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Bible Pathways 08/27/2002

August 27

Read Jeremiah 45 -- 48

In Today's Reading:

Jeremiah's message to Baruch; prophecy against Egypt, Philistia, and Moab.

Verses for Today:

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 (no personal fulfillment) (45:2-3).

Although Jeremiah prophesied concerning many nations of the world, the Lord spoke through him to just one man, Baruch, his assistant. Perhaps Baruch 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 (Jeremiah 32:12; 2 Chronicles 34:8). Did Baruch secretly think 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 his heart and 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 his 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 unto [you] (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 unto [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 like the position that Elisha had in relation to Elijah. Sadly, like Elisha's servant Gehazi, Baruch was only concerned about himself.

Only a few people 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 and are to be used 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 (1 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 (Hebrews 12:6).

Word Studies:

46:4 brigandines = armor; 46:11 daughter = people; 48:2 cut down = silenced; 48:10 deceitfully = negligently; halfheartedly; 48:19 espy = watch; 48:41 Kerioth = cities.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Marion Berry (AR) · Pray for your pastor · Country: South Africa (43 million) on the southern tip of the African continent · Major languages: Afrikaans and English · Religious freedom · 67% Protestant; 20% animism, magic, and ancestor worship; 10% Roman Catholic; 3% Asian religions · Prayer Suggestion: Realize that you are insufficient (Ephesians 6:10-11).

Optional Reading: Revelation 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:13

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