Today’s Passage – Jeremiah 41 – 45 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – *James 4:10*
Read the “0825 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Thus shalt thou say unto him, The LORD saith thus; Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land. And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the LORD: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.” (Jeremiah 45:4-5)
Baruch was Jeremiah’s assistant. We find him assisting Jeremiah in the purchasing of land in chapter thirty-two, and again in chapter thirty-six we see Baruch performing the role of an amanuensis, recording the words of Jeremiah, which he then read before the king to warn him of the judgment that God had pronounced upon Judah. Baruch was a faithful servant of the Lord and helper to Jeremiah, but in chapter forty-five, Baruch is complaining about the hardships that he is facing in life because of all of the bad stuff that is happening in the kingdom:
“Thou didst say, Woe is me now! for the LORD hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.” (Jeremiah 45:3)
God tells him through the prophet Jeremiah that a lot of horrible stuff is about to happen to the people of God and a great number of people are going to die, and this is not the time for Baruch to be looking for some great reward or a life of ease. God tells him to just be thankful that he was going to escape the judgment with his life intact. Baruch should have been more concerned about how much his nation had fallen from God and how their sin grieved the Lord. Baruch was looking for an “attaboy” because he was still holding the line and being faithful, but it was not a time for pleasure and rejoicing; it was a time of great calamity for his nation. Baruch was going to get to live and he should be content with that.
Here’s an application that I think can made from this passage. We all have certain expectations about how life could (and maybe should) be. We have this idea that if we do right we can expect to live an easy life, be blessed with a loving family and good friends, have a house with a white picket fence, enjoy good health, and live a long time on the earth. However, as God’s people, our purpose for living here does not surround us and our desires, it surrounds the will of God. We are here on this earth to glorify Him, communicate the gospel to the lost world around us, and to serve other people. God may and will bless us with many good things, and if we are faithful, we will certainly receive many rewards in Heaven. However, we need to learn to be content with whatever God wills and allows for us in this life, and sometimes God permits some “bad” stuff to happen to His children.
The apostle Paul was one of the greatest servants of God in the first century, but he didn’t enjoy here on earth many of the things that the average American Christian expects today. He was beaten often for his faith and put in prison countless times, but he was content with whatever the Lord allowed in His life:
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
As Christians, we do not live for ourselves, we live for the Lord. We serve Him. Will He take care of us and supply our needs? Yes. Will he even bless us with many good things that we will be able to enjoy while we are here on earth? Yes. But, he may also allow, or even ordain, some hardship that we must endure according to His will, and we must be content with that. Really, we must learn to be content with Him and with whatever He puts into our lives.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” (1 Timothy 6:6-9)
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 3 comments.