The Scriptorium

The Abiding Word

Ignore it, reject it, burn it - God's Word remains. Jeremiah 34-38

The Indestructible Word (7)

Pray Psalm 86.10-12.
For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.
Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.

Sing Psalm 86.10-12.

(Andrews: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven)
For You are great, You wondrous deeds do;
You are the only and sovereign Lord.
Teach me Your way, let me give heed to,
with all my heart, Savior, all Your Word!
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord, be gracious to me,
praise Your Name forever, Lord!

Review Jeremiah chapters 34-38; meditate on Jeremiah 36.27, 28, 32

Prepare.
1. Why did God instruct Jeremiah to commit His Word to writing?

2. What do we learn about the process of Scripture’s inspiration from these chapters?

Meditate.
The focus of Jeremiah 34-38 is the Word of God, and how it serves as a watershed for people. Those who obey the Word of God – like Jeremiah and the Rechabites – dwell on the safe and fruitful side of God’s Word, enjoying blessings even in the midst of adversity. Those who despise God’s Word – whether by refusing to obey it or substituting their own ideas or other teachings for it – consign themselves to the promised threats and judgments of His covenant.

The kings of Judah, from Shallum to Zedekiah, disobeyed the Word of God. They listened to false prophets who kept saying that all would be well, and they put Jeremiah in jail for preaching the Word of God. When Jeremiah committed God’s Word to writing, Jehoiakim burned it in the fire. But the Word of God is indestructible. God commanded Jeremiah to prepare another scroll of what God had revealed to him; and he added much more to that scroll of the continuing Word of God. The Word of God is a living thing, and no amount of neglect, rage, or violence of men can keep it from accomplishing the purposes for which God sends it forth.

People may ignore God’s Word, deny it, despise it, try to destroy it, or simply refuse to read and meditate on it, thinking that by such actions they will discover a better way for themselves. But everything short of the clear teaching of the Word of God is a slippery slope, leading to disappointment, sin, and ruin. Jeremiah had previously told us how good and delightful it is to “eat” the Word of God (Jer. 15.16) – to feed our souls on its teaching, and bring our lives into its green pastures and beside its still waters. The Rechabites honored the Law of God and were blessed. Jeremiah honored the Word of God and was protected. Those who would not hear and submit to God’s Word set themselves up for disaster at the hands of God’s servant, Nebuchadnezzar.

The lesson is clear: We can ignore the Word of God if we choose. However, the Word of God remains; its promises never fail, and its threats will all be realized. We who claim to be followers of Jesus look to the Scriptures to see and know Him, increase in love for Him, and serve Him faithfully, even in a world that despises the Good News of forgiveness and eternal life. We may be scorned and ill-treated for our convictions, but as long as we hold fast to the sure and unchanging Word of God, we will be blessed.

Reflect.
1. What does God expect of us with respect to His Word?

2. What can keep us from feeding on and delighting in God’s Word?

3. How can you encourage other believers to read and meditate in the Scriptures?

The Prophet, no doubt, trembled, but as he felt bound to obey God’s command, he disregarded his own life, when he had to make the choice, whether to refuse the burden laid on him, or to provide for his own safety… Let us then learn simply to obey God, though the labor he requires from us may seem to be useless. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Jeremiah 36.32, 22

Let Your Word take deep root in me, O Lord, and use me today to…

Pray Psalm 86.1-9.

Look to the Lord to show you how you ought to follow His Word today – to love, bear witness, and grow in grace in everything you do.

Sing Psalm 86.1-9.
Psalm 86.1-9 (Andrews: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven)
Bow down Your ear, O Lord and hear me;
I am afflicted and much in need!
Rescue my godly soul, be near me;
save me, O God, all my crying heed!
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord, be gracious to me,
all day long I pray and plead.

Lift up my soul, fill me with gladness;
Lord You are good, You will soon forgive.
Show me abundant lovingkindness;
let all who call on You ever live.
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord, be gracious to me,
heed to my poor pleading give.

When in my trouble, Lord, I call You,
You answer me; there is none like You!
There are no works like Yours, and all whom
You have created shall worship You.
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord, be gracious to me,
all shall glory give to You!

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore