August 17 (Daily reading: Jeremiah 35-37) God told Jeremiah to write the prophecies that He had spoken to him. As Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote the words on a scroll. It was read to King Jehoiakim, and his response revealed the condition of his heart. He burned the scroll piece by piece as he heard it read. Even though the king was advised to not burn the scroll, he did not listen. “The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes” (36:24). Because of his actions, God said that there would be no one from his family to sit on David’s throne. This came true when the king of Babylon named Zedekiah to reign in the place of Jehoiachin, Jehoiakim’s son. God always means what he says: “What I have said, that will I bring about” (Is. 46:11, NIV).
A person’s daily life and their ultimate future are determined by what they do with the word of God. The fact that Jeremiah simply dictated the prophecies again indicated that God’s word cannot be eradicated by man’s ignorance or actions. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away” (Mt. 24:35). Jesus also talked about the importance of hearing His words and putting them into practice (Mt. 7:24). James said as much, “Prove yourselves doers of the word” (Ja. 1:22). Paul wrote: “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you” (Col. 3:16). When someone hears the word and believes, three powerful things take place: they pass out of death into life, they have eternal life, and they will never be condemned (Jn. 5:24). Even a mature Christian needs to be guided by the word of God every day. Every time a person reads God’s word, they have a choice of following or ignoring His instructions.
– Al Gary