During my prayer, the Lord spoke to me in two different passages of Scripture. Together, this revelation gave me a clear understanding, for the passages relate to each another. The Words were both from those which Almighty God spoke to his prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 36:1-32 and 30:4-24. Just as Paul said in Acts 20:27: “For I did not keep back from declaring to you all the counsel of God” , I now share the following with you from the two passages.
The first Scripture is Jeremiah 36:1-7 which reads:
“And it happened in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, this Word came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, Take for yourself a roll of a book, and write in it all the Words that I have spoken to you against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah, even to this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I plan to do to them, that they may each man turn from his evil way, so that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah. And Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the Words of Jehovah, which He had spoken to him, on a roll of a book. And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up. I cannot go into the house of Jehovah. Therefore you go, and read in the roll which you have written from my mouth, the Words of Jehovah in the ears of the people in Jehovah’s house on the fasting day. And also you shall read them in the ears of all Judah who come out of their cities.”
This incident took place during the fourth year of King Jehoiakim (also the first year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon) when he captured Jerusalem; just before the scroll was written. Then, the Lord commanded Jeremiah to write a summary of warnings and reproofs; a salutary declaration that was given to him by God for his people and all nations. The Lord intended to give his people the opportunity to turn from their wicked ways, and to come before Him to seek His mercy and forgiveness, of their iniquities and sins. Facing hindrance, however, Jeremiah instructed his scribe Baruch, to write out the Word of the Lord, which had been spoken to him. Jeremiah, being forbidden by the king to appear in the temple, next instructed Baruch to go to the temple to read out God’s Word to the people on their fasting day, just as it was written from the scroll. This was the day that large crowds from all of Judah gathered at the temple seeking God’s mercy for their sins.
Jeremiah continued in v7-10
“It may be they will present their prayer before Jehovah, and will return, each one from his evil way. For great is the anger and the fury that Jehovah has spoken against this people. And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book, the Words of Jehovah in Jehovah’s house. And it happened in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, they called a fast before Jehovah to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem. And Baruch read in the book, the words of Jeremiah in the house of Jehovah, in the room of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entrance to the New Gate of Jehovah’s house, in the ears of all the people.”
Here, Jeremiah was holding out hope that perhaps in supplication, the people would fall down before the God. Then, he hoped, they will each turn from their wicked way; for the Lord had warned them of his wrath and expressed His the anger against them. Baruch obediently carried out the instruction of Jeremiah and read out the word to the people in the temple, that he had written in the scroll. On the ninth month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim, the people were ordered to observe a public fast; either because of the distress brought about by the Chaldean army or because of their need for rain to end a period of drought.
Now, as then, however, we need to remember that fasting, without reforming and turning away from sin, will not help us to escape God’s judgement.
Jeremiah 36:11-19 reads:
“When Micaiah the son of Gemariah, son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the LORD from the scroll, he went down to the king’s house, into the secretary’s chamber, and all the officials were sitting there: Elishama the secretary, Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, Elnathan the son of Achbor, Gemariah the son of Shaphan, Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the officials. And Micaiah told them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the scroll in the hearing of the people. Then all the officials sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, son of Shelemiah, son of Cushi, to say to Baruch, “Take in your hand the scroll that you read in the hearing of the people, and come.” So Baruch the son of Neriah took the scroll in his hand and came to them. And they said to him, “Sit down and read it.” So Baruch read it to them. When they heard all the words, they turned one to another in fear. And they said to Baruch, We must report all these words to the king. Then they asked Baruch, Tell us, please, how did you write all these words? Was it at his dictation?
Baruch answered them, He dictated all these words to me, while I wrote them with ink on the scroll. Then the officials said to Baruch, “Go and hide, you and Jeremiah, and let no one know where you are.”
After Michaiah heard Baruch read the scroll, he asked Baruch to read it to other officials and nobles who patiently sat through the whole preaching from the scroll. On hearing what was read by Baruch, they turned to each other in fear and decided to tell the king. However, they sensed the unfavourable response from Jehoiakim and suggested to Baruch that both he and Jeremiah, go into hiding.
Jeremiah 36:20-26 continued:
“So they went into the court to the king, having put the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the secretary, and they reported all the words to the king. Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it from the chamber of Elishama the secretary. And Jehudi read it to the king and all the officials who stood beside the king. It was the ninth month, and the king was sitting in the winter house, and there was a fire burning in the fire pot before him. As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the fire pot. Yet neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words was afraid, nor did they tear their garments. Even when Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son and Seraiah the son of Azriel and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the secretary and Jeremiah the prophet, but the LORD hid them.”
