Jehoiakim is no the only man who tried to stamp out the message of Scripture by burning the Bible. Today’s devotional gives another example of this folly and God’s overruling it. It is written in older English so don’t let that throw you. It is one more reason to believe the Bible is the Word of God. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Jeremiah 36: 21-31 (ESV)
21 Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it from the chamber of Elishama the secretary. And Jehudi read it to the king and all the officials who stood beside the king. 22 It was the ninth month, and the king was sitting in the winter house, and there was a fire burning in the fire pot before him. 23 As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the fire pot. 24 Yet neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words was afraid, nor did they tear their garments. 25 Even when Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. 26 And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son and Seraiah the son of Azriel and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the secretary and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord hid them.
27 Now after the king had burned the scroll with the words that Baruch wrote at Jeremiah’s dictation, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 28 “Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned. 29 And concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah you shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord, You have burned this scroll, saying, “Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and will cut off from it man and beast?” 30 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat by day and the frost by night. 31 And I will punish him and his offspring and his servants for their iniquity. I will bring upon them and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem and upon the people of Judah all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, but they would not hear.’”
“…William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536) had just published the first translation of the New Testament into the English language from the original Hebrew and Greek (1528). In his great rage against the Protestant gospel, Archbishop Wolsey began to burn copies of Tyndale’s Testament at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The Catholics needed a steady supply of Bibles to burn, so the bishop of London tried to buy as many as possible in Antwerp, where the Bibles were printed…
“‘And so it happened that one Augustine Packington, a mercer and merchant of London, and of a great honesty, the same time was in Antwerp, where the bishop then was, and this Packington was a man that highly favored William Tyndale, but to the bishop utterly showed himself to the contrary. The bishop desirous to have his purpose brought to pass, communed of the New Testaments, and how gladly he would buy them.
“Packington then hearing that he wished for, said unto the bishop, My Lord if it be your pleasure, I can in this matter do more I dare say, than most of the merchants of England that are here, for I know the Dutch men and strangers that have brought them of Tyndale, and have them here to sell, so that if it be your lordship’s pleasure, to pay for them, I will them assure you, to have every book of them, that is imprinted and is here unsold.
“The bishop thinking that he had God by the toe, when indeed he had (as after he thought) the Devil by the fist, said, gentle Master Packington, do your diligence and get them and with all my heart I will pay for them, whatsoever they cost you, for the books are erroneous and naughts and I intend surely to destroy them all, and to burn them at Paul’s Cross.
“Augustine Packington came to William Tyndale and said, William I know thou art a poor man, and hast a heap of New Testaments, and books by thee, for the which thou hast both endangered thy friends, and beggared thyself, and I have now gotten thee a merchant, which with ready money shall dispatch thee of all that thou hast, if you think it so profitable for yourself.
“Who is the merchant said Tyndale?
“The bishop of London said Packington.
“O that is because he will burn them said Tyndale. Yea marry quoth Packington. I am the gladder said Tyndale, for these two benefits shall come thereon, I shall get money of him for these books, to bring myself out of debt, (and the whole world shall cry out upon the burning of God’s word). And the overplus of the money, that shall remain to me, shall make me more studious, to correct the said New Testament, and so newly to imprint the same once again, and I trust the second will much better like you, than ever did the first: And so forward went the bargain, the bishop had the books, Packington had the thanks, and Tyndale had the money.
“Afterward, when more New Testaments were printed, they came thick and threefold into England, the bishop of London hearing that still there were so many New Testaments abroad, sent for Augustine Packington and said unto him, Sir how cometh this, that there are no many New Testaments abroad, and you promised and assured me, that you had bought all?” [Philip Graham Ryken, “Jeremiah and Lamentations: From Sorrow to Hope,” Preaching the Word edited by R. Kent Hughes, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books 2001), p. 555-557 quoting Hall’s Chronicle: Containing the History of England, (London, n.p., 1809), pp. 762-763, quoted in David Daniell, William Tyndale: A Biography, (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994), p. 196-197].