[SW382] 6/8/2019 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019
“Arrogance Leads To Captivity”
Text: Jeremiah 36, etc.
There are two reactions when God’s people are exhorted regarding their sin and warned of the consequences of their sin. They will either become afraid and turn back, or arrogantly ignore the LORD’s words.
What is the result of arrogance against the LORD? Exile and captivity, which happened just 25 years after this chapter of scripture. What is the result of repentance, turning back to the LORD? Forgiveness and restoration!
I will show you both, because it is the same today, with many church leaders and believers. May you have ears to hear!
Jeremiah was a Levite, a priest of the LORD. He was born and had lived in the Levitical city of Anathoth.
When King Josiah, who cleansed the land of false gods, had been king for 13 years, Jeremiah was called by the LORD to begin to warn Judah of the LORD’s coming judgment.
The LORD showed him that Judah would fall away, after King Josiah. Jeremiah continued to prophesy for a total of 40-1/2 years.
Just as the LORD had shown Jeremiah, all the kings after Josiah, and the priests and prophets in the temple, arrogantly returned to worshipping false gods. The people then arrogantly worshiped gods that the kings and religious leaders worshiped.
Verses 1-3 —
King Jehoiakim was a vassal king of Judah, appointed by Pharaoh Neco of Egypt. Four years into Jehoiakim’s 11-year reign, the LORD directed Jeremiah to write down all the words that He had spoken to Jeremiah from the first day he began to prophesy until the day the LORD spoke to Jeremiah in this passage.
The LORD commanded Jeremiah to write down “all these words” the LORD had given him over the 25 years he had prophesied at that time, and then read them in the house of the LORD, and to the people in Jerusalem. Why? To prompt fear and repentance in them, when they heard of the calamity He was about to bring upon them.
If they turned back to Him, He would forgive them and restore them. If they arrogantly continued to sin, they would be exiled from His presence and carried into captivity in Babylon.
Verses 4-8 —
But how would Jeremiah deliver the scroll? The religious leaders and priests were enraged by Jeremiah’s prophecies from the LORD (see 7:1-15 for the words Jeremiah spoke, and 26:7-11 for the leaders’ and priests’ reaction to them), and he could not longer go into the house of the LORD. He was banned.
So, Jeremiah called his scribe, Baruch, and dictated all the LORD’s words to Baruch, who then wrote them on a scroll. When the scroll was complete, Jeremiah instructed Baruch to publicly read the scroll on a fast day, to all the LORD’s people in the temple, and also to all the people from the cities who had gathered in Jerusalem on that fast day.
Repeating the LORD’s words, Jeremiah told Baruch that the LORD was giving Judah one more chance to repent for their idolatry, when the people and the leaders heard the entirety of the calamity. Jeremiah added, “Great is His anger, and the wrath that the LORD has pronounced against this people.”
The scroll was completed after several months of dictation. So Baruch went to the LORD’s house, as Jeremiah had commanded him, and read from the scroll the words of the LORD in the LORD’s house.
Verses 9-16 —
Then, in the fifth year of Jehoiakim, in the ninth month, all the people in Jerusalem, and all who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem, proclaimed a fast day. Per Verse 6, it was time for Baruch to go forth and speak the words of the scroll, to all the people assembled for the fast.
First, Baruch again read aloud the LORD’s words in the scroll, in the house of the LORD, in the chamber of one of the scribes. The scribe’s son, Micaiah, also heard all the words of the LORD, and went down to the king’s house, into the scribe’s chamber there.
All the officials were there. Micaiah declared all the words Baruch had read. They sent a messenger, Jehudi, to Baruch, telling him to bring the scroll to them. He obeyed. They asked him to read it. He did.
Their reaction was fear! They heard the words of all the calamity the LORD was going to bring upon them, if they did not repent from their idolatry and arrogance! They vowed to report the words to King Jehoiakim. But they did not repent.
Verses 17-19 —
The officials confirmed from Baruch that the scroll was written by him at the dictation of Jeremiah. Then they told Baruch and Jeremiah to hide, and to tell no one of their whereabouts.
Verses 20-21 —
The officials then went to the king, but kept the scroll in the chamber of one of the scribes. They reported all the words to the king, who then sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi then read it to the king and all his officials who stood beside him.
Verses 22-26 —
All of this happened in winter. Therefore, the king was in the winter house, with a fire burning in the brazier before him.
After Jehudi had read a few columns of the scroll, the king arrogantly cut it off the scroll with a scribe’s knife and threw it into the fire, until the whole scroll was consumed in the fire. Why? He did not like the words of the LORD. He did not consider the words of the LORD worthy of anything but destruction. Because of his arrogance, it was he who would be destroyed, because the word of God cannot be destroyed —
Psalms 119:89 Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled (stands, is established) in heaven.
Matthew 24:35 Jesus Christ declared, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”
King Jehoiakim and his officials did not fear the LORD’s words of impending calamity. They did not tear their garments in mourning, at the words of the LORD. They did not repent.
Then King Jehoiakim ordered that Jeremiah and Baruch be seized. But the LORD hid (concealed) them.
Verses 27-28 —
So the LORD ordered Jeremiah to take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were on the first scroll that had been burned by Jehoiakim. The Word of God cannot be destroyed.
