January 30, 2019: The Temptation of Baruch

 

Jeremiah 45:1-5 (NIV)
1  This is what Jeremiah the prophet told Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, after Baruch had written on a scroll the words Jeremiah was then dictating:
2  “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch:
3  You said, ‘Woe to me! The LORD has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.'”
4  [The LORD said,] “Say this to him: ‘This is what the LORD says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the land.
5  Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the LORD, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.'”

 

Baruch had been Jeremiah’s faithful friend for many years.  He watched, as the people of God grew worse with each message Jeremiah delivered.  Jeremiah’s preaching seemed to cause the people to rebel against God even more.  I wonder if he thought that it was only making matters worse for Jeremiah to keep preaching.  I wonder if thoughts entered his mind that all this preaching stuff was only causing more hardship and difficulty.

Perhaps Baruch had this thought enter his mind, “If I only join the false prophets and stop telling the people so much judgment I could really make a name for myself.  I might even be well liked and prosper.”

The God of Baruch knew what thoughts were entering his mind.  He knew the temptations that were causing him such doubt.  Consider what God does to protect Jeremiah’s faithful friend.  He speaks to Jeremiah and gives Jeremiah the exact word to tell Baruch.

List carefully to these words to Baruch from God, they may be words for you today.

Baruch, this world is to be destroyed along with everything in it.  Everything you see with your eyes will be ruined.  Everything you once found pleasure in will soon be turned to dust.  This land is not your eternal home it is going to be destroyed because of the sin of my people.

I know you are considering giving up this life of pursuing me because you think it too costly.  I know you have entertained thoughts of leaving the road of faith that your friend Jeremiah is on but I want to tell you something I have planned for you.

“Do not let the things of this world cause you to give up following me.  Do not seek after the favor of men or the pleasure of things they will only lead you to lose your life.  If you remain on the path of your friend Jeremiah, I will lead you to find life wherever you go.  I am for you not against you Baruch.  Trust me and watch me lead you to a life you have no idea of yet.”

Do you feel like Baruch?  I have on many days.  My word to you today is do not trust in thoughts that cause you to doubt God’s goodness, he really will lead you to life and joy.  Listen to the words Jeremiah to Baruch again.  They are for your life.

 

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