Message to Baruch
45 The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he wrote these words in a book at the dictation of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: 2 “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: 3 You said, ‘Woe is me! For the Lord has added sorrow to my pain. I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.’ 4 Thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord: Behold, what I have built I am breaking down, and what I have planted I am plucking up—that is, the whole land. 5 And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the Lord. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go.”
Jeremiah had an ear for God and was obedient almost beyond description. Like all the prophets, God placed a message on his heart and had him proclaim His message to all the people that time was drawing near. God was preparing righteous judgment over His rebellious children of Jerusalem.
The people of Judah didn’t listen to Jeremiah’s message from God; they complained, threw him in prison, mocked him, rejected him, and did not heed his warnings. But that did not deter Jeremiah. He knew His God, and he listened and obeyed. For 40 years he passionately and consistently warned the people of Jerusalem to repent.
I at times feel like Baruch. I have no doubt that God plucked me from the life of death and misery for a reason. There is hope in my story, a broken life full of pain and rebellion that God Himself transformed by grace at the moment I surrendered my unbelief.
There is little in my life today that resembles my old self. Many of the outside circumstances may look the same, but the inside is being transformed, thank you Jesus!
It was easy in the early days, filled with an incredible gratitude and passionate desire to know Him more and I searched daily to learn more of who I am through Christ, and to discover what His plans are for me.
As the years pass on and I mature as a Christian, and my eyes continue to open to the darkness of man’s hearts (which increases as I discover the selfish darkness of my own) I begin to see our communities, the nation, the entire world through the eyes of the old prophets.
The immorality, the selfish flesh-seeking hardness of man’s hearts appears to be so all-consuming that there seems like little hope for mankind and we are left with little choice but to warn those around us that the day of the Lord is coming and we must repent lest we all receive the righteous destruction that we so deserve.
There is however great hope in Jeremiah 45:5, For God lovingly warned Baruch that his whining about the burdens of serving the all-powerful God of creation is not desirable, and to help him with the pains of his soul God promised him that although he will witness great destruction of those around him, and the people will reject the message to repent, because of his faithfulness God will give him his life as a prize in all places he goes.
In other words, God is pleased with the servants who press on in spite of great opposition. We may be mocked, persecuted, rejected, and even imprisoned or made destitute while sharing the warning that God’s judgment is always present. But if we are obedient and faithful, eternity with God is our reward, which far outweighs any pains in this life.
We also have something the prophets of the Old Testament didn’t have, the Good News of Christ.
Our New Covenant with God no longer says obey God’s laws or be destroyed. Today we have atonement in the blood of the lamb. The Good News message we get to share with others is that the sins of those who call on Christ as Lord and Savior and follow His ways are washed clean, and with that comes the assurance of salvation, for it is Him who payed our debt.
Forgiveness is no longer ours to earn, but it became His to give, and all He requires is our faithfulness and obedience.
We don’t have to preach fire and brimstone from the street corner (as some still do) but we get the great joy of sharing “there is a Healer, and He loves you”.
For those of us who have crossed over the line and been given insight into the word of God, we have been bestowed by faith and grace alone with an understanding of the life and death difference between dying in darkness and thriving in light, we have been made prophets of the New Covenant.
It is not only our requirement from God as believers and followers of Christ to be transformed by the renewing of our own minds, but our privilege and calling to share that message of hope and salvation available to anyone who will listen.
The message today God is pressing on my heart from this passage is clear, do not become weary in our ministry of sharing the Good News, or in serving those in need that God places in our path.
Our life in Christ is a privilege, not a burden.
Jeremiah may have had nothing in the world’s standards of success; a poor man with a life calling to share a message that everyone rejected. But in God’s eyes, he was a great success.
Success, as measured by God, involves obedience and faithfulness in spite of opposition and personal cost.
My prayer today is that we all find great joy in the journey ahead, in spite of what our eyes may witness around us. We are chosen, cherished and desired children of the Almighty God, called to carry out a pre-ordained plan and purpose chosen just for us. One which we must eagerly and intently press on until that time comes when we are called home.
Prayers and blessings,