Jeremiah one of the great prophets of God was imprisoned because of his faith, but that did not deter him from being able to communicate the Word of the Lord as he still he had a burning desire that the Word of God should be read to Judah. “And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, ‘I am confined, I cannot go into the house of the Lord. You go, therefore, and read from the scroll which you have written at my instruction, the words of the Lord in the hearing of the people…and you shall also read them in the hearing of all Judah who come from their cities” (Jeremiah 36:5-6). The word of the Lord was hand written, verbally read, and those that came to hear the reading stood no doubt for hours. How different are the times among Christians of the 21st century. From the days of Jeremiah when the people had to travel sometimes long distances just to hear the Word of the Lord read. They did not have their own personal copy of the Scripture and they certainly could not record the verbal reading of it on the cell phones, but they went and stood and listened and tried to remember what they had heard. There are some eternal lessons from what was taking place in Jeremiah’s day for the faithful of the 21st Century.
First, the Word of God must have a place of priority in the lives of Christians. While they did not have their own personal copy of the Scriptures every Christian in the United States can. Copies of the Bible are abundant in religious book stores, online Bible bookstores, and even as applications for cell phones, tablets, etc. Every Christian in the United States can and should have their personal Bible to read, study, and meditate upon. “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).
Second, the Word of God must be give time in the lives of Christians. The time for the people of God in the days of Jeremiah meant travel time on foot or on the back of an animal, perhaps for days. The time for the people of God in the days of Jeremiah meant hours listening to the reading of God’s Word. The time also meant that they must travel back home. The dedication that they needed to go listen to the reading of the Word of God was more than just a couple of hours, but it most probably took a minimum of three days. “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).
Third, the Word of God must live in the lives of Christians. The people of God during the days of Jeremiah would come and listen, but many times they would not carry out the will of God. They would not keep the commandments and precepts of the Law of Moses. For many it had become a forgotten ritual and for others no different that what the nations around them believed. The Word of God was not living within them. The Word of God must live in the lives of Christians in the 21 Century on a daily basis and is not just to be an hour ritual kept every Sunday morning. “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).
Jeremiah was confined, but the Word of the Lord went forth, the servant Baruch read it and the people listened. “Then Baruch read from the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord…in the hearing of all the people” (Jeremiah 36:10).
by Wayne Brewer