|International Bible Studies|
LESSON FOR NOVEMBER 13, 1966
God’s Truth Cannot be Destroyed
MEMORY VERSE: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand forever.” —Isaiah 40:8
JEREMIAH 36:20-28, 32
THE incident recorded in this lesson occurred in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim. This was eighteen years before the next and last king of the nation was overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar and the people taken captive to Babylon. The Lord’s message, which Baruch the scribe wrote on a scroll, was a final call to repentance, but the king and his princes rejected it and burned the scroll. Thereupon Jeremiah dictated the message over again, adding much that had not been contained in the original version.
The point of the lesson is well set forth in the memory verse, which emphasizes the fact that “the Word of our God shall stand forever.” It is interesting to reflect on the wonderful manner in which this has been true. Much of the purpose of God in connection with his great plan of salvation has been and continues to be accomplished by his Word. In ancient times the Word of God did not reach his people in the same form that it does now, but nevertheless it was effective for the purposes designed.
The first five books of the Bible were compiled by Moses, but even prior to this, God’s Word was heard when needed, frequently through angelic messengers, and happy were they who, when they heard these messages, obeyed. Later, other servants of God were employed by him to furnish additional books. These, together with the books of Moses, were preserved, and constitute what we call the Old Testament. It was largely to these that Jesus referred when, praying for his disciples, he said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy Word is truth.”—John 17:17
In New Testament times there came the four records of the life of Christ, the Book of Acts, the epistles or letters of the various apostles, and finally the Book of Revelation. These books, together with the Old Testament Scriptures, make up our Bible, which is the Word of God for us. Speaking of his Word as a whole the Lord said, “As the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”—Isa. 55:10,11
One of the things being accomplished today by the Word of the Lord is the directing and purifying of God’s people. Concerning this we read, “The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”—Heb. 4:12
The Word of God has been subject to almost continuous attack by its enemies, but they have not been able to destroy it, even as the wicked king of Judah was not able to destroy the message contained in the scroll dictated by Jeremiah. He destroyed the original scroll, but in the Lord’s providence there appeared a larger and more complete version.
Soon after the apostles fell asleep an attempt was made to bury the Word of God in dead languages which could not be understood by the common people. This succeeded in part for centuries, and the world experienced the Dark Ages. Then, earnest followers of the Master began translating the Scriptures, only to have these translations barred in many places by professed Christians. First copies of the English Bible had to he smuggled into England.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century many Bible societies were formed, and the Lord has blessed these in their translating and circulation of his Word. But now that word is again under attack, by higher critics and modernists, who openly express disbelief in its inspiration.
But the Word of God still stands, and it is accomplishing its purpose in the outworking of the divine plan. It is not converting the world at the present time, for this is not God’s plan, but it is reaching those whom the Lord is calling to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, and it is assisting them to walk in the narrow way of sacrifice. We rejoice in the fact that in the Millennial Age a knowledge of the Lord will be caused to fill the whole earth.
Explain the background of the lesson.
What is the main purpose of the lesson?
Mention some of the ways in which enemies of the Bible have tried to destroy it.