Let’s turn in our Bibles to Jeremiah, chapter thirty five, as Jeremiah was facing much the same kind of situation as we are facing pretty much at the present time. Where people are turning their backs against the Lord and the things of the Lord.
Now the first verse sets the background for the chapter, in that he gives to us the approximate time that the prophecy was given to him, and the people to whom it was involved.
The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, Go into the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them and bring them into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink. So I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites; And I brought them into the house of the Lord, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door: And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. But they said, We will not drink wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither you, or your sons for ever (35:1-6):
Now the Rechabites, the clan, were actually Kenites. They were not really Israelites, but their heritage was traced back to the father-in-law of Moses. Thus there’s a close association with Israel, but the father-in-law of Moses of course, lived in the area of Sinai. Moses when he fled from Egypt for forty years, living there in the Sinai peninsula area, met Jethro, married his daughter. And so the Kenites were descendants from Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses.
Now, Rechab from whom the clan got its name, lived at about the time of Jehu. His son Jonadab made a covenant with Jehu. So, this means that Jonadab lived about three hundred years before this event that we have tonight. So that the commandment that was given by Jonadab, to his boys and all, not to drink wine, was a commandment that was some three hundred years old. Now how many of you know who your relatives were three hundred years ago? You know we have no idea! Of uh, what if the ancestors of yours, three hundred years ago, got his boys together, and said, “Now boys, I don’t want you to drink any wine, or any of your children after you. Don’t live in houses, but actually dwell in tents. Don’t plant any vineyards…”
How many of you think that you would be obeying some edict that was given by some relative that far back? And yet that’s exactly the case you have with the Rechabites. There is this traditional thing with them. That because of the commandment of Jonadab, their son of Rechab, to his children, not to drink any wine, not to plant any vineyards, not to sow any seeds, not to build houses, but to dwell in tents. They were keeping still, that commandment.
That is why, I believe that the Bedouins of today are descendants of Rechab. I think that they’re probably from this same clan. Because to the present day they still dwell in tents. The Israeli government tried to put them in houses. They built a housing unit for them near Beersheba and they tried to get the Bedouins into a housing unit, but the Bedouins pitched their tents next to the houses, and they used the houses for their chief, and all, at night. And they slept in their tents!
They’re an interesting people. They have an interesting culture. Part of the culture is not drinking wine. They’re great coffee drinkers, and the social drink is coffee with them. There’s a lot of significance in how they prepare the coffee, and how they serve the coffee, and whether it be sweet or bitter, or whatever. Just a lot of fascinating cultural aspects to the Bedouin people today. Still living in tents. Still not planting any crops. Still not planting vineyards. Just living on the mountain sides, out in the wilderness, and keeping their flocks of sheep and goats. They’re an interesting group of people.
So these men, the Rechabites, when the Babylonians had invaded the land, after the first invasion in 606 B.C., it had left Israel in such a weakened condition, that Syria and other neighboring countries began to attack them because of their weakened condition. Thus the Rechabites for security purposes, moved from the fields into Jerusalem, that they might have the advantage of a fortified city, the walls of Jerusalem. So, at this particular time, they were living in Jerusalem.
Jeremiah was told of the Lord to invite them to come to this room that was in the temple. There were rooms that were storerooms. There were rooms that were for the priests that lived there, and there were rooms of general assembly. This was one of the rooms of assembly, and he set the family down. A great clan that was there and he brought out wine and invited them to drink; and, they refused to drink, making reference to this commandment that was given some three hundred years earlier by one of their ancestors, Jonadab, to his children.
So, Jonadab [in verse six] commanded us saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither you, nor your sons for ever: [I mean this was a forever thing.] Neither shall you build houses, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyards, nor have any: but all your days you will dwell in tents; that you may live many days in the land where you are strangers (35:6-7).
So this was the purpose of being just not settled down, nomadic. Living in tents, that they may be many days, and if indeed, and I do believe the Bedouins are descendants to Rechab. They’re still living in the land. You’ll see the tents pitched, especially between Jerusalem and Jericho, as you travel down the road from Jerusalem towards Jericho. You’ll see all these Bedouin encampments. But you’ll see them all over. You’ll see them near Jerusalem, around towards Bethlehem, the wilderness areas. These Bedouins still are all over the land. The interesting thing is that though they still just live in tents and all, they now have generators, and you’ll see TV antennas above the tents. Jonadab didn’t know anything about TV or I’m sure he would’ve forbidden them to watch those things too.
