Jeremiah 36

Jeremiah 36 shows a very different king. Jehoiakim had been an evil ruler, but bolder and more obstinate than Zedekiah. And what brought out Jehoiakim's iniquity was the roll that the prophet wrote. "Take thee 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, from the day that I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of Jehovah which He had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book. And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of Jehovah: therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of Jehovah in the ears of the people in Jehovah's house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities. It may be they will present their supplication before Jehovah, and will return every one from his evil way: for great is the anger and the fury that Jehovah hath pronounced against this people" (verses 2-7).

Baruch did so. "And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before Jehovah to all the people in Jerusalem and to all the people that came back from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem. Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of Jehovah" (verses 9, 10).

Then Micaiah, who had listened, went down in to the king's house, where all the princes were sitting in the scribe's chamber, and declared to them all the words he had heard. Then the princes sent to Baruch for the roll, and being afraid at what they heard, they proposed to tell the king. "And they went into the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king. So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king" (verses 20, 21). The poor king showed his utter unbelief. His way of getting rid of the judgment was by destroying the roll. "And it came to pass that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, 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 that was on the hearth" (verse 23). This was an act of daring impiety before God; futile and perfect folly, but not the less sin.

The result was that Jehovah told Jeremiah to take "another roll and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned. And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim, king of Judah, Thus saith Jehovah; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast? Therefore thus saith Jehovah of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost.

And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them" (verses 28- 31).

The old roll was repeated with many like words, and more were added according to the invariable way of God. Unbelief never hinders but rather accomplishes the judgments of God. It may add to them but it never diminishes them.