The Indestructible Word
The psalmist said, “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89; cf. 1 Peter 1:23–25).
Someone said, “His words have passed into laws, they have passed into doctrines, they have passed into proverbs, they have passed into consolations, but they have never passed away.” It stands, though infidels may attack it (Jeremiah 36:22–25).
When Antiochus Epiphanes became ruler in Syria in 175 b.c. he destroyed the Jewish temple, sold the people of Jerusalem into slavery, and sought to do away with their sacred writings, forcing Greek culture upon the Jews. This was all done in an effort to substitute Zeus worship for the worship of God. Frank E. Hirsch in, “Abomination of Desolation,” wrote, “The observance of all Jewish laws, especially those relating to the sabbath and to circumcision, were forbidden under pain of death. The Jewish cult was set aside; in all the cities of Judaea, sacrifices must be brought to the pagan deities. Representatives of the crown everywhere enforced the edict. Once a month the search was instituted, and whoever had secreted a copy of the law or had observed the rite of circumcision was condemned to death.” However, God saw to it that efforts to destroy the sacred writings of the Old Testament failed.
Roman emperor Diocletian decreed death for any person who owned the Bible. After two years he boasted, “I have completely exterminated the Christian writings from the face of the earth.” In fact, he is said to have erected a monument over the ashes of burned Bibles. However, when Constantine came to the throne and desired copies of the Bible, offering a reward to anyone who could deliver one, within twenty-five hours fifty copies of God’s word were offered to the emperor.
Voltaire was a notorious French infidel. In 1778, he boasted that within one hundred years the Bible would be no more. Later, the very press that printed the blasphemous prediction was used to print Bibles, and the house in which he lived was used by the Geneva Bible Society to store Bibles and as a distribution center.
Bob Ingersoll, an American agnostic, once held a Bible up and boasted. “In fifteen years I will have this book in the morgue.” Within fifteen years, Ingersoll was in the morgue; however, the word of God lives on. — Wendell Winkler