Heed God's Word      Jer. 36:1-4, 14-16, 22-25, 29-30      May 01, 2005
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    Through the years I made a habit of asking older Christians if they would recommend their lifestyle to the young people of this nation. The answer is always a resounding "Yes!" As I have had opportunity to asked an old sinner if he would recommend his lifestyle to the youth of this nation, he said an emphatic "No!" My alcoholic dad would tell me about booze; "son take a fool's advice and never touch the stuff." What is the difference in these two testimonies? One heeded the word of God and one did not. Truly we need to Heed God's Word.

1.    Writing . . to Heed God's Word. 36:1-4

    A.    The . . Dating of the Writing. v 1
            1 In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah
from the Lord:

    B.    The . . Details of the Writing. v 2-3
            2 "Take a scroll, and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah, and all the nations from the time I [first] spoke to you during Josiah's reign until today. 3 Perhaps, when the house of Judah hears about all the disaster I am planning to bring on them, each one of them will turn from his evil way. Then I will forgive their wrongdoing and sin."

C.    The . . Dictation of the Writing. v 4
        4 So Jeremiah summoned Baruch son of Neriah. At Jeremiah's dictation, Baruch wrote on a scroll all the words the Lord had spoken to Jeremiah.

        Jeremiah dates the command of God to write His words, and he heeded the command. He also tells the details God spoke to him from the time of Josiah's reign. God wanted His words written so the people would know of His pending judgement; or if they repented His promise of forgiveness Jeremiah got a stenographer named Baruch and began dictating the words God gave him.

2.    Witnessing . . to Heed God's Word. 36:14-16

    A.    Witness through the . . Call to share the Word. Vv 14-15
        14 Then all the officials sent [word] to Baruch through Jehudi son of Nethaniah, son
of Shelemiah, son of Cushi, saying, "Bring the scroll that you read in the hearing of the
people, and come." So Baruch son of Neriah took the scroll and went to them. 15 They said
to him, "Sit down and read [it] in our hearing." So Baruch read [it] in their hearing.

    B.    Witness through the . . Concerning to share the Word. Vv 14-15
        16 When they had heard all the words, they turned to each other in fear and said to
Baruch, "We must surely tell the king all these things."

    Jeremiah's choice of Baruch proves itself as he responds to the call to share the words he wrote in the scroll. He gave a good witness. Next the hearers of the word wanted to go and witness to the king. This needs to be the action of all who hear God's word; go warn others!

3.    Warnings . . To Heed God's Word. 36:22-25

    A.    Warning Even in the . . Presence of the King. v 22-23
        22 Since it was the ninth month, the king was sitting in his winter quarters with a fire
burning in front of him.23 As soon as Jehudi would read three or four columns, Jehoiakim
would cut the scroll with a scribe's knife and throw the columns into the blazing fire until the
entire scroll was consumed by the fire in the brazier.

    B.    Warning Even in the . . Passivity of the King. v 24
        4 As they heard all these words, the king and all of his servants did not become terrified or
tear their garments.

    C.    Warning Even in the . . Prohibition of the King. v 25
        25 Even though Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah had urged the king not to burn the
scroll, he would not listen to them.

        When do we need to warn others about the judgement promised in God's word? The answer; we should always be ready to warn in all seasons, and every gathering of people, even in the presence of a king or president. King Jehoiakim displayed supreme disregard for the word, and sliced it up with a knife. The king and all his servants expressed a passive attitude about the reading of the word, and would not listen to the prohibition expressed by Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah. As you read these words you want to say, "if you knew what I knew you would not do that."

4.    Wages . . From Not Heeding God's Word. 36:29-30

    A.    The . . Disapproving Wages from not Heeding God's Word. . v 29
29 You are to proclaim concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: This is what the Lord says:
You have burned the scroll, saying: Why have you written on it: The king of Babylon will
certainly come and destroy this land and cause it to be without man or beast?

    B.    The . . Disqualifying Wages from not Heeding God's Word. . v 30
        30 Therefore, this is what the Lord says concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He will have
no one to sit on David's throne, and his corpse will be thrown out [to be exposed] to the heat of
day and the frost of night.

        We know the Bible says the wages of sin is death, and God told Jeremiah to tell Jehoiakim what wages his action earned for his disapproval of God's word. Jehoiakim destroyed the scroll, and God will allow the king of Babylon to destroy his city. Jehoiakim burned the scroll of God's Word, and God will allow his corpse to lay exposed in the streets and be burned from the heat of day. He is disqualified for a line of successors on the throne of David. The older I get the more important it is to me for my children and grandchildren to follow the Lord in their life. In a spiritual sense I will include that in the wages the Lord has allowed me to earn. It is a part of the legacy all of us may earn as we Heed God's Word.
Amen? Amen!