Slash and burn!
Scripture reading for August 11th: Jeremiah 34-36
Jeremiah 36 gave us a record an early process of recording Scripture. Jeremiah the prophet dictated to his secretary, Baruch, what God had revealed to him concerning the coming judgment of Jerusalem. Baruch took a pen and ink and wrote the words down on a papyrus scroll. (Jeremiah 36:18) He was told by Jeremiah to go and read the words to the people in the Temple. (Jeremiah 36:8) As he read the words of coming destruction and God’s wrath against the people because of their sins, the King’s officials heard the message. They asked him to read it again to them and decided that the king must be notified. They warned Baruch and Jeremiah to go and hide!
The king was sitting by a fire and had a scribe’s knife in his hand as the scroll was being read. As he heard the words of a portion of the scroll, the king cut it off, threw it into the fire and burned it up. (Jeremiah 36:23-24) He showed no fear or respect for what the Lord had said or for the written word of God. In fact, the king gave orders to arrest Jeremiah and Baruch, but the Lord had hidden them already!
As I read this account, I wonder if God’s people are still doing this same thing today? When some who claim to be Christians read the command “you shall not murder”, they don’t believe that it applies to them or the politicians they support. They simply ‘slash and burn’ the word of God! They vote to keep murder legal by supporting murderers. When some who claim the name of Christ hear that no homosexual offender will inherit the kingdom of God, they ‘slash and burn’ and sanction gay marriages and ordain gay pastors and priests. Still others cut out the verses concerning salvation by grace through faith and continue to teach a righteousness based on good works.
The ‘slash and burn’ mentality is bad theology and yield’s God’s wrath and judgment. King Jehoiakim lost his future place in the messianic line as well an honorable burial! (Jeremiah 36:30-31) All that was written by Jeremiah and Baruch came to pass because God watches over His word to perform it! (Jeremiah 1:12) Take time today to reflect on your treatment of God’s word. Make a fresh commitment to read, believe, and apply the word of God to your life.