Summary: Some ignore the Word. Some are incensed by the Word. Some incarnate the Word.
THE ENDURING WORD OF GOD
INTRODUCTION: Adrian Rogers once said, “The only hope for America (or any nation I might add) is to change public opinion.” But how is that done? It is done one soul at a time and the only means by which it is accomplished is the authoritative, inspired, infallible word of God! If at the end of the day all we have is a holy hunch and a human opinion, that’s just not enough.
Stop and think about the word repentance. In the Greek the word is “metanoia”. “Meta” means change and “noia” means mind. Study Romans 12:2.
Come with me to this text. The summary of Jeremiah can be stated thus. Jehovah has sent Jeremiah to the Jews in Judah to warn them of the judgment to come. Why? Because they have neglected, objected and rejected God’s word! If they would repent they could know His justification and joy.
When it comes to God’s word there are three truths we all need to learn.
I. SOME IGNORE THE WORD (34)
Let me give you two good reasons not to ignore His word.
A. Our Future (34:1-7). Focus in on verse 5. If you will note all this was literally fulfilled. God’s word is sure and certain. Again look at v.5. I can’t tell you when, where or how you will die but you will. The Bible tells us “It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment.” Those who have bowed before Him and surrendered their lives will hear those words “Well done good and faithful servant.” Remember Jesus’ words in John 14:1-2. Those who have ignored and rejected Him will hear the words “Depart from me…I never knew you.” The word tells of our future.
B. Our Faults (34:8-22). Glance down at these verses and you will note God’s word about slavery. See Exodus 21:2. They had paid little attention to this law. They had ignored it. But in a moment of crisis they suddenly became all concerned. Isn’t that like many today? We resort to God’s word when we think it will be advantageous to us.
Why free the slaves? Simple. Placate God and ask them to fight. But when the
siege was lifted the people reneged on their promise. It was like a deathbed repentance. It was what one writer called “convenient religion”. “Commitments born in a crisis often times die in calm.”
Look at v.15. The word is polluted or profaned. That means to make common, not holy. They had disgraced His name. In Hebrews 2:3 it reads, “How shall we escape if we neglect (ignore) so great a salvation?” We should never ignore God’s word because it tells of our future and points out our faults. God’s word is given so that we might be prepared and, also, that we might confess and repent.
II. SOME ARE INCENSED BY THE WORD (36)
Pay close attention to two things.
A. Divine. Look at how the scriptures are inspired. (36:8, 14-18). You see here inspiration, proclamation and preservation. By the way, this is the only reference in the O.T. to ink. God’s word is permanent, not temporary or fading. Also see 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21.
B. Demolished (36:22-23). This is nothing short of a violent reaction. He shredded it and burned it piece by piece and probably with an element of delight. He sought to destroy the words and the power behind it. You may destroy the messenger but not the message. Look at how society tries to destroy scripture concerning life, evolution and marriage! Note 36:27-32. It was rewritten. It is the indestructible word of God! It stands forever! Every book on Earth has been given for information except the Bible! It was given for transformation.
III. SOME INCARNATE THE WORD (35)
Who were the Rechabites? This section is not here by accident. They stood in marked contrast to the shallow commitment of Judah.
The Rechabites were the descendants of Jonadab (2 Kings 10:15-23). He was a zealous devotee of the Lord. He was a fierce opponent of Baal worship. Two hundred years prior he had given them these commands. They were still following this holy, separated lifestyle.
Note a couple of things here.
A. Loyalty (35:1, 5-11)
B. Lesson (35:12-16)
They refused to be contaminated by the world. They incarnated (fleshed out) the
word. One called them “orthodox”. That’s interesting. The word “orthos” means straight (dentist or back surgeon). The word “doxa” means opinion. Thus, you have a “straight opinion” people. The only hope for a nation is to change public opinion!
CONCLUSION: When it comes to the word, some ignore it, some are incensed by it, but some incarnate it. What will you do with it?