God’s word must be presented as he has delivered it to man — without change.
Notice the following passages: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2); “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee and thou be found a liar (Proverbs 30:6); “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelations 22:18,19). Here we can see that in the beginning, middle and end of his book, God warns man not to try and change his word. The liberal outlook on some of these verses is that it only pertains to that book. Wake up! That book is God’s word. His word is not to be changed.
Mankind must have the proper disposition toward the word of God. When it is read, it should be read even as Nehemiah had it read: “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense and caused them to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8). The Bible is not to be worshipped as if it was an idol, but it should be respected as the word of God. We should be eager to read and study God’s book and realize that we cannot “cut out” what we do not like. Everything God has done for man is for man’s good. God gave man a place to live and the ability to live, work and enjoy life. God also has provided for man’s spiritual well-being so that man can know he is in a right relationship with God. However, this relationship is according to God’s plan and not man’s.
In the book of Jeremiah, we read the following: “And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words” (Jeremiah 36:23). The words the king had heard were words he did not want to hear. His simple solution was to cut the words up, burn them and then go after the messenger. If you continue reading, you will find that God replaced the destroyed document. The king did not realize that he could not change or destroy the will of God.
Today, there are still those like the king in our text. When the word of God is presented they may not physically “cut up” the word, but they do it in their hearts. It would do all who have this mentality to study Jeremiah carefully. We cannot have “pen-knife” religion; we must follow the teachings as they are found in God’s word.
Jesus told in many places that his word must be obeyed. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48); “Not everyone that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
When Paul was writing to the church at Corinth he told them, “I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).
Look to the Bible and follow it as it is given. Rightly divide the word.