Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Vision (10/4/12): The Indestructible Word

Note:  Last Sunday morning I preached a message drawn from Jeremiah 36, reflecting on the time when wicked King Jehoiakim attempted to destroy the Word of God by cutting up the prophecy of Jeremiah written down by the prophet’s servant Baruch and throwing it into the fire.  The chapter ends with this verse (v. 32):
Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.
Here are my abbreviated notes on three reflections drawn from Jeremiah 36:
1.      Here we see the brazen hostility of sinners against the Word of God!
In Romans 1:18 Paul described unregenerate men as those who hold or suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18).  The actions of King Jehoiakim in Jeremiah 36 is merely a brazen example of that spirit.
I remember a few years back reading of an actor who proudly claimed that in every hotel he stayed in that had a Gideon Bible he would rip out the book of Leviticus because of its denunciation of homosexual behavior.  As many times as he rips out those pages, he cannot destroy the Word of God.
Matthew Poole observed:  “Wicked men get nothing by opposing themselves to the revealed will of God, how ungrateful soever it be to them, but the addition of guilt to their souls, and the increase of Divine wrath; God’s counsels shall stand, and what he speaks shall most certainly be accomplished.”
2.      Here we also see the Lord’s commitment to preserve his Word.
Now, remember this account comes from a time when the canon of Scripture was not complete.  They had the law.  Now the words of the prophets were being revealed.  Here we see how the book of Jeremiah itself was revealed stage by stage until the full measure of the inspired book was complete.  If God was able so carefully to preserve his Word in the days of Jeremiah against such savage attacks, has he not been able in all times to do the same?
3.       The hostility against the written Word prefigures as well the hostility that would later be expressed against the living word.
Just as the efforts to destroy the written word resulted in its restoration in a fuller and more complete form, so the efforts of wicked men to destroy the Lord Christ, the heir of the vineyard, on the cross only resulted in his being raised from the dead to a more powerful and glorified state in his resurrection body, ready to call men to walk in newness of life.

The Word of God is indestructible.  That includes the written Word and it includes the living Word!

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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