scornful woman August 6 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 36:8-32; 9:16-21; 10:17-25

Scorning God's Message

It has been said there is nothing like the scorn of a woman, but that is wrong. It could be said that there is nothing like the results of scorning God. When God gives a message that is meant for our good and we scorn it, God acts.

Jeremiah and his scribe, Baruch, were discouraged. Their message of judgment upon the nation of Judah made them unpopular. No one wanted them around. Jeremiah was evidently barred from even going to the temple.

Because of this, the unpopular prophet dictated God’s message of judgment to his scribe. Baruch faithfully copied every word that Jeremiah gave him, but it was approximately one year later before Baruch found the opportunity to deliver his message. Baruch delivered the message in the temple at a time when a fast had been called for everyone in Judah. Perhaps King Jehoiakim was trying to somehow elicit God’s favor without repenting. The nation of Judah was a vassal kingdom to the Babylonians, and King Jehoiakim wanted to remove his kingdom from under their yoke of oppression. Already all the king’s treasuries had been given to them. Jehoiakim needed all the help he could get, even from the one true God, whom he did not know.

The message given that day in the temple was reported to the palace. Jehoiakim sent representatives to go and listen to the message, so Baruch again read the scroll. When they heard the words of judgment, they were alarmed and told the king.

After they put the scroll in the room of Elishama the secretary, they went to the king in the courtyard and reported everything to him.

The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and Jehudi brought it from the room of Elishama the secretary and read it to the king and all the officials standing beside him.

It was the ninth month and the king was sitting in the winter apartment, with a fire burning in the firepot in front of him. Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe's knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire. (Jeremiah 36:20-23, NIV)

Jehoiakim was not at all affected by the words of judgment. He scorned God’s Word – he did not repent.

When Baruch returned, God told Jeremiah to write another scroll to replace that which the king burned up; the judgment was certain! Baruch once again copied all the words of the first scroll as Jeremiah dictated them, and then Jeremiah added other similar words.

Jerusalem was under siege. Soon Nebuchadnezzar would attack Jerusalem, and this would be a dark day for her. Jeremiah told the women of the city to mourn because “death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has cut off the children from the streets and the young men from the public squares,” (Jeremiah 9:21, NIV). He spoke as though it were already happening.

Jeremiah further told them to “gather up your belongings to leave the land, you who live under siege. For this is what the LORD says: ‘At this time I will hurl out those who live in this land; I will bring distress on them so that they may be captured,’” (Jeremiah 10:17-18, NIV)

It gave Jeremiah no pleasure to announce this; he wept and wailed over the fulfillment of his prophecy. He was trying to save their lives but to no avail. God would someday exercise mercy on Judah and Israel when he rescued them from exile and destroyed the nations that destroyed them, but not now. This was a time for God’s justice. The nation of Judah had scorned God’s word for the final time, and she would pay the price.

We may not be attacked by some foreign nation in the near future, but as individuals, do we scorn God’s Word? Only if we truly seek the LORD and repent of our ways will God save us (more...)

Lessons to live by:

  • If you proclaim judgment as part of God’s Word, do not expect to be popular.
  • When God gives a message that is meant for our good, and we scorn it, God acts.
  • There is only one way of salvation from our sins – Jesus Christ, God’s Son. If we scorn that message, there is no hope for us but eternal destruction. Why not turn to him for forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life? (more...)

Today’s Bible memory verses: Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else [than Jesus Christ of Nazareth], for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (NIV)

Hebrews 10:26-27 “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” (NIV)

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