Remember Genesis 12:3? Through Jeremiah, God sends a special word for the nation of Egypt (Jer. chap. 46); Philistia (chap. 47); and Moab (chap. 48).
Among all the prophecies of Jeremiah, the Lord included a personal message to just one man, Baruch, Jeremiah's discontented assistant. Thus saith the Lord . . . unto thee, O Baruch; Thou didst say, Woe is me now! for the Lord hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest (Jer. 45:2-3). Although he could not have known how the people would respond to Jeremiah's message, perhaps Baruch had hoped that his service as a scribe would be a means of achieving personal ambitions and recognition, or other self-serving goals. Baruch's grandfather Maaseiah had been governor of Jerusalem during Josiah's reign (32:12; II Chr. 34:8). Did Baruch secretly think he was "overqualified" to be a mere scribe to an unpopular prophet?
Instead of rewards, or even words of sympathy for his frustrations, Baruch received a strong rebuke from the Lord: Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest (Jer. 45:5).
Baruch expressed no heartfelt grief regarding the impending destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple of God or the loss of freedom and the pitiful slavery of the people, as Jeremiah had foretold. Instead, he only expressed sorrow over his own lack of personal fulfillment.
Although Baruch was recording the Word of God spoken through Jeremiah, he did not have the spiritual concern or insight of the prophet. Jeremiah was deeply concerned for the waywardness of the people of God, desiring that they repent of their sins and avoid the coming judgment and destruction. Baruch should have considered it a great privilege to be a coworker in Jeremiah's ministry.
Our time and talents are precious treasures invested in us by the God of all creation to accomplish His will through us. True fulfillment comes only when we recognize and willingly submit to how God has arranged the circumstances in our lives. Baruch is typical of those who are dissatisfied with their circumstances or their position of less esteem than they think they deserve. In contrast are those whom God can use because they realize that godliness with contentment is great gain (I Tim. 6:6; also Heb. 13:5-6).
Thought for Today:
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:5).
As the One who lovingly corrects His people (Jer. 46:28). Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth (disciplines), and scourgeth (whips) every son whom He receiveth (Heb. 12:6).
46:4 brigandines =armor; 46:11 daughter =people; 48:2 be cut down =perish; 48:10 deceitfully =negligently; halfheartedly; 48:19 espy =catch; 48:41 Kerioth is =cities are.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Assistant to the Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Terry Hall • Government Official: Rep. Marion Berry (AR) • Country: Yemen (17 million) in southwestern Arabia • Major language: Arabic • Attempts to convert Muslims to Christ are fiercely opposed • 98% Muslim; .03% Christian (all secret believers) • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to teach you His ways (Ps. 27:11).
Optional Reading: Revelation 1
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:18