The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Jeremiah 45

Jer 45:1

BARUCH: A cousin of Jeremiah (see Lesson, Jeremiah's family tree). Did he seek the "great thing" (v 5) of High Priestly office, or of prophetic successor to Jeremiah?

Jer 45:5

SHOULD YOU THEN SEEK GREAT THINGS FOR YOURSELF? SEEK THEM NOT: Baruch was a faithful servant of God, but (like us?) he was not above a bit of petty grumbling. His complaint (and remember, every complaint is really a complaint against God!) went like this: "Woe is me now! For the LORD hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest" (Jer 45:3).

Baruch was very much like most of us. He wanted to have his cake, and eat it too. He wanted to see God's purpose fulfilled in the earth, but he wanted a good measure of personal comfort in the meanwhile. In short, he wanted God and "mammon"! God's answer to Baruch was blunt: "Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up" (v 4).

Do you think, God said, that everything in this age should minister to your comfort? I have greater purposes to accomplish, and you are just one small piece of a large operation. Do you expect that I'm going to shake the foundations of your world, and topple all worldly institutions, while you escape unscathed? "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" (v 5).

So it will be for us, brothers and sisters. We live at the end of an age, on the brink of a volcano. A time of testing is coming, to prepare us for Christ's return, and to teach us that we can place no trust in anything around us, but only in God. Do we seek "great things" for ourselves in this crumbling world? It is already too late. Let us pray God to spare only our lives.

Do we seek comfort now? It is a delusion. Do we somehow have the idea we can recline in our easy chairs and stare at our wide-screen color televisions, until the limousine comes to take us away to the kingdom? It is not to be, and the sooner we are rid of such fantasies the better!

"Do not let us sit down supinely... and wait for God to do what He will never do. He brings things to a certain point and leaves men to do the rest. God works in His own way, and it is for us to find it out. Get into the groove of this, and God will work with us and prosper our endeavours, if it seems good to Him so to do. And an enlightened man will not wait till he can do a great thing. If a man waits till he can do a great thing, he will never do anything. Do the little things faithfully and these may grow to great. Things that are considered great are made up of many littles, and the man who scorns the little will never reach the great" (WP 182,183).

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