Jer. 36:20   Leaving the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the secretary, they went to the court of the king; and they reported all the words to the king. 21 Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it from the chamber of Elishama the secretary; and Jehudi read it to the king and all the officials who stood beside the king. 22 Now the king was sitting in his winter apartment (it was the ninth month), and there was a fire burning in the brazier before him. 23 As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a penknife and throw them into the fire in the brazier, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier. 24 Yet neither the king, nor any of his servants who heard all these words, was alarmed, nor did they tear their garments. 25 Even when Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. 26 And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son and Seraiah son of Azriel and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest the secretary Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. But the Lord hid them.


The king has complete disregard for the words of God. Instead of responding in humility as his father had done, he lived into arrogance. Not even a healthy fear of God touched his soul and in his arrogance he took the words, cut them into pieces and little by little watched them burn in his fireplace. Not having the patience to listen to the entire message, he cut it up as it was read. Maybe there was a touch of fear and this was his response, hoping to destroy any power which may have been associated with the words. 

The king was unwilling to be told that he had done anything wrong. He hated the messengers, Baruch and Jeremiah, for bringing him these truths and would likely have been willing to burn them as well, had they been near. He dug in his heels and determined that he would never listen to a warning given by God. He thought he could defeat God by burning the scroll, and that he had kept this word from being passed beyond his office. But he was wrong. In his stubbornness and arrogance he secured the destruction of his own people. 


A spirit that is unwilling to listen to the voice of God will eventually follow a path to destruction. God uses many means as a way to communicate truth to all of us. We must be willing to listen to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives and be obedient. If we refuse, we will suffer dire consequences for ourselves and those around us. 

Different means are used by God to get our attention. Today it may be someone that we meet in a store, or at a gathering, or family member that wants to speak a bit of truth into our lives. We must approach life with a tender and childlike, teachable spirit. We never have enough knowledge, experience, or position to keep us from a place of learning truth from God. It’s far too easy to get caught up with life and become comfortable with the experiences of our past, rather than be stretched by God. 

Being challenged to learn and grow spiritually is a humbling experience. We discover that we don’t have all the answers and that God is asking us to pour out ourselves in humble service to others. There is no room for arrogance or pride in the life of the follower of Jesus Christ. His truths are not to be burned and forgotten, but to be consumed as sustenance for our very souls, bringing to life the transforming work of God’s Holy Spirit. 

An attitude of humble obedience is the opposite of arrogant defiance. The latter will lead to destruction, the former is life-giving and sustaining. There is no reason to allow arrogance to eat away at the hope and future that God has for us and those whom we serve. 


Lord, I open my heart and life to you. Please, continue to teach me and help me to have a willing heart and spirit.  Amen.


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