Jeremiah 45 -- 48
Among all the prophecies of Jeremiah concerning the great nations of the world, the Lord God of Israel revealed a personal message to just one man, Jeremiah's assistant Baruch. Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, unto you, O Baruch; You said, Woe is me now! for the Lord has added grief to my sorrow; I am weary with my sighing, and I find no rest (no personal fulfillment) (Jeremiah 45:2-3). Perhaps Baruch saw himself growing older with his personal ambitions still unfulfilled, so he could find no rest, no satisfaction. Perhaps his service as a scribe was a means by which he had hoped to achieve recognition or other self-serving goals.
Baruch's grandfather Maaseiah had been governor of Jerusalem during King Josiah's reign (32:12; II Chronicles 34:8). Perhaps Baruch assumed that he was "overqualified" to be a mere scribe to an unpopular prophet. Was Baruch expecting a prominent position after the transfer of power was complete and the new king took control? Or did he assume that he would have a share of the prophet's rewards which were offered by Nebuchadnezzar to Jeremiah after learning how Jeremiah had urged the nation to submit to Babylon. Whatever his motivation, Baruch was seeking great things for himself. But, in vivid contrast to Baruch, Jeremiah would not accept the rewards offered by the conquering Nebuchadnezzar.
Instead of rewards, or even words of sympathy, Baruch received a strong rebuke from the Lord: Should you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh . . . but your life I will give to you but nothing more wherever you go (Jeremiah 45:5). The greatest fulfillment in Baruch's life should have been the privilege of assisting Jeremiah in letting the people of God and the world know all the words of the Lord, which He had spoken to Jeremiah (36:4).
While working with Jeremiah, Baruch expressed no heartfelt grief about the terrible calamities he knew were coming upon the Kingdom of Judah and the suffering of the people in Jerusalem. Instead, he only expressed sorrow over the lack of fulfillment in his own pursuits.
Although Baruch was recording the Holy, Inspired Word of God spoken through Jeremiah, he did not have the spiritual insight of Jeremiah, whose desire was to see the Lord exalted in Jerusalem and in the Kingdom of Judah. What a precious privilege Baruch had of being a co-worker in the ministry of Jeremiah. It was a position that Elisha had in relation to the prophet Elijah. And, like Elisha, Baruch could have been the prophet's successor. How sad to see that, like Elisha's servant Gehazi, Baruch was only concerned about himself.
Few, however, are those who truly seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and trust that the Lord will provide everything they need (Matthew 6:33). Our life and time is a precious treasure that belongs to the Lord, along with our talents, influence, and abilities to do the best we can to accomplish whatever He has called us to do wherever we are. True fulfillment comes only as we seek to achieve His purpose for our lives. Baruch could hardly have been the only man in Judah competent to serve as a scribe. All of us can be replaced.
Baruch is typical of many who are dissatisfied and often frustrated with their jobs, with their neighbors, even with their wife or husband, or with a position of less esteem than they think they deserve. They fail to realize that godliness with contentment is great gain (I Timothy 6:6).
As the One who corrects His people (Jeremiah 46:28). For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives (Heb. 12:6).
45:5 prey means prize; 46:4 furbish means polish; brigandines means armor; 46:11 daughter means people; 47:4 Caphtor its exact location is unknown; 48:2 cut down means silenced; 48:10 deceitfully means negligently; halfheartedly; 48:19 espy means watch; 48:25 horn means strength; 48:41 Kerioth means cities.
Government Officials: Rep. Marion Berry (AR) and Sen. Robert Kerrey (NE) · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KXEN-AM, Mitchell, IL · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of Tim Peterson · Country: Benin (5 million) in western Africa · Major languages: French and tribal languages · Some hostility toward Christians · 59% animism and voodoo; 17% Muslim; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Children, ask the Lord to enable you to honor your parents (Ephesians 6:1-3).
Memory Verse for the Week:
II Thessalonians 2:12