scornful woman August 6 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Jeremiah 36:8-32; 9:16-21; 10:17-25

Scorning God's Message

It has been said there is nothing like the scorn of a woman, but that is wrong —there is nothing like the results of scorning God. When the LORD gives a message which is meant for our good and we scorn it, God acts. We may have heard people scorn God's message with sentences like: “I know what the Bible says, but I don't believe it; I am going to do it anyway. ” What can happen when we scorn God's message?

Around 600 B.C. Jeremiah and his scribe, Baruch, are discouraged. Their message of judgment upon the nation of Judah makes them unpopular. No one wants them around. Jeremiah is evidently barred from even going to the temple—he sends his scribe.

The prophet dictates God’s message of judgment to his scribe. Baruch faithfully copies on a scroll every word Jeremiah gives him, but it is one year later before Baruch finds the opportunity to deliver his message. He delivers the message in the temple at a time when a fast has been called for everyone in Judah. Perhaps King Jehoiakim is trying to gain God’s favor (without repenting). The nation of Judah is a vassal kingdom to the Babylonians, and Jehoiakim wants to remove their yoke of oppression. Already, all the king’s treasures have been given to their enemies. Jehoiakim needs all the help he can get, even from the one true God, whom he does not know.

The message given that day in the temple is reported to the palace. Jehoiakim sends representatives to go and listen to the message, so Baruch again reads the scroll. When they hear the words of judgment, they are alarmed and hastily inform the king.

After they put the scroll in the room of Elishama the secretary, they went to the king in the courtyard and reported everything to him.

The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and Jehudi brought it from the room of Elishama the secretary and read it to the king and all the officials standing beside him.

It was the ninth month and the king was sitting in the winter apartment, with a fire burning in the firepot in front of him. Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe's knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire (Jeremiah 36:20-23, NIV).

Jehoiakim is not affected by the words of judgment. He scorns God’s Word—he does not repent.

When Baruch returns, God tells Jeremiah to write another scroll to replace the one burned. This means the judgment is certain! Baruch once again copies all the words of the first scroll as Jeremiah dictates them, and then the prophet adds other similar words.

Jerusalem is under siege. Soon Nebuchadnezzar will attack Jerusalem, and it will be a dark day for her. Jeremiah tells the women of the city to mourn because “death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has cut off the children from the streets and the young men from the public squares” (Jeremiah 9:21, NIV). He speaks as though it is already happening.

Jeremiah says, “Gather up your belongings to leave the land, you who live under siege. For this is what the LORD says: ‘At this time I will hurl out those who live in this land; I will bring distress on them so that they may be captured’” (Jeremiah 10:17-18, NIV).

It gives Jeremiah no pleasure to announce this—he weeps and wails over the fulfillment of his prophecy. He is trying to save their lives but to no avail. The LORD will someday exercise mercy on Judah and Israel when he rescues them from exile. Then, He will destroy the nations which destroyed them, but not now. This is a time for God’s justice. The nation of Judah is scorning God’s word for the final time, and she will pay the price.

We may not be attacked by some foreign nation in the near future, but in our personal lives do we scorn God’s Word? The LORD will only save us if we seek him and turn from our evil ways (more...).

Lessons to Live By

  • If we proclaim judgment as part of God’s Word, we will not be popular.
  • When God gives a message meant for our good, and we scorn it, God will act.
  • There is only one way of salvation from our sins—Jesus Christ, God’s Son. If we scorn that message, there is no hope for us but eternal destruction. If we haven't, why not turn to Him for forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life? (more...)

Focus Verses

Acts 4:12 (NIV) “Salvation is found in no one else [than Jesus Christ], for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Hebrews 10:26-27 (NIV) “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

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A Look Ahead: God uses object lessons to try to Get the Attention of Judah before it is too late. See how we can do that.

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