Josiah was the king who reestablished God’s word as the central authority in the land and brought great joy and revival to the people. His son, Jehoiakim, did just the opposite. Verse 37 of our chapter says, “And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done. ” He followed in the wake of Manasseh. If this was not a bad enough indictment, Jeremiah gives us a more specific one. He says about Jehoiakim,  “Your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness, for shedding innocent blood, and practicing oppression and violence” (Jer. 22:17).  But even more specifically, Jeremiah says that he cut up and burned  the Word of God (Jer. 36:22–26).

Jehoiakim would not submit to God’s Word and was made a slave to the King of Egypt and then a slave to Nebuchadnezzar. His life is a parable of the truth that everyone will be a servant of something.  You can either serve God, or serve something else which will enslave you. God’s Word is the truth that will set us free from all our enslavements to serve God.

George Mueller, who was known for his strong faith,  confided.  “?The first 3 years after conversion, I neglected the Word of God.  Since I began to search it diligently, the blessing has been wonderful.  I have read the Bible through one hundred times and always with increasing delight!”

John Bunyan, who wrote Pilgrim’s Progress, testified, “Read the Bible, and read it again, and do not despair of help to understand something of the will and mind of God, though you think they are fast locked up from you.  Neither trouble yourself, though you may not have commentaries and expositions; pray and read, and read and pray; for a little from God is better than a great deal from man.”

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2(NLT)