[So, they declared in verse eight], Thus we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he charged us, to drink no wine all of our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters; Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed: But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we dwell in Jerusalem (35:8-11).
So, they’re sort of apologizing for being in Jerusalem. It was only because of the fear of the Babylonians and the Syrians that they had fled to the walled city of Jerusalem. Jeremiah was impressed at the obedience of these people, to the ancient commandment of their ancestor Jonadab. It impressed him that these people three hundred years later would still be observing the customs that were set forth by this ancestor of theirs.
And then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the Lord (35:12).
So, Jeremiah is now to go out and talk to the Jews. The Lord is saying to them, “Won’t you receive instruction, won’t you hearken to my words?”
Now the words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, they are performed unto this day for they drink none, but they obey their fathers commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me. I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me (35:14-15).
So God is pointing out these Rechabites, He said, “Look they’re obeying the commandment of Jonadab, their father. Now I have given you commands, and you’re not hearkening unto me, unto my words. And I’ve sent my servants, the prophets to warn you, and still you will not listen. So God is calling them to do three things. First of all turn from your evil ways.
What constitutes evil? From a Biblical standpoint, evil is anything that destroys you or that destroys others around you. The commandments of God were to protect people from destroying themselves, and from destroying each other. You know it’s unfortunate, but man seems to have a severe lack of judgement, and he does things that are destructive to him. He doesn’t seem to want to stop doing those things, though he knows they’re going to destroy him.
Look at how many people, how many families have been destroyed by alcoholism. You probably know of a family or a person that’s been destroyed by it. Hardly a family in America hasn’t been touched in some way or another by alcoholism. I have three uncles that died of alcoholism. I saw what it did to them. I saw the damage and the loss of judgement and all. The impaired judgement and all the loss of their fortunes, and just because they could not control the urge to drink. It’s not just alcoholism.
It’s one thing after another, that God has forbidden because of its destructive nature, and it constitutes in God’s vernacular, evil. Evil is that which destroys. Good is that which builds up. That which will edify you and strengthen you. Healthy. God says that’s good. That which destroys you or your family, or tear you down, or tear down the society in which you live. God said that’s evil. You see God wants the best for you. As a loving Father, He is interested in your welfare and what is best. Even as you, being a loving father, want what is best for your children, that is if you’re a decent father, and God help us.
We are living in a day which God has described, we are living in a day that there would be those without natural affection. Some people have tragic experiences from ungodly fathers. That’s sad indeed, and my heart goes out to such a person. But, a decent father wants what is best for his child. So you’re watching them, and you’re desiring the best for them.
Well your Heavenly Father is a good, loving father, and He loves you, and as your child, He wants what is best for you. He has given commandments that are for your good, they’re for your welfare. They are for a maintaining of a social order. Because to develop any kind of a degree of a social order, you must have rules that are followed and regulated by society.
God established the basic rules for society. God, when He gave the ten commandments, and when He gave the law to Israel, He declared that by keeping this law, you’ll live long, you’ll remain in the land, you’ll be a strong community of people. But if you break these commandments, then you’ll be destroyed and you’ll be driven from the land. They are basic, foundational laws for the preservation and the development of a strong, healthy society.
When the United States was established, our forefathers, based our whole system of laws upon the ten commandments, and the law of God. These were the foundations of our society, and our nation grew strong, and powerful. Now we have come to a point in our nation, where we are seeking to free ourselves from the ten commandments. The Supreme Court has done a pretty good job in misinterpreting the constitution. So that those constitutional laws that were intended for our benefit and for our good to keep us on the right track, have been misinterpreted by the Supreme Court rulings. Rather than freedom of religion, they have interpreted it as freedom from religion. They have missed completely the intention of the founding fathers of our nation. Because of their ruling they’ve opened up the door for pornography, under the guides of free speech. They’ve opened up the doors for abortions. They’ve opened up the doors for all kinds of evil to prevail adultery, homosexuality, every thing else, all kinds of sexual sins, because of consenting adults freedom.
Under the name of freedom they have brought people into horrible bondage. Don’t tell me that that fellow that’s shooting up heroin is free. That fellow that’s using coke is free. He’s a slave! Don’t tell me that person that engaged in elicit sex is free. He’s a slave to his own lusts! God was wise and knew what He was doing when He established the laws.
