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Bible Study Guide

Jeremiah

Jeremiah 45 5 Meaning

Jeremiah 45 5 Meaning
Fate of Baruch

But then the Lord presents another fate. In verse 5 he promises a certain fate to Baruch. And he’s going to hear God promise him a fate that is in stark contrast to that of the destruction that’s coming to the world.

Jeremiah 45 5 Meaning
Change in Plans

But before the Lord can contrast his plans for Baruch to his plans for the world, he needs to address Baruch’s own plans for himself – which we discover is something God wants the scribe to change.

5 And seekest thou great things for thyself?
seek them not:

So, this man who has had a family history of ties to royalty – who himself is a smart and maybe even ambitious man – Baruch was seeking great things for himself.

And I do wonder if this scribe was starting to wander from God’s plan for his life. It’s not hard to see how this might be the case.

Baruch takes this job as Jeremiah’s scribe. He writes down a message straight from the prophet who got it from the God of heaven. But then the reaction is humiliating. In fact, now Baruch fears for his own life.

And so, I think it’s easy to imagine that Baruch was regretting his choice of identifying himself with the prophet. In fact, we already saw in this chapter that he was starting to blame God for his life of woe. Maybe he was starting to imagine what life would be like without all the baggage of being identified with the Lord and with Jeremiah.

But God’s simple and straightforward response to this second-guessing scribe is: “STOP IT!” “Don’t seek great things for yourself in this world apart from the Lord!”

Why?

Jeremiah 45 5 Meaning
Reminder of the World’s Fate

Well, here again the Lord reminds Baruch of the fate of this world – which he just told him about a few sentences prior to this.

for, behold, I will bring [evil/disaster] upon all [flesh/humanity], saith the LORD:

So, this judgement and punishment are universal. No one will escape this time of God’s dealing with the world. And again, we’ll see that in greater detail in the next six chapters.

Jeremiah 45 5 Meaning
Baruch’s Fate

But now, God brings it all home for Baruch.

Baruch was seeking things from the world that the world simply couldn’t give – because it was passing away. It was sinking sand. And Baruch was being tempted to leave the solid ground of Submitting to God’s Authority to jump right in to the quicksand of the world around him. What a mistake that would have been.

And so, God encourages Baruch with his fate contrasted to that of the world at the end of verse 5.

but thy life will I give unto thee for a [prey/prize of war] in all places whither thou goest.

And I’d like us to consider what actually happened to Baruch. And we just saw it in the last several chapters as we’ve gone from chapter 36 where Baruch’s very life was being threatened to chapters 42-44 where Baruch was still living – even being accused by the other Jews of stirring up Jeremiah to be against them.

The point is that Baruch heeded this message. And as a result he lived.

In addition, we need to note how Baruch’s life ties in with the last few words of chapter 44, verse 28. There we have God telling the rebellious Jews in Egypt that he’s going to bring Babylon to Egypt, and that as a result they “shall know whose words shall stand, mine, or theirs.”

Well, in the life of Baruch, whose words stood? The Lord’s word to Baruch certainly stood. And in contrast to God’s word standing in chapter 44, here with Baruch, the Lord’s word stood – not for Baruch’s destruction – but for his salvation – his physical deliverance.

So, what we see in verse 5 here is God challenging Baruch to set his sights a little lower. He shouldn’t seek great things in this world. He should seek to be faithful to God and submit to his authority.

If he does – no, he wouldn’t be dealing with “great things” – but “great things” are worthless in a world that is crumbling to bits. “Great things” grow wings and fly away. “Great things” can’t save your life in this world or the next.

But if Baruch submits to God, he would have what hardly any other Israelite had by the time Babylon was through with them. He would have… his life. God would see to it that just as Jeremiah was protected and preserved, just as Ebed-Melech was protected, so too Baruch would be protected from all life-threatening danger.

So, life wouldn’t turn out for Baruch as perhaps he had planned.

He wouldn’t be a prized advisor to the king like his grandfather was to Josiah. And yet Baruch was a helper to the most faithful man in Judah at the time – Jeremiah.

Baruch wouldn’t be a “quiet prince” or a “prince of rest” like his brother Seraiah. But he would receive rest from the Lord – even when almost everyone else around him was being killed.

Baruch wouldn’t receive great things in the crumbling world of his time. But he would serve his great God and the great prophet of that great God. And he would receive the great reward of keeping his life.

And all this – not for being great or trying to achieve greatness – but for simply remaining faithful to the Lord when all others were turning from him.

And if we want to be great and to be successful in this life, we can take this example from Baruch’s life. Don’t seek greatness in this crumbling world. Seek the great God whose kingdom will never crumble and whose faithful covenant love endures forever.

May the Lord encourage us toward this end with this Rebuke to Baruch.

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Comments

  1. thank you for explaining Jeremiah 45 5 so well and for your exhortation to seek what is the most important treasure that is God himself.

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