Jeremiah 36

Inspite of the fact that Jeremiah was no longer allowed to go into the temple of the Lord, vs 5, he still obeyed what God told him to do and dictated to Baruch, son of Neriah, who devotedly wrote down on a scroll all the words that God had given Jeremiah right from the time he began prophesying until that day, vs 1,2,4.

One can just imagine how much of matter that must have been! Not only did Baruch oblige, but, at Jeremiah’s request, he even took on the responsibility of going over to the temple and reading the same in the presence of all who visited the temple, vs 6,8-10. This was done with the hope that the people would turn from their sins and ask God for mercy and thus avert the great anger and wrath that God had planned against his people if they refused to repent, vs 3,7. Micaiah who heard what Baruch said conveyed the messages to the court officials, vs 11-13.

On hearing what Micaiah said, these officials sent Jehudi to Baruch to ask him to reread the writings to them. On hearing the reading of the same, they were alarmed and felt that the king needed to hear those messages too, vs 14-16. But before that they knew that Jeremiah and Baruch needed to be hidden, because both of them had dictated and written the messages respectively, and so their lives would be in danger, vs 17-19. On hearing the messages read by Jehudi, neither the king nor his attendants showed any alarm, sorrow or remorse that would make them turn from their wickedness, vs 20-24!

On the contrary, the king kept burning the portion that was read, on the fire in the fire pot, and refused to listen to those who told him not to do so, vs 25! Further he ordered for the arrest of Jeremiah and Baruch, vs 26, but the Lord hid them and instructed them to rewrite the scroll, which they did, but this time, only in much more detail, vs 27,28,32! God also sent word through Jeremiah that severe punishment would be given to the king, as well as his official and those people who disregarded His warnings and kept right on continuing to do what was evil in His sight, vs 29-31.

How do we react to the prophetic Word of God given to us? Do we react like the king and his officials did? If yes, then what are the consequences that we can face as a result? Are we as zealous as Jeremiah and Baruch to give God’s Word in an undiluted manner to God’s people, irrespective of the threats and harm to our lives that we may face as a result?

In these difficult times, let us take care to make the right choices, irrespective of the consequences that we may have to face as a result, for only then can we be assured of a life lived that is well- pleasing to God and a blessing to mankind. Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.