Read Jeremiah 45 -- 48
Among all the prophecies of Jeremiah concerning the great nations of the world, the Lord revealed a personal message to just one man, Baruch, Jeremiah's assistant. 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 he had hoped that his service as a scribe would be a means to achieve personal ambitions, recognition, or other self-serving goals.
Baruch's grandfather Maaseiah had been governor of Jerusalem during Josiah's reign (32:12; II Chronicles 34:8). Perhaps Baruch secretly thought that he was "overqualified" to be a mere scribe to an unpopular prophet. Or was Baruch expecting a more prominent position after the transfer of power to Nebuchadnezzar? Was he expecting the huge rewards which were offered to Jeremiah by Nebuchadnezzar after learning he had urged the Israelites to submit to Babylon? Whatever his motivation, God knew that Baruch was seeking great things for himself (Jeremiah 45:5). In contrast to Baruch, Jeremiah would not accept the rewards offered by the conquering Nebuchadnezzar for being faithful to God.
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 (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).
Baruch expressed no heartfelt grief about the terrible suffering of the people in Jerusalem that he knew was coming upon the Kingdom of Judah. Instead, he 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 of Jeremiah, whose desire was to see the Lord exalted. What a privilege Baruch had as a coworker in Jeremiah's ministry. It was a position that Elisha had in relation to Elijah. Like Elisha's servant Gehazi, Baruch was only concerned about himself.
Only a few truly seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and trust that the Lord will provide for their needs (Matthew 6:33). Our time and talents are precious treasures that belong to the Lord to accomplish His will through us. True fulfillment comes only as we seek to achieve His purpose for our lives.
Baruch is typical of those who are dissatisfied and often frustrated with their jobs, with a position of less esteem than they think they deserve, with their neighbors, or even with their spouses. They fail to realize that godliness with contentment is great gain (I Timothy 6:6).
Christ Revealed: 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).
Word Studies: 46:4 brigandines means armor; 46:11 daughter means people; 48:2 cut down means silenced; 48:10 deceitfully means negligently; halfheartedly; 48:19 espy means watch; 48:41 Kerioth means cities.
Government Official: Rep. Marion Berry (AR) · BPM Staff: Linda Kennon · Pray for William Parker, Crosswalk.com, Inc. · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of Tim Peterson · Country: Turkmenistan (4 million) southwestern central Asia · Major languages: Turkmen and Russian · Religious freedom: 76% Muslim; 6% Russian/Armenian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you discernment in all decisions (I Corinthians 2:14).
Optional Reading: Revelation 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 3:8