men. These finds of archeology is such a faith builder. God bless you.

    Dear Lori,
    Thank you for the precious devotional.
    Such discoveries give us great proofs that the scriptures are authentic.
    Keep up your interest in these.
    The Dead Sea Scrolls are another witness to the authenticity of the Word of God.
    Keep writing.

    Sister Lori,
    How interesting. Thank you for sharing this.
    The fire set the clay, hence, the seal’s survival.
    More evidence to use as a witness tool.
    I love this story and will go to the museum’s website and see if I can find
    pics of the clay pieces.
    I will share with my kids & grand kids.
    And I ask FATHER to rain blessings upon you.

    Dear Lori!
    Things began to bounce off from Jer. 36.
    One can just picture the dangerous situation taking place.
    No different today.
    Today’s Jeremiahs lives warn us of the jeopardy to turn away from God. Jeremiah remained faithful for his call by God, and comforted God’s people of his time.
    Thank you for walking us through Jer. 36. Jeremiah dictated God’s Word the second time – proof that God’s Word is the same and prevails in spite of fallen kings.
    Truly the truth springs out to this day!
    God bless you!

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