The Burnt Roll
Jeremiah 36:20-26
And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe…



1. The piety of the parent is no assured guarantee for the religion of the son. The life of the Spirit can alone come from God, and it is given and withheld in a way to us past finding out. There are many instances in which we should not be justified in attributing any neglect to the parent, though the child may not by any means have walked in his steps; and, where this does occur, men not unfrequently become monsters of iniquity; for it has been well remarked that none are more abandoned than those who become wicked after a religions education: they cannot have quietness in vice till they have stupefied their consciences; and the greater the obstacles before men can fully indulge their lusts, the more depraved they are afterwards. The testimony of the Spirit, respecting Josiah, the father of Jehoiakim, is this, "that he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David."

2. However men may slight and pour contempt upon the threatenings of God, they can in no way prevent their fulfilment. Jehoiakim and his princes mocked at the message of God, despised His gracious warnings, and purposed the infliction of punishment upon the prophet and scribe concerned in their delivery; but by so doing they did but provoke the wrath of the Lord till there was no remedy: God at length brought upon them the King of Babylon. And all this, we are told, took place, that "the Word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled." The destruction of the world in the time of Noah was long delayed; but it came at length, and that when men were little expecting it. And, if men will not be prevailed upon to flee to the refuge which God hath in infinite mercy provided, this warning must be fulfilled in their destruction.

3. Those who slight God's warnings increase their condemnation. It was declared by the Lord through Huldah, the prophetess, to Josiah, the father of Jehoiakim, Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God when thou heardest His words against this place and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before Me, and didst rend thy clothes and weep before Me, I have even heard thee also, saith the Lord: behold I will gather thee to thy fathers; and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace" (2 Chronicles 34:27).

III. THE APPLICABILITY OF THIS SUBJECT TO PRESENT TIMES. Are there not those in this our land who endeavour, by the keen knife of wit and sarcasm, to cut the Bible in pieces, and thus bring it into contempt, and cause it to be neglected? And why do they act thus? They hate the Bible because they perceive that its threatenings are pointed at them and their sins; they are against the Bible because they see that the Bible is against them; they Know very well that, if the Bible be true, if it be indeed the Word of the living God, they are in a very awful case — in danger of feeling the wrath of God for ever in another world: this they cannot bear to think of, and therefore they first begin to wish that it may not be true; next, indulge a faint hope that it is not; and, lastly, are led on by. Satan to believe that it is nothing else but a cunningly-devised fable, fitted to frighten and alarm the minds of the weak; forgetting that the very circumstance which makes it so distasteful to themselves, namely, that it forbids the indulgence of every sinful desire and the practice of every wicked act, is of itself one of the very strongest proofs that it is not the Word of man, but of God.


1. The duty of reverencing God's Word.

2. The duty of making it known according to our ability among others.

3. The duty of dealing ,faithfully with those who live in disobedience to God's commands.

(T. Grantham.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king.

WEB: They went in to the king into the court; but they had laid up the scroll in the room of Elishama the scribe; and they told all the words in the ears of the king.

The Bible Disposed Of, What Then?
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