Now, here are people who are obeying traditional, cultural thing, that were passed down from their ancestors, some three hundred years earlier, but still they were obedient. That’s commendable! They were still following these laws that were set by Jonadab, and here are the people of God, with the perfect law of God, and they’re not listening to God. They’re not heeding and hearkening to God. So God said, “Return from your evil ways”. Secondly, He said, “Amend your doings. Change.”
People though are rebelling against changing their evil ways. Once having established their ways, they don’t want to change. Even though they know that their ways are destructive, and their ways are destroying. I do believe that there are people who are deliberately seeking to destroy everything that is good and moral in the United States. I believe that the ACLU is dedicated to destroying any morality within the United States at all.
I believe that the P.A.W., The People of the American Way, are the same way. They are opposing anything that is decent, and they’re upholding everything that is filthy and vile, because, I believe that they have on their agenda to destroy the strength and the power of the United States. I think that’s the underlining factor. And they’re doing it in the name of freedom. They don’t want to change. But the sad thing, there are so many people that are deceived by these advocates of a free society, and there’s no desire to change, even though we see what it is doing.
Look at the breakdown in our society. Look at the crime in our streets. Look at the gang wars. Look at the killings. Look at the wide spread sexual abuse of the children, babies. Look at the thousands of homeless people, some of them mothers with children whose husbands have left, and they have no way of getting along. My heart goes out to them. They’re the byproducts of a society that is corrupted and is being destroyed. Though we see the first fruits of this permissiveness and all, yet people don’t want to change, they want to continue.
The Lord said, “Don’t go after other gods.” The gods that they were going after were, Molech, the god of pleasure. They were going after Mammon, the god of power. They were going after Ashtoreth, the goddess of sexual fertility and excitement. And God is calling them back to Him. These other gods, will destroy you. Only the living God can give life. And the Lord promises them, “If you will turn to me, amend your ways, turn from your evil, then you will dwell in the land which I have given to you and your fathers”. But the Lord said, “You’ve not inclined your ear to me nor hearkened to me.” Now again, it just follows. God has given us the basic laws for the preservation of a strong society. You break those laws and you’re going to have social disorder on all sides, and we’ve got the social disorder.
We’ve broken the law of God. Now if we continue in the present path, we cannot continue to exist as a nation. The, it’ll be so corrupt, that it can’t exist any longer. Even now we’re getting at a balancing point where it’s dangerous to go to a shopping mall. It’s dangerous to go to your own home. There’s a real breakdown of law and order in our society.
As it was at the time that Jeremiah was prophesying to the people. They had a breakdown, and things were just about ready to go. And God is saying, “Turn to me, and you can still dwell here in the land.”
Because the sons of Jonadab [verse sixteen] the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me: [what a paradox here!] Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all of the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them (35:16-17):
God is saying, “Because they won’t obey, I’m going to bring all the evil that I have prophesied or announced that is going to come”.
Now you might turn to Isaiah, chapter forty five. There is a passage of scripture there that people have had difficulty with, and I think that this will clear it up for them. Isaiah forty five, seven. And here the Lord declares, “I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil.” Many people have been stumbled by the statement that God created evil. But what is being referred to there is the judgement that is going to be coming upon the nation, through the invasion, by the Babylonians. Their destruction, and that is the evil that is being referred to. It doesn’t mean that God has created evil, in the sense of wicked things. But the judgements that God has announced, they are evil and it’s the Hebrew word “raw” and it is translated, “sorrow, or wretchedness, or adversity or affliction toward calamities”, but never sin. So the evil is just the calamities that are gonna come. And God has created those calamities for them.
Because, [And He gives you the reason.] I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, and yet they haven’t answered. [So, verse eighteen] Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and you have kept all his precepts, and done according to all that he has commanded you: Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Jacob; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever (35:17-19).
So the tribe of the Rechabites will go on, and they will continue to inhabit the land. They will stand there in the land forever. So, go over there today, you’ll see the tents, you’ll see the people that don’t drink wine, you’ll see the people who don’t plant vineyards. The Rechabites go on.
It came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim [And so again, he gives you the time that the prophecy came. Jehoiakim was in his fourth year. This was about the twenty second year of Jeremiah’s prophesying.] the son of Josiah the king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Take thee a scroll and write therein all of the words that I spoke to you against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day that I spoke unto you, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day (36:1-2).
