Today’s passage goes along with the events of Jeremiah 36 where Jeremiah has Baruch to write everything he said and take it into the Temple to read it because he was banned. My brother, my sister, Baruch still has to teach us so much about ourselves. So, let’s look into today’s verses that show us that Baruch suffered his own setbacks and frustrations while serving Jeremiah. Why?
Baruch had to transcribe Jeremiah’s words, then go to the Temple to read it. Baruch is a scribe and he has decided to dedicate his gift to his God. He is not a prophet, a politician or priest that people should notice him as a powerful public figure. In fact, many believers can easily identify with Baruch than with Jeremiah because Baruch was a common man who simply wanted to take what God gave him and use it for God’s purposes. And, after writing and reading to the temple what he was dictated by Jeremiah, his life is threatened, his work is thrown in fire by the king. He now felt frustrated because it looked as if he had done all that for nothing… and he said to God: ‘Woe to me! The Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest’ (verse 3). And this is where things become interesting: God heard him! Maybe Jeremiah did not even know that Baruch was frustrated. But the God who knows everything knew! So He gave Jeremiah a message for Baruch: “the Lord has told me to say to you, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the earth. Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life” (verses 4-5). My friend, let what you do for the Lord remain for Him… don’t bring in any personal ambition, any self-gratification, don’t bring yourself in!
Yes, God is comforting us as He comforted Baruch, because He knows… He knows what we are doing for Him and He also knows knows what troubles us, our pains, our frustrations, our tears… Despite knowing Baruch’s pain, God only told him to take his eyes off himself and whatever rewards he thought he deserved. Why? Because in doing so, then God would protect him and give him His favour. The lesson for us is that it is easy to lose the joy of serving Jesus when we take our eyes off Him and we serve Him in the hope of receiving what we deserve… yet, we deserve nothing ! The more we look away from the Lord’s purposes towards our own sacrifices, the more frustrated we will become because God works in His time and hoping for a reward can lead you to discouragement owing to frustration… it is simple: what if God has planned to reward you only after your life on earth? My friend, as long as you serve God, beware not to focus on what you are giving up for Him. When this happens, ask the Lord for forgiveness, then redirect your attention to the incomparable privilege you have in serving the King of kings. Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.