Listen to this devotional:
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.