So, he’s to record the last twenty two years of the prophecies that had come. Now, not all of them, but probably a sort of a general kind of a summarizing. But it was no doubt a lengthy scroll that Jeremiah had written of the past twenty two and a half, twenty three years of prophesying to the nation. He’s to put it all down now in this scroll. He had no doubt written some of the earlier prophecies, they were in scattered fragments. It’s now to be compiled and put together.
It may be that the house of Judah will hear of all of the evil which I purpose to unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin (36:3).
God gives man every opportunity to repent. God gives warning after warning after warning. God warns us in many different ways. God will put stumbling blocks in your path. God will do all that He can, short of violating your free will, to keep you out of hell. The Bible speaks of the wrath of God, and the judgements of God, but those people upon whom it will come, it said, “Have trodden underfoot the blood of God, or the blood of Jesus Christ, have counted the covenant wherewith He was sanctified an unholy thing. Have done despite to the spirit of grace.” I mean, you’ve gotta trample over Jesus, you’ve got to trample over the Holy Spirit, you’ve got to trample over the word of God, and fight every step of the way to be destroyed. Because God is going to be there to warn you, and to turn you back, and to call you back. But you’ve got to ignore all of that, and you’ve got to continue, stubborn and steadfast in your evil, to make it. Hell’s the hardest place in the world to get into. But if you’re stupid enough and stubborn enough, you’ll make it. But, you’ll have to fight to do it.
Now here’s God still, “Write it in a scroll. Maybe some will listen, maybe some will hearken that they might be saved, that I might forgive them.” And that’s God’s prime desire is to forgive their iniquity and their sin. God desires to forgive you, all He wants is an excuse! Just you saying, “Lord forgive me. I’m sorry.” That’s all He desires, is just you to turn from that sin which is destroying you.
[So the purpose], maybe they will return from their evil, that I might forgive their iniquity and their sin. So Jeremiah called Baruch [Who was a scribe.] he was the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord, which he had spoken unto him, upon a scroll of a book. And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; [in prison] I cannot go into the house of the Lord: [Not in prison, but he was commanded to stay out of the temple. He had done his little scene at the temple, and so he was under orders to stay away.] and so he said, I cannot go into the house of the Lord: Therefore you go, and read the scroll, which you have written from my mouth, the words of the Lord in the ears of the people in the Lord’s house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in all the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities (36:3-6).
Now, in 606 B.C., which was the fourth year of Jehoiakim the king, or this same year in which Jeremiah was writing out this scroll, Nebuchadnezzar took the city of Jerusalem, however he did not destroy it. He took the king as a captive and he put, the Egyptians had already been conquered, they put Jehoiakim on the throne, and then Nebuchadnezzar came, he took the city. He took some of the treasures out of the temple and he took Daniel and others as captives, back to Babylon.
Now, Jehoiakim immediately after the Babylonian troops had withdrawn, he began to stir the people towards rebelling against Babylon. He was seeking to use a religious kind of a fervor to get them to rebel. So this particular feast, and this fasting day, it wasn’t a feast, it was a day of fasting, the people were gathering to the temple. It was a year from the time that Babylon had made their first conquering of Jerusalem. So it was an anniversary. But they called the people to fast therein the temple, in order to whip them up in a rebellion against Babylon. Encouraging them to rebel. Now, the prophesies of Daniel were telling them to surrender to Babylon. All the way through he was saying, “Look, God is delivered you into the hand s of the Babylonians. Don’t resist, and you’ll live. Don’t rebel against them or you’ll be destroyed.” And he has, his messages were those of appeasement, really. And surrender to the Babylonians because God had appointed that they should spend seventy years in captivity to Babylon, and this is what the prophecies were all about. So they were just the opposite of what the king was trying to promote. He was trying to promote rebellion, you know. “Let’s rise up. Let’s rise up against Babylon.” And the prophecies of Jeremiah are just the opposite of what the king is trying to create this spirit in the people.
So here came Baruch, into the temple. Jeremiah wasn’t allowed but Baruch came in and he opens up this scroll. And the people are fasting and the king’s trying to get them all whipped up in a fervor, to rebel. And he starts reading these prophecies, of how Babylon is ordained to take them and not to resist or fight against the Babylonians, or they’re going to be carried away for seventy years in these things.
