In One Ear and Into the Fire

Bill Brinkworth

God gave His Word to the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36). It was given in hopes that the people of Israel, when they heard how their sin would be judged and punished by God, would repent and stop their wickedness. That is always the first desire of God. He does not want any to perish (II Peter 3:9).

Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe, heard the Words from Jeremiah and recorded them on a scroll. For an unspecified reason, the prophet was not allowed in the Temple. Jeremiah commanded Baruch to read it, in his place, to an array of princes. Fear struck the listeners and immediately they wanted the king to hear God’s judgment by hearing the Words from God. “Surely, as they were touched and convicted, so will the king be”, they must have thought.

Jehudi was selected to read the prophetic words to the king. Instead of being grieved and burdened as he heard a few pages read, the king took them, cut them up with his penknife, and threw them into the fire. As more were read to him, he did likewise. Soon all the Words given to Jeremiah were destroyed.

Just ignoring the Words, however, did not lessen his responsibility to deal with the warnings. As for the Word, it was simply rewritten, and today we have all the same Words that Jeremiah was given, plus some additional truths Jeremiah added. God could preserve His Words then, and He is still doing it today in the preserved King James Bible, despite all that man is trying to do to dilute His truths.

What is interesting is to see how these men handled what was heard. The prophet heard, knew their source, and knew they were valuable to share with others; so they could divert a terrible fate. He knew how many would react, but he still made sure others had the opportunity to hear God’s Words as he had. Today’s Christians should have a similar burden to want others to hear the truths as taught in God’s Word. If we do not tell others, who will?

The princes heard the same words, and were afraid of what was prophesied to happen. They too wanted another to hear it. I am sure they were hoping their leader would help change the situation, so their nation would not be judged by God.

The king reacted like so many do today. He heard the words, was not convicted or disturbed, and burnt them up. He did not do with the Truths as God had given him an opportunity to do.

Destroying or ignoring the truths from the Bible is certainly going on today. God’s Word is ridiculed and demeaned. We hear all the “arguments”, which include:

How are you handling the Word of God? Is it so precious to you that you are burdened to share it with others no matter what it costs you in popularity, friendships, and others’ opinions about you? Are you believing every Word, and trusting its Author, even though you may not initially understand it all? Are you asking and allowing the Spirit of God to help you understand His Word? Are the truths within the pages of God’s Word so important to you that you are making the effort to read and obey them; or are you allowing it to go in one ear and out into the fire as the king did, and not letting God’s Word influence and direct your life? Read God’s Word and let Him show you His truth.

“… For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48


This article was featured in The Bible View #269.

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