Jeremiah 45:5: “And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says the Lord. “But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.”
Baruch found himself in a tricky situation as Jeremiah’s scribe and disciple. He was young and smart, and he had his whole life ahead of him. However, there was one small problem: his boss, Jeremiah, kept prophesying the doom of Israel. Baruch finally becomes exasperated in Jeremiah 45 and admits his grief and despair at his situation. He was, after all, trapped in Egypt with a rebellious people of Israel who had dragged him there against his will in a failed effort to flee from the Babylonians.
I can identify with Baruch’s frustration. I’m sure you can too. We are Christians. We are devoted to serving God. We go to church. We pray. We say and do the right things. Some of you have probably even devoted your entire careers to serving the Lord, yet you still find yourself coming up short in certain areas of your life. What happened to God’s promises? What happened to the amazing career you were supposed to have? What happened to the incredible life you were supposed to have?
The Lord responds to Baruch with one question: “Do you seek great things for yourself?” The context is frightening: God has just promised complete destruction for every Israelite who fled to Egypt, and Baruch has the nerve to express dissatisfaction in the midst of it. He should have been happy just to escape with his life as the sword, famine and pestilence wreaked havoc on his countrymen.
When we become frustrated and focus on what we think the Lord is NOT doing in our lives, we need to ask ourselves the same question: “Do you seek great things for yourself?” Are we seeking great things – all those things we are asking for in prayer – for God’s glory, or for our own?
We must remember that we are some of the chosen few who are heirs to the promise of Abraham, and we are promised eternal life in Heaven. We are saved, and we are blessed (fun fact: ‘Baruch’ means ‘blessed’ in Hebrew). We must be careful to avoid Baruch’s mistake and express dissatisfaction in the midst of the destruction happening all around us. Sin is nipping at our heels, but we have a Savior who has redeemed us from the punishment we deserve. We have a Savior who has earned our Father’s forgiveness for us.
Put your life in eternal perspective, and take joy that you are destined to leave this fallen world with eternal life!
-by Pastor Mike White