Jer. 36:1-32; 25:1-14
In the fourth year of King Jehoiakim, God instructed Jeremiah to write His words on a scroll. Baruch became the penman who recorded the words that God had spoken to the prophet. Since it seems that Jeremiah had been banned from speaking in the temple, he instructed Baruch to read the words of the scroll in the temple to the people during a day of fasting. In time, during the fifth year of the king’s reign, the contents of the scroll were read in the house of the Lord during a time of fasting and passed up the chain of command to the king. With fear coming upon the princes, they sent Jeremiah and Baruch into hiding to escape the wrath of the king. As an act of defiance, Jehoiakim burned the scroll. One may ignore the word of God. He may attempt to destroy it by cutting it out or burning it, but His message and its consequences WILL remain. Baruch was given another scroll to rewrite God’s message and, “there were added to them many similar words.”
Jeremiah’s message from God stated that since the Judeans had not heeded His words urging them to repent, they would be invaded by the “families of the north…and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon.” That desolation would not only include Judah, but other nations around them. “And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” At the conclusion of the seventy years as Judah would be freed, Babylon would also be punished for her evil ways.