Recently I participated in the dedication of a Bible translation into a language that had never had it before. The highlight for me was the tears in the eyes of members of that community who shared what it meant to them!
Those of us who have grown up with Bibles of all versions, sizes, shapes, colors, and editions too often fail to recognize this treasure right in our hands. My recent reading in the Old Testament highlighted wildly varying responses to the arrival of God’s word:
King Josiah – When the scroll of God’s word was found in the Temple that had been neglected for decades, and he tore his robe, horrified that he and his people had not been obeying it. What followed was major repentance, revival, and joyful celebration.
…18 years pass, and Jeremiah is receiving God’s words of warning to a nation about to be destroyed because of their stubborn rebellion against Him.
Officials of King Jehoiakim –When God’s words are read to them, they looked at one another in fear and told Jeremiah to hide.
King Jehoiakim, who was notably the son of Josiah—When God’s words are read to him, he cuts up the scoll and burns it, then tries to have Jeremiah arrested.
When we hear God’s word, what is our response? Do we humbly accept and obey it, or do we disdain or even try to suppress it?
When I discovered your words, I devoured them.
They are my joy and my heart’s delight… (Jeremiah 15:16)
Keeping the commandments keeps a person safe,
but scorning the way of the LORD brings death. (Proverbs 19:16)