“Now the king was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month, with a fire burning on the hearth before him. And it happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Yet they were not afraid, nor did they tear their garments, the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words.” Jeremiah 36:22-25
When Josiah, Jehoiakim’s father read the scroll handed to him from the prophet Jeremiah, he tore his garment. But when Jehoiakim was given the scroll of prophetic writings, he took his penknife and tore the scroll. The scroll was divided into manageable pieces and instead of being used as a means of salvation as God intended it was reduced to a personal and practical use of firewood to warm the king. The arrogance of many has reduced the most sobering message ever delivered to humanity to a source of entertainment. It has become a means to many others to warm themselves and producing some immediate profit to those who do not value its usage for soul survival. The king lightly esteemed both the scroll and the prophet. He could mock the corrections as not being applicable to his situation because of his prestige and power. But God’s word was then addressed directly to the fate of the king. What he did to the scroll would happen to him. “He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. I will punish him, his family, and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring on them, on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the men of Judah all the doom that I have pronounced against them; but they did not heed.”‘” (Jer 36:30-31) The Word of God must be highly esteemed as the only source for our survival. Even though there are many things that may be important. But how would those things profit us if we are not in right standing with God? The prophetic warnings prepare us to face what awaits us in the future. The scroll must be eaten and digested and not burned if it is to be assimilated into our lives.