When the king was informed of the contents of the scroll, he ordered Jehudi to read it before him. After three or four columns were read, the king cut them off and burned them. Not only did Jehoiakim reject the Word of God, he also showed no signs of fear of God either, and in doing so, sinned greatly against Him. He further commanded the arrest of Jeremiah and Baruch, but failed in his attempt; as the Lord’s faithful servants were under divine protection and thus could not be found.
Even today, we still find people rejecting the Word of God and no matter what they say or do, no one can destroy it. Psalm 119:89 reveals to us that: “Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.”
Jeremiah 36:27-32 continues:
“Now after the king had burned the scroll with the words that Baruch wrote at Jeremiah’s dictation, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned. And concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah you shall say, Thus says the LORD, You have burned this scroll, saying, Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and will cut off from it man and beast?”
Therefore thus says the LORD concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat by day and the frost by night. And I will punish him and his offspring and his servants for their iniquity. I will bring upon them and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem and upon the people of Judah all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, but they would not hear. Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words of the scroll that Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And many similar words were added to them.”
Even after the scroll written by Baruch was destroyed, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah again and instructed the prophet to prepare another scroll with all the former words from the first scroll and to add the new Word from the Lord for Jehoiakim that “the wrath of God shall come upon him and his family by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar and that He shall be cut off. Following that, his son be de-throned after a reign for 3 months so that he shall have none to sit upon the throne of David.”
The 2nd Scripture that I would like to share with you is another revelation that the Lord had spoken to me during prayer. This passage provides us the contents of the scroll which Jeremiah was asked to prepare, and this is found in Jeremiah 30:4-24 which reads:
“These are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah: Thus says the LORD: We have heard a cry of panic, of terror, and no peace. Ask now, and see, can a man bear a child? Why then do I see every man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labour? Why has every face turned pale? Alas! That day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it. “And it shall come to pass in that day, declares the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and I will burst your bonds, and foreigners shall no more make a servant of him. But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.
“Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD, nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with you to save you, declares the LORD; I will make a full end of all the nations among whom I scattered you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.”
“For thus says the LORD: Your hurt is incurable, and your wound is grievous. There is none to uphold your cause, no medicine for your wound, no healing for you. All your lovers have forgotten you; they care nothing for you; for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy, the punishment of a merciless foe, because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant. Why do you cry out over your hurt? Your pain is incurable. Because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant, I have done these things to you. Therefore all who devour you shall be devoured, and all your foes, every one of them, shall go into captivity; those who plunder you shall be plundered, and all who prey on you I will make a prey. For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the LORD, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!”
“Thus says the LORD: Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and have compassion on his dwellings; the city shall be rebuilt on its mound, and the palace shall stand where it used to be. Out of them shall come songs of thanksgiving, and the voices of those who celebrate. I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will make them honoured, and they shall not be small. Their children shall be as they were of old, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all who oppress them. Their prince shall be one of themselves; their ruler shall come out from their midst; I will make him draw near, and he shall approach me, for who would dare of himself to approach me? declares the LORD. And you shall be my people, and I will be your God.”
Behold the storm of the LORD! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intentions of his mind. In the latter days you will understand this.”
What the Lord has said, He will fulfil. This is the understanding of the Word which the Lord also spoke to me recently. His message, this same message, was first posted here on 17 November, 2010 entitled “A Promised Restoration – After a Sure Judgment from God.” When the Lord gives us a divine warning, it is to demonstrate His mercy toward us. At the same time, God gives us the opportunity to turn away from our sins and to turn to Him. For it is He who delivers us and sets us free from captivity.
Let us take heed of the Word of God and present ourselves before Him as living sacrifices, pleasing in His sight.
Let us also at all times remember that the Word of God is special; not only for us, but for Him too. Psalm 138:2b tells us just how much; for it is there we read “You have magnified Your Word above all Your name.” Yes, God holds His Word, higher than His name! As Christians, as His people, we must also do the same. To the teachers of His Word, James gives a warning in his Epistle, 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” Teachers are held to higher standards than others, because they lead others in the understanding of God’s Word. Not only must they respect the Word, they must teach it honestly and correctly as led by the Holy Spirit. Finally, let us remember that the Lord warns us that tampering with God’s Word, brings judgement. Revelation 22:18-19 warns explicitly saying: “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
We are to treat the Word of the Lord with utmost honour and respect and; believe that what He says will come to pass. For the question for us is not if it will come to pass, but when.
Amen and Amen!