Thursday, October 10, 2019

Write On, Scribes!


by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Last week, while Lori Hatcher penned the words for her September 27 post on The Write Conversation, I spoke at a gathering of the Jolly Christians, the senior ministry of a small church about twenty minutes from my home. Interestingly, Lori and I shared common Bible characters in our thought process. Lori’s delightful post about “Barry” and “Jerry” can be found here on An Unlikely Publishing Story.

To summarize very briefly the passage of scripture related to our similar discussions, found in Jeremiah 36, Jeremiah dictated God’s words to Baruch, the scribe, who wrote on a scroll the words that God spoke about the fate of King Jehoiakim. The words on the scroll eventually made it to the king, but not until it had been heard by and passed through the hands of several important officials, including a man named Elishama who was described as a scribe, or secretary, to the king. 

Well, the king not only didn’t heed the words, but he cut the scroll into pieces and burned it in the fire. God later removed the throne from him because of his actions.

Three times, the words “Elishama the secretary” are mentioned in this passage: in verse twelve, showing his presence during the reading of the scroll, and verses twenty and twenty-one when it was mentioned that the scroll was taken to Elishama’s room.  

That’s it—that’s all the Bible says about Elishama. That’s the end of the story God wrote about Elishama as recorded in the bible. 

However—here’s the cool part. In 1975, an archaeological discovery about forty-four miles southwest of Jerusalem unearthed small lumps of clay that were impressed with a seal, which, as you know in ancient times were used to represent an official signature for someone. The clay seals were stuck to a document to identify the sealer and to make sure the document hadn’t been opened or altered from the time it was written. 

One of those seals belonged to Elishama, and read “Elishama servant of the king,” proving that he was indeed a scribe in the exact time frame and with the exact position that scripture describes. 

From this obscure Bible character who is just the tiniest blip on God’s timeline, seemingly from the three times he’s mentioned in scripture, years and years later, God used Elishama’s story to once again prove the historical reliability of scripture. Just more evidence to validate 2 Timothy 3:16—“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” 

God used the tiniest detail of Elishama’s role as scribe, or secretary, an obscure person mentioned in the Bible only three times—he used that very minor detail to validate the words recorded in scripture to archaeologists hundreds and hundreds of years later. 

When we think the plot of our life is small or insignificant, I think it will benefit us to know that when God writes our story, no matter how small a role it seems like we play, in God’s kingdom, it’s all part of his masterpiece and every stroke is vitally important on God’s timeline. That thought should be a reminder to us to consistently live out one of my favorite verses: Colossians 3:23—“Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.”

Elishama did his job enthusiastically for the Lord, but it certainly blessed a lot of men and women in his day and a whole crew of archaeologists years later. As writers, the very words we put on paper or screen, done enthusiastically for the Lord, just might be the same words that prove the reliability of scripture and God’s faithfulness for generations to come. 

Write on, scribes!  

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Write on, Scribes! Encouragement from @JLavenderWrites on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Julie Lavender read newspapers all over the country while her husband served as a Navy entomologist for twenty years. She wrote for the children’s section of the Denver Post for four years. Currently, she reads and writes for her local newspaper, the Statesboro Herald, back in their Georgia hometown and loves the interesting people she meets as a journalist. Julie also writes for GuidepostsPublications, other magazines, a couple of homeschooling blogs, Just18Summers.com, and many compilations. Combining her education degree, love of homeschooling, and joy of celebrating, Julie wrote a devotional entitled, 365 Days of Celebration and Praise, a party planning book called, Creative Sleepovers for Kids, and three teacher resource books for the religious division of Carson-Dellosa. Julie and David are enamored with their four adult children, one son-in-love, and one gorgeous grandson. Keep up with Julie on social media and at her blog at julielavender.blogspot.com.

10 comments:

  1. Thank you, Julie for this encouraging reminder. We never know if one word or phrase in an article or post is what a person needed to hear that day. When we write for the internet, our words are stored to be retrieved by someone's search in the future.

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    1. Isn't that both a little frightening and a lot exhilarating, Marilyn, to know that the words we say about God can be retrieved now or even years from now? Makes me feel more responsible for the words I say that will bring glory to God and point people to Him! Thanks for commenting, Marilyn!

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  2. Great post! It seems the enemy loves to use, “This is not important” as a common attack. In the past I’ve taken comfort from Acts 9:19 “Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.” Those nameless “disciples” were God’s instruments to teach the Apostle Paul the basics about Jesus! Elishama is another great example to remember when negativity attacks! :)

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    1. Oh, I really like that reminder - Acts 9:19 - that though they were not mentioned by name, those folks were quite possibly very influential in what Paul would say and do throughout his ministry! That's powerful! Our words, as writers, can be powerful for Jesus in so many ways! Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Before writing, I like to pray and ask God to give me words He wants me to share. We never know when something we share will impact another person and draw them closer to Him. :-)

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    1. Melissa, I do the exact same thing! I ask God to "fill my cup and let the words spill over onto the page that [you] want me to say that will glorify and honor [you]." It gives me such comfort to start any writing project with those words! And, you're right - it's kinda cool to think about the fact that we won't even know this side of heaven how many people that we might impact through our writing! Thanks for commenting!

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  4. How perfectly stated Ms. Julie. One day, I'll share my "scribe" story with you, but until that time, I'll refer back to this post to find great solace and inspiring encouragement. I hope to one day be on a "Best Seller" list. Not for fame or fortune, but achieving that will mean more people have read something that brings glory to God. I often doubt I can ever come close to achieving such a BHAG for God, but that's up to Him and His plan for me. If something I write touches only one soul; if it moves only one soul closer to God, then I have happily served His purpose for my life. God's blessings ma'am; and thank you so much for this inspiring post.

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    1. Oooh, maybe you can share the "scribe" story at the Enrich conference, J.D.! I'll be watching for your name on that Best Seller list, J.D. - I'm confident it will be one day! And, yes, what a blessing to know that our work has the potential to move souls closer to God! A huge responsibility, too, but a reward and blessing for sure!

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  5. Julie, this is one of the most encouraging posts for writers I've read! By using God's Word, you gave me new appreciation for the gift of writing. May God be glorified in all we write. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Jeannie! And just think, today, you used your "gift of writing" with the devo you shared that will be read by lots and lots of people! You truly glorified God in your writing and I'm confident many lives will be blessed and encouraged by your words!!! Thanks for commenting, Jeannie!

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