So, therefore read the scroll which you’ve written, and the words of the Lord, in the ears of the people, in the Lord’s house upon the fasting day: and you shall read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities. It may be that they will present their supplication before the Lord, and will return every one from his evil way: [And it’s possible that God might work a miracle among them and when they hear these words, there will turn from their wickedness.] for [Jeremiah said] great is the anger and the fury of Lord that he has pronounced against this people. So Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, [and he was] reading in the book the words of Jehovah in Jehovah’s house. And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim [that’s the year after the Babylonians had conquered] the son of Josiah the king of Judah, in the ninth month [which would be the month of December], that they proclaimed a fast before the Lord to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem (36:6-9).
So it was on this day, in December, the fifth year of Jehoiakim the celebration, or the anniversary of the conquering by Babylon.
Then Baruch read the scroll the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, and in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, [Now, this is the one who’s seal has been found in the recent archeological diggings in Jerusalem. The seal of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan the scribe. Being a scribe, sort of a public notary, he had his own seal. When they made documents, put the wax on them, they had these little clay seals and they would impress their seal upon the documents, as a scribe. Interestingly enough, about eight years ago, as they were digging through the rubble of the ancient Jerusalem that was destroyed, they found the various seals in this one house, and they found this exact seal, Gemariah. And it says on it, Gemariah the son of Shaphan. It just it is exciting, because you see it here in Jeremiah and just recently that very seal that Gemariah used, has been found. And I’ve been trying to talk a merchant friend of mine there to make replicas of that seal. I would love to have the replica of it. Those Arabs are very clever in making ancient coins and everything else that they sell to the tourists. And they could make a very good replica of this seal. I said, “I think that every Christian tourist that came to Israel would want to buy one, because put the scripture with it and the background for it, and sell these little replicas of that seal. I would be a fascinating. I would love to have one, just there on my desk. A replica of this seal that has been discovered there in Jerusalem by Professor Shiloh, in the digs there on Offal. Gemariah the son of Shaphan. Ooh! That’s so neat!] he is the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the Lord’s house, [there were actually three gates] and in the ears of the people. [This is where he was to read. In the chamber of Gemariah.] So when Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, had heard out of the book all of the words of the Lord, he went down into the king’s house, into the scribes chamber: and all of the princes were sitting there, [and he gives the names of the princes, and I could read them, but it would be difficult, just all the names of the princes and that’s good enough. Verse thirteen.] Then Michaiah declared unto them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book in the ears of the people (36:10-13).
So he went running down to where all of the scribes were, there at the king’s house. He said, “Baruch is up there reading and this is what he is saying”.
So the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, and Baruch, to Baruch, saying, Take in your hand this scroll that you have read to the people, and come. [So he was sort of rested in a way, “Bring the scroll with you. Come on down”.] So Baruch the son of Neriah took the scroll in his hand, and he came unto them. And they said unto him, Sit down and read to us. So Baruch read to them. And now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid, [When they realized what God had pronounced against them, a real fear gripped their hearts.] and they said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of these words (36:14-16).
It would seem that they were really under Godly conviction, and so they went to this godless king, Jehoiakim.
So they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us, How did you write all these words at his mouth? Now Baruch answered them, and said, He just announced or told me all these words, and I wrote them with ink in the book. [“As Jeremiah said it, I wrote it down in ink”.] And the princes said unto Baruch, Go, and hide, you and Jeremiah; don’t let anybody know where you are. So they went to the king into the king’s court, and they set the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and they told the king the words of the scroll. So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the scroll: and he took it out of the chambers of Elishama. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and the ears of the princes which stood beside the king. Now the king was sitting in the winterhouse because it was the month of December: and there was a fire burning before him. And so it came to pass, that when Jehudi read three or four of the leaves of this scroll, that he cut it with his penknife, and he cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all of the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth (36:17-23). [So, read a few pages, the king cut the whole thing up and just threw it in the fire.] He was not afraid, nor did he tear his garments, neither did the king or his servants that heard these words (36:17-24).
And so the king treated with disdain, the word of the Lord, as many people today are treating with disdain, the word of God. Thinking that they can perhaps destroy God’s word. Rather than listening to the word of God, they want to destroy the word of God. There are people who have set their hearts against the word of God to the extent that they spend their whole life seeking to destroy the word of God.
I was told by a student at Orange Coast College that he enrolled for a class that is, The Life and Times of Jesus, and the class is taught by a fellow who pastors a church in Costa Mesa. But he said to them on the opening day of class, “I’m not going to insult your intelligence by trying to assume the words in the Bible are true or the words of God, and that these supposed miracles took place.” That was his introduction to the class. Not wanting to believe the word of God, not wanting to obey the word of God. They seek to destroy the word of God.
That was Satan’s ploy from the beginning. “Hath God said?” The challenging or the questioning of the word of God, because a person doesn’t want to believe. The king didn’t want to believe what God was saying, he thought he could destroy the word of God, and thus escape the things of the word. But you can’t escape. What He has said, He’s going to do! You may not believe it. You may try to destroy it. You may burn your bible, but it’s not going to stop what God is going to do. What God is gonna do, God is gonna do! Whether you believe it or not.
Though the king didn’t fear, didn’t repent, but instead tried to destroy the word, God’s word did come to pass and the word of God against Jehoiakim, was fulfilled.
[So verse twenty five] Elnathan and Deliaiah and Gemariah made intercession to the king that he would not burn the scroll: but he wouldn’t hear them (36:25).
These three fellows said, “Don’t do that! Don’t do that!”, but the king didn’t pay any attention.
But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seriah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, [And all these other fellas. I just read them so you’d know that I could read them.] He ordered the to arrest Jeremiah and Baruch, but the Lord had hid them. So the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, after the king had burned the scroll, and the words which Baruch had written at Jeremiah’s mouth, And Jeremiah said, Take thee again another scroll and write in it all of the former words that were in the first scroll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned (36:28).
So how do you stop guys like this? Just write a new scroll!
And you shall say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, you have burned saying, Why have you written those things, saying, That the king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease there from man and beast (36:29)?
Jehoiakim was angry that that was prophesied, that the king of Babylon was going to destroy them, and all of the land and the beasts.
Therefore thus saith the Lord of concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day of heat, and in the night to the frost. [There won’t be any of his children to sit upon the throne. What happened is that when Jehoiakim was captured by Nebuchadnezzar and taken as a captive to Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar set up his son Jeconiah to sit upon the throne. Jeconiah was only there for three months until he was overthrown, and Zedekiah who was the brother of Jehoiakim came upon the throne.] And God said of Jochania, there would be none of his seed sitting upon the throne (36:30).
So Jehoiakim was cut off, the family line was cut off three months after he was taken captive, when Jochania his son was deposed. And so the prophecy of Jeremiah came to pass, and of course Jeconiah died as a captive in Babylon. There was no mourning of his death.
And I will punish him, [that is Jeconiah] and his posterity and his servants for their iniquity; [They didn’t fear the word of God. They disdained the word of God, they mocked the word of God, and so now they will be punished by God.] I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; because they would not hearken (36:31).
Again, the idea of obedience. Listening, hearkening to God.
So Jeremiah took another scroll, gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all of the words of the book which Jehoiakim the king of Judah had burned in the fire: and Jeremiah [just for good measure] added beside those, many similar kind of words (36:32).
I mean, they laid it out a little heavier next time, adding to it.
I am impressed with the faithfulness of God, with the patience of God, with the goodness of God, as I read the text. Surely it bears witness to the scripture that says that, “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” And God gave them every opportunity to turn from their evil. Sent His prophets to warn them of the destruction that would come if they persisted in their evil path. Their judgement only came after their steadfast refusal to listen to God.
In the world today, there are still the two categories. Those who have given heed to the word of God and have come in repentance, to seek God’s forgiveness, who have received that forgiveness of God and the hope of eternal life. There are those who are still refusing to listen to God’s word. Making fun of the word of God. Trying to destroy the word of God. Those against whom the judgement of God is building and shall surely come. You’re in one of two camps. I’m glad I’m in His camp, and I intend to stay there.
Father we thank You for Your faithfulness, Your patience, and the fact that You were willing to give them opportunity after opportunity to repent of their evil, and to return back to You. To forsake their gods that were destroying them, and to surrender their lives to the true and the living God. To again obey and follow the commandments that end to life instead of disobedience which led to death. Lord, we realize that even as Jeremiah faced a sneering, mocking crowd, who were rejecting Your word, so around us on the job, in the classroom, there still is that sneering, mocking crowd, rejecting your word. But Father we thank You that Your Word is true, and that You have granted us the forgiveness of our sins, and that promise of eternal life, through Jesus Christ which is the basis of our hope, and which sustains us in this evil world. Lord let us walk in obedience to Your Word. May we ever hearken to Your voice. May we do those things Lord, that are pleasing and acceptable in Your sight. Keep us Lord, from evil. The evil of rebellion. The evil of disobedience. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7299