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Cookeville, TN 38506
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
Cutting and Burning God's Book (2)
Church of Christ
In last week’s article we noted how the king took his penknife and cut and burned God’s word in the fire (Jer. 36). We continue to look at ways that men have tried to destroy God’s Book.
Men today try to destroy God’s book by neglecting it or ignoring it. In many homes it is never read and in many pulpits it is seldom ever opened. It continues to be a best seller; however, having it in the home gathering dust doesn’t accomplish much. How often do you study and meditate on God’s word (Psalm 1:1-2)? Do you “search the Scriptures daily as did the Bereans” (Acts 17:11)? Do you “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15)?
And perhaps the number one way men try to do away with God’s word is just simply refuse to obey it. If God’s word is not heeded, then everything that has been done for man by God is of no avail. Have you obeyed the teaching of the New Testament? or have you allowed someone to alter it? To obey a changed or “perverted gospel” will bring condemnation instead of salvation (Gal. 1:6-9).
Now, let’s ask, who has opposed the Book of God? In our text, the king opposed it because it ran contrary to his sinful desires. The sectarian opposes the Bible because the Bible opposes parties, discord, and division (I Cor. 1:10f). The covetous oppose the Book because it condemns greed and instructs men to give liberally. The worldly-wise individual opposes it because the Bible presents a different philosophy. The man who prizes very highly his own ideas will set himself against opposing ideas, even when they come from God! (I Cor. 1:26).
Actually there is great folly in opposing God’s Book. Truth is not subject to change (Heb. 13:8). Men do not alter Truth by opposing it. When all is said and done, God’s word is still truth (John 17:17). Nothing can hinder or interrupt the divine order of things. God’s Book survived the king’s knife and fire; it was written again. “Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, Take thee again 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 the Lord; 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?” (Jer. 36:27-29). Not only was God’s word written again, but its prediction all came true as well.
The incarnate truth (John 14:6) was rejected, pierced, buried in a sealed and guarded tomb; wicked men thought they were forever done with Him; but they were deceived; He overcame the grave and He lives! “Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again; Th' eternal years of God are hers; But Error, wounded, writhes in pain, And dies among his worshippers” (William Cullen Bryant).
There have been, and there shall be attempts to discredit, disarm, and destroy God’s word and its influence. But just as the anvil wears out the hammers that beat upon it, the “anvil of God’s Word” will continue to bring to nought the forces that beat against it. It not only shall not pass away (Matt. 24:35), but will be opened in judgment against all those who have tried to defeat it (John 12:48). Study it to be wise; obey it to be saved. You will be blessed if you do. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2).
Paul M. Wilmoth