[Jehoiakim] was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month, with a fire burning on the hearth before him. And it happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Jeremiah 36:22–23
When the word of the Lord that was written by Baruch under the dictation of Jeremiah was read to Jehoiakim, after only three or four columns, he cut and burned the writing in spite of the fact that “Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah implored the king not to burn the scroll” (Jer. 36:25). The king even wanted to seize Baruch and Jeremiah, “but the Lord hid them” (v. 26).
Our Lord Jesus said, “Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Mt. 5:18). Yes, “the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Pet. 1:25). You can silence a man, but you cannot silence the Word of God. Jehoiakim refused the authority of God’s word and wanted to get rid of the message. But God commanded Jeremiah to write again the words of the first scroll that Jehoiakim had destroyed.
It is also by the Word that judgment will be established: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (Jn. 12:48). If there is a judgment on him who adds to or takes away from the Word of God (Rev. 22:18–19), how much more for him who seeks to destroy it! And so, in answer to what Jehoiakim did, the Lord said concerning him that “his dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night” (Jer. 36:30)!
In contrast to Jehoiakim’s rejection of the Word of God, let it be precious to us, and let us keep it; that is, to know it more and more and to put it into practice in our lives. This will bring us blessing and glorify God.