September 21

Reading: Jeremiah 45

     1 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.”

 

The major section of the book of Jeremiah concerns God’s prophetic message to Israel and Judea before and during the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem.  This covers Jeremiah 1-45.  This portion of the prophesy closes with this short word to Baruch.

We read of Baruch in Jeremiah chapters 32 and 36.  Baruch was an early scribe, possibly a priest, who served as Jeremiah’s faithful assistant.  He did not personally hear from God, but he served as Jeremiah’s messenger when Jeremiah was not allowed into the Temple or palace.

We discover here, in chapter 45, that Baruch had also become discouraged in his service to Jeremiah.  Through Jeremiah, the Lord has a message for him.  While his world is falling apart around him, the Lord will spare his life.

This may seem even more discouraging, except for this:  Even amid the judgment of God upon nations and peoples, the Lord still thinks of individual people who are seeking to walk in obedience and faith.  He does not forget even one faithful believer.