The siege heightened. Intense fear plagued the people of the land.
Strength exhausted. Hopes deferred. The Babylonian conquest caved in the land of Israel with a shadow of despair and expected doom. The Divine Will, the year it took place, stretched back to 586 B.C. The people of promise fell into the hands of the Chaldeans.
God favored Baruch, a devoted friend to Jeremiah, the prophