23As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the pot. 24Yet neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words was afraid, nor did they tear their garments. 25Even when Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. —Jeremiah 36:23-25
Have you ever been talking to someone and come to the realization that they are not listening to you? What do you do? Do you pause, get louder, or clap your hands? We usually try to do something to regain their attention. You want them to hear what you are saying, especially if it’s really important.
That is exactly what God is doing here in Jeremiah. You have to go back to Jeremiah 25 and the first part of chapter 26 to see what is happening. In a nutshell, Jeremiah has enlisted the services of Baruch the scribe to write down the words that he says and to go and speak these words to the powers in charge. These are not any old words though; these are words from Almighty God. These are words that demand attention.
What was their response? When you read Jeremiah 36:10-18 it looks pretty good. The men tremble when they hear the words and they even give Baruch and Jeremiah a bit of helpful advice, telling them to hide because the king isn’t going to like it (Jeremiah 36:19). Then the men bring the scroll to the king. And what does he do? He totally disregards it. Not only does he disregard it, he destroys it. He is unchanged by what he hears!
The brashness of the king is shocking! God speaks and the king says I’m not listening. But the sad fact is we do this all the time. God speaks, not in an audible voice, but through his Word. And we don’t listen.
Want to hear better? Here are some ways to listen while you read:
1.) Read for quality not quantity. More is not always better. Slow down and read carefully.
2.) Write down what you are learning. Journal what God is teaching you.
3.) Pray. Pray that the Lord will enlighten as to the meaning of the passage. And pray that we take His instructions to heart.
4.) Expect God to teach you. Every time you read the Word of God, expect that it will impact your mind and lead to a change in your life.
Claim the promises of Scripture. Listen to the warnings against living in sin. Marvel at the wonder of our Savior Jesus Christ. Do not harden your hearts to what God is saying to you through His Word. Listen carefully; the Master is speaking!
Prayer – Father, You are so gracious to speak to us through Your Word. Give me ears to hear. Help me have a heart of obedience because it is good for me and it also brings great glory to Your name. I want to know You better Lord, please speak to me through Your Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.