Who is the bestselling novelist in history? Agatha Christie, the mystery writer! Her novels have sold more than one billion copies in English and another one billion in more than 100 other languages. An estimated 32 million Americans have read at least one of her books, including such classics as Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express.
Only Shakespeare and the Bible have sold more copies. Scripture is of course the most valuable book ever written in more ways than one. But this didn’t stop King Jehoiakim (605 B.C.) from showing disrespect and contempt for the word of the Lord.
God gave Jeremiah a message of judgment to deliver to the king. His friend and secretary, Baruch, wrote it down on a scroll and took it to godly palace officials. Knowing how the king was likely to respond, they took steps to hide the two men and to protect the scroll. Nonetheless, the king ordered it to be brought and read in his presence.
As this was done, King Jehoiakim deliberately took a knife, cut off each section of the scroll as it was read, and burned it in the fire that was warming the room (v. 23). The entire scroll was destroyed in this way. Stunningly, no one was disturbed by the scroll’s content or by the king’s profane actions. We need to feel the depths of sinfulness behind this horrifying act. The king showed absolutely no fear of the Lord (v. 24). In fact, he ordered Jeremiah and Baruch arrested. God, however, protected them, in part through their courageous friends (vv. 19, 25–26).
God caused the king’s actions to come to nothing. The scroll was rewritten (v. 28). The message would come true regardless. And further, Jehoiakim would be severely punished for his evil deed (vv. 29–31).
>> As believers, we have to love and respect God’s Word (Ps. 119:97; 2 Tim. 3:16). It holds a place of high importance in our lives. Why not invite a friend to know God’s Word by sharing Today in the Word with them?
Your Word is life. Because we so easily take it for granted, we focus on the gift of Scripture, Your chosen instrument of self-revelation. Filled with eternal truth, Your Word enables us to know You.