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Daily Devotional Jeremiah 36:20–32

When a Mississippi church burned to the ground last August, firefighters were able to rescue a Bible that had sat on the pulpit every day for 178 years. One elder told a local TV station: “We are a Bible-believing church...the idea that essentially nothing in this church survived but the word of God—that’s not lost on us.”

The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous.

PSALM 19:9

God’s Word cannot be defeated! Today’s Old Testament narrative is just one example of how God has preserved His Word through the ages. Jeremiah had received a prophetic word from the Lord, dictated it to his friend and scribe Baruch, and sought an audience to share it with King Jehoiakim of Judah. But the king was wicked and some godly court officials saw trouble coming. They urged Jeremiah and Baruch to hide and took the message to the king themselves.

As the scroll was read to Jehoiakim, he cut it up piece by piece and fed it into the fire. This was a blatant act of pride, disrespect, and blasphemy. The very words of God were being read to him, and he responded with contempt. The writer could hardly believe that the king and his attendants showed no fear of the Lord (v. 24). They should have torn their clothes in grief and repentance. The godly friends of Jeremiah spoke up bravely, but to no avail (v. 25). The king ordered Jeremiah and Baruch arrested, but God protected them.

God faithfully preserved His Word—not miraculously in this case, but by ordering Jeremiah and Baruch to write it again (vv. 28, 32). The words of judgment against Judah’s sin would certainly come true in any case. In addition, Jehoiakim would die a shameful death and his royal line would come to an end (vv. 29–31).

>> Each generation must decide for themselves whether to obey God’s Word. When presented with similar words, King Josiah had publicly repented and brought revival to Judah. But how quickly things can change—Jehoiakim was his son (Jer. 36:1).

Pray with Us

As our all-powerful and all-loving God, You are able to preserve Your Word so that now, thousands of years later, we can be confident in the faithfulness of modern translations. Thank You, Lord!

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