Verses 29-32 —
Jeremiah was to say to Jehoiakim, Thus says the LORD, “You have burned this scroll, saying, ‘Why have you written on it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and will make man and beast cease from it (that is, die)?” The words of judgment on the scroll were the LORD’s, not Jeremiah’s.
Because Jehoiakim arrogantly disregarded the LORD’s warning, the LORD swore that Jehoiakim’s offspring would not sit on the throne of David. His son, Coniah, reigned three months, surrendered to Babylon, and was exiled. Then there were no longer any kings in all of Israel, even to this day.
And Jehoiakim would be dishonored in his death. His dead body would not be buried or entombed, but would be cast out into the heat of day and the frost of night.
All of this calamity would come upon Jehoiakim because he did not listen to the words of the LORD that He declared to them through Jeremiah. Instead, he arrogantly ignored them, cut them up, and burned them.
Then, Jeremiah dictated another scroll to Baruch, and added many words of the LORD that were like the first words on the first scroll were written down.
The Babylon invasion and exile of Judah was the LORD’s judgment of the arrogance of Jehoiakim, The last king of Judah was Coniah’s uncle, Zedekiah, who was vassal king of Nebuchadnezzer, king of Babylon. And all of Judah went into exile or perished.
Do you see it? Exile and captivity always results, when God’s people are arrogance toward Him — both then and now!
A contrast, in King Josiah
King Josiah was Jehoiakim’s father. The book of the Law of Moses was found by Hilkiah the priest. It had been lost during the apostasy under the rein of Josiah’s father. When Josiah heard the words of the book of the LORD, he repented —
2Kings 22:10 Moreover, Shaphan the scribe told the king saying, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it in the presence of the king. 11
When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes.
Huldah the prophetess then told King Josiah what the LORD would do, because he repented —
2Kings 22:19 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares the LORD. 20 “Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil which I will bring on this place.”’” So they brought back word to the king.”
So, Josiah would be honored in his death, because he repented.
A Word for the King Jehoiakims in today’s church
From Jeremiah 36:23, remember that after Jehudi had read a few columns of the scroll, the king arrogantly cut it with a scribe’s knife and threw it into the fire, until the whole scroll was consumed in the fire.
I tell you the truth, beloved. Calamity awaits today’s church and believers, who have strayed far from the Lord!
There are many false prophets who defy the LORD by twisting His words, and deleting some passages entirely, in order to feed the lusts and desires of both the leaders and believers in today’s church. They are arrogant, and have no fear of the LORD. Neither do their followers.
When they twist and delete the Word of God, the false prophets effectively cut it to pieces, and burn it. Why? They do not like the words of the LORD. They do not consider the words of the LORD worthy of anything but destruction. Their arrogance has been heard in heaven, and judgment is coming to them and the church leaders and believers who love their teaching —
Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?
Arrogance leads to captivity! The false prophets have already become captives of Satan —
2Corinthians 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
But both the false prophets and those who have flocked to them — from the highest leadership positions to the believers in the pews — will perish in the lake of fire (see Revelation 20:15), unless they repent.
Jesus says of the current days —
Matthew 24:11 “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness (sin) is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.”
Beloved, a day of judgment is coming, and believers will be judged first —
1Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
Jesus Christ says that, despite hearing the words in this passage of scripture, neither today’s false prophet nor leaders and believers will fear. They will not repent. Jesus Christ says they will all continue to burn up the Word of God in the fire of their own desires!
Again, they are arrogant, considering His words to be unworthy to heed and deserving of burning, so nothing is left to prick their consciences!
I tell you the truth, O foolish church, nothing can change or destroy His word! Again —
Psalms 119:89 Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.
Matthew 24:35 Jesus Christ declared, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”
I exhort you to heed the words the LORD gave me in a prophetic song in 2008 —
My Word will never pass away. It will forever stand. It cannot ever be destroyed by vain attempts of man.
My Word cuts through all man’s pretense, so each their heart can see. I do it as an act of love, so no one is deceived.
The truth and power My word contains, many won’t receive, nor let it pierce their stony hearts. For them, My heart is grieved.
The last verse of the song reveals the cure —
Become a doer of My Word, and surely, you’ll be blessed. You’ll enter into My own life, and in Me, you will rest. You’ll enter into My own life, and in Me, you will rest!
Ask your Father in heaven to fill you with the Holy Spirit, O believer (Luke 11:13)! In a moment of time, you will become an obedient doer of His Word. In a moment of time, You will enter His own life, because His own life will enter you and fill you completely and permanently (John 14:23)! Then you will have a front row seat to watch Him work in and through you.
But remember that, in that prophetic song the Lord gave me, He said many will not receive the truth and power of the Word of God! Many will not tremble with fear, knowing they have sinned! For them, His heart is grieved. He does not desire that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2Peter 3:9)! Therefore, repent!
I will keep boldly writing and speaking the truth of God’s Word. Some may try to quiet me, but I will speak it to you, and the LORD will give me more to add to it. When I have done all He has set my hand to do, I will go to Him. But another will replace me and continue to declare His Word.
Lord Jesus, I have spoken as you have asked me to speak. Your Word will not come back void. Those who receive it humbly, and mourn and repent, will surely be blessed. May Your church have ears to hear. Amen.