More About Shaphan

Jeremiah 36  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Do you remember our earlier story about Shaphan? He was the scribe who was in the temple when Hilkiah the priest discovered that forgotten Bible as they were cleaning out the rubbish. And Shaphan was the one who brought it to King Josiah and read the wonderful words to him.
King Josiah and Shaphan were both young men, and each of them had a son. Jehoiakim, the son of King Josiah, sat on the throne of the kingdom, but he did not care for God at all, and things went from bad to worse. God sent a prophet to them named Jeremiah who spent a good deal of time in prison because the king did not want to hear him.
But God still loved His people. A young man named Baruch copied out Jeremiah’s words in a book and read them aloud to all who would listen. And one of the listeners was the grandson of Shaphan.
Are you listening to the Word of God? That boy was, but the king was not.
That young boy then went to his father who was sitting with all the king’s advisors. He repeated to them everything Baruch had read. They told the boy to go get Baruch and bring him to them. Baruch was then told to “sit down now, and read it in our ears.” I think Shaphan had taught his family that the Word of God is true, for they all reacted with fear, and they said to Baruch, “We will surely tell the king of all these words.”
So now the message comes to King Jehoiakim, the son of good King Josiah. What will he do when he hears it?
It was a chilly day, and the king quite comfortably sat beside a cozy fireplace and listened to the Word of God. But he and all his princes did not like hearing God’s warning of coming judgment. In fact, when the messenger had read three or four pages, King Jehoiakim took the book away from the messenger and cut it with a penknife.
The son of Shaphan and the other advisors were extremely upset and told the king not to burn the book! But the king hated to hear the words of judgment, and in anger he threw one page after another into the fire, until the whole thing was burned to ashes. He was so angry that he ordered his servants to catch Baruch and Jeremiah, but the Lord hid them.
Because the book was burned, was that the end of the words of God? Oh, no! Jeremiah repeated the words again, and Baruch wrote them down again. Nothing, no nothing, ever cancels the Word of God! It is settled in heaven where we must face it someday. How joyfully you and I will face it if we accept Jesus as our Savior now! The judgment is all true, but if you accept Jesus as your Substitute, you can happily claim that He bore the judgment in your place!
King Jehoiakim rejected his last opportunity to obey God. He was captured by the enemy, as God had said, and his dead body was just left out in the weather, without being buried. He was a lost soul forever.
Right now, you may hear the Word of God if you will listen. Here is part of it for you to read and obey: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).