Burning the Scriptures
Published 1:00 pm Saturday, July 8, 2023
“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 36:23, NKJV
Most of us shudder to think that anyone, much less a king of the Israelites, could be so disrespectful as to burn the Scriptures as they are being read. The mere thought can cause us to be outraged at such a callous action.
However, do we not do likewise, though without the flames, when we listen to the Word being read or preached and then show utter disregard for the message given? Is it any less a travesty to ignore God’s word time and time again, than to burn the pages with fire?
I submit to you that one is as equally deplorable as the other; while the burning might be more dramatic, the conscious rejection of Scripture is just as tragic. When we do not hide His words in our heart, when we do not meditate on what we have read or heard, we are also disrespecting His word to us, as they pass from our thoughts it as though they were burned.
Either way one’s refusal to be mindful of God’s messages to us results in an eternity spent apart from His presence; where there will be forever to mourn the lack of opportunity to listen to and obey God’s word. The very word that was so despised in life will become hauntingly, and painfully unattainable after death.
Therein lies the tragedy, and the irony; those who “burn” God’s word, with fire or by rejection, will themselves burn for eternity.
King Jehoiakim burned the scroll of Jeremiah because he did not want to hear the prophecy that told of the coming Babylonian captivity. God had Jeremiah prepare another scroll with even more of the same message.
God’s word will never pass away; whether we burn it or ignore it, once we hear it we are responsible for what it reveals to us.
Please listen and respect His word; think on what you have read or heard and call it to mind as you go about your day. In so doing, we allow His word to infiltrate our thoughts and become wisdom for the soul.
Rev. Bobby Thornhill is a retired pastor.