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Bible Pathways 08/24/2003

August 24

Read Jeremiah 34 -- 36

In Today's Reading:

Jeremiah's warning to Zedekiah; obedience of the Rechabites; scroll read by Jehudi and destroyed by King Jehoiakim

Four years after the Egyptians conquered Judah and appointed Jehoiakim as its king, Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptians, invaded Jerusalem, and appointed Jehoiakim as his servant-king. Unlike his godly father Josiah, Jehoiakim was a ruthless, cruel ruler.

At that time, Jeremiah instructed his secretary Baruch to record the judgment of God on a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations (Jeremiah 36:2).

Jeremiah then commanded Baruch . . . go thou, and read the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the LORD in the ears of the people in the LORD'S house. . . . and . . . of all Judah that come out of their cities. It may be they will present their supplication before the LORD, and will return every one from his evil way: for great is the anger and the fury that the LORD hath pronounced against this people (36:5-7). The princes (leaders) were disturbed by the prophet's words and immediately informed the king, who sent Jehudi to fetch the roll. . . . And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king (36:21).

After Jehudi had read three or four leaves (of the scroll, Jehoiakim flew into a rage, snatched it from Jehudi, and), he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire (36:23). But, that was all he could do. Even as king, it was beyond his power to destroy the truth that the scroll contained.

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim . . . into his hand, where he remained as a puppet king (Daniel 1:1-2). Nebuchadnezzar ordered Ashpenaz . . . that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes. . . . among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (1:3,6).

Like Jehoiakim, some today seal their fate by refusing to read the truth that God considers necessary to fulfill His will. History records many Bible burnings; but what is the difference between burning it or not reading it?

Without a doubt, the godly, such as Daniel and his friends, suffer because of the sins of others. But, God is able to bless the faithful as he did Daniel. But, the end result was the awesome miracles and prophecies that followed. Without exception: All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Christ Revealed:

As the One Who desires liberty for those in bondage (see Jeremiah 34:13-16; compare Isaiah 61:1). Jesus said: The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me . . . to preach deliverance to the captives (Luke 4:18-19; compare II Corinthians 3:17).

Word Studies:

34:5 burnings = ceremonies; 35:19 not want = be without.

Prayer Needs:

BP Staff: Gina Lesnefsky · Pray for Luis Palau Evangelism Association · Government Officials: Sen. Max Cleland (GA), Rep. William Coyne (PA), Rep. John Culberson (TX), Gov. Kenny Guinn (NV), Gov. Bob Holden (MO), Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR), Rep. Steve Pearce (NM) · Country: Panama (3 million) in southern Central America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Limited religious freedom · 78% Roman Catholic; 12% Protestant; 5% Muslim; .1% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for more faithful Christian workers (I Thessalonians 1:2-3).

Optional Reading: II John 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:13

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