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, the king of Judah: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: 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.’ 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. 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 45:1-5
Baruch was the penman to the prophet, Jeremiah. Much of the book of Jeremiah is focused on the people’s disobedience toward God’s commands. God continues to speak through Jeremiah, telling the people to obey the Lord and seek His ways. Yet, the people continue to do what they want, and not follow the Lord’s commands. Because of this attitude, Jeremiah, as well as Baruch, face much oppression and many challenges with the people that live in their city.
Jeremiah and Baruch knew that judgement would come upon the city one day because God continues to promise that to them. This passage is before the judgement of Judah comes. At this time, Baruch seems to be physically and spiritually exhausted. He has faced oppression and is spiritually drained because he cannot see what God is doing currently in his circumstances. Jeremiah and Baruch were protected by the Lord, but that does not mean that they did not face any trials or suffering. Baruch keeps trying to stay faithful and patient, but he also wants God to hurry up and make all things right again.
In Jeremiah 45, we see Jeremiah reminding Baruch of the sorrow that God has towards the people. The Lord built something, and due to the corruption of the people, He is about to destroy it. He has planted a people among this land, but He must uproot it due to the people’s idolatry, wickedness, and disobedience.
Much of Baruch’s disappointment and discouragement came from him seeking great things for his own desires. Baruch at this time expected to be in a different and better place than he currently is in. He isn’t where he wants to be, which leads him to facing much sorrow and groaning to the Lord. He is losing patience and hope in the Lord. Maybe you have felt similar before? Or are currently feeling that?
However, we can find hope in verse five, which reminds us that one day, worldly power, popularity, fame, and money will all fade away from this world. Our souls are eternal. The Lord wants us to pursue Him and seek Him over all the worldly items and desires of this world.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” – 1 John 2:15-17
We can seek great things while on this earth, but we need to seek God’s great things for us. This passage is such a beautiful reminder that God not only hears our cries, words, and prayers, but He also meets us exactly where we are. Whether in our times of joy, excitement, peace, sorrow, despair, or suffering, He meets us there and reminds us to have hope in Him and His plan.
The Lord’s love for us is richer and greater than any love or reward that comes from anything else on this earth. While so many things on this earth temporarily satisfy us, Jesus fully satisfies us forevermore. Continue to seek Christ in your living, day by day, wherever He has you planted now.
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