I am super excited about teaching God’s Word this weekend during children’s church at Hoffmantown. This lesson focuses on the power of the Word of God and what our attitude should be toward the Word of God. Our main passage of study is Jeremiah 36. Before we get into this text, I would like for us to examine some truths from II Timothy 3:16. From this passage, we discover that the Word of God is profitable to us when we open It up and begin to explore It. The first thing that the Word of God does is, It teaches us. Everything that we do in this life is something that we must learn. Walking with God is no different. We have to learn to walk with God. His wants to teach us how to walk with Him via His Word. As we learn from God, He begins to show us our mistakes. This is not a very pleasant experience but it is a very much needed experience. Many times, we are wrong in certain areas and do not even know it. God has to reveal that to us and He does, as He teaches us from His Word. God does not point out our mistakes because He wants to punish us. He does this so that He can then correct us. Once we bow our will to His correction, He trains us to stay on the right path so that He does not have to correct us again. At the same time, He does not mind showing us the same mistake again and correcting us, again. We have to have the right attitude about the Word of God. Having learned this, let’s take a look at a real, life example of this very process in the Old Testament, in Jeremiah 36.
I. What we learn about God
The first thing that we learn about God is that He has a specific message for a specific person, who, in turn, is to take that message to the people. This is a message that He began sharing during the days of Josiah and has now continued the message in the days of Josiah’s son, Jehoiakim. God’s desire is that His message would be heard and cause the people to repent of their evil ways. God wants to forgive them for their actions, but, in order to do so, they must be made aware of their mistakes and be willing to be corrected. If they are willing, He will forgive them and correct them. God wants His message written down so that the entire nation can hear it. When people sin, this makes God angry and as a result, He is ready to punish them. At the same time, if they repent, He will forgive them. God sent His messengers to deliver His Word and He is ready and able to protect them from the plans of evil men who do not like the message that these men deliver, even if it does come from the Lord. He is very protective of His message and His messengers. When His original message was destroyed, He had it written down yet again so that the people would have access to His Word, to be taught, rebuked, corrected, and trained to walk with Him. Because of a lack of respect for God and His Word, the people are punished severely. Do we see any similarities in Jeremiah 36 and II Timothy 3:16?
II. What we learn about the Word of God
First of all, we learn that the God communicates with people through His Word. The Word is very specific, showing people where they are wrong, correcting them, and helping them stay right. As the message of the Gospel works in a person’s life, he is motivated to share that same Word with others. Jeremiah wanted to take the message to the people as soon as he could. When the leaders heard the message, they wanted it communicated to the masses so that everyone would have a chance to be corrected by God’s Word. This message is a message of wrath that leads to hope and forgiveness. The wrath has to get our attention and show our desperate need for God. Once He gets our attention through His Word, He can then offer hope and forgiveness. This message is to be read to all who have ears to hear and to be read by all who have the ability to do so. This message is the Truth about reality. We are sinful people and in need of correction. God is merciful and wants to correct us for our own good. For people who are sensitive to God and spiritual things, His Word stimulates a healthy fear, respect in them. For those who are not sensitive to God, His Word angers them because It reveals what their hearts and minds are like. Do you encounter God’s message on a daily basis through reading and studying His Word?
III. People’s reaction to the Word of God
In the passage, we see two very different reactions from people when faced with the Truth of the Word of God. The first reaction is a positive one. Jeremiah received God’s Word and immediately took action. He was obedient to God’s Word. He wrote God’s message down on a scroll and sent it to the people. When the leaders read God’s message, they were afraid. It led them to repentance and prayer. God was merciful on them and forgave them. They immediately wanted to share the message with the king and with the masses. Although, they knew that this would be dangerous, they did it anyway. The second reaction is a negative one. When the king and his men read the Word of God, they were angered by the message. In fact, they did not want the masses to hear this message and so the king burned it in his heater. Actually, the king was so angered by God’s message that he wanted to harm the messengers as well. He had already burned the message and now was looking to harm the messengers. God protected them and had His message rewritten later, by Jeremiah. Since the king and his men did not repent of their evil ways, they did not find forgiveness or mercy with the Lord. They suffered God’s wrath and that same wrath was extended to their families, because they modeled this negative attitude to their families.
What about you, my dear friend, are you hearing God’s message? Is His message teaching you, showing you where you are wrong, correcting you, and training you to walk with God? Has God’s message led you to repentance? Have you received God’s forgiveness and mercy? Are you taking God’s message to others? Or, are you like the evil king who not only wants to continue in his wicked ways, but also wants to keep others from hearing God’s message so that they experience His punishment too? May the Lord help us sit under the teaching of the Word of God so that He can teach us how to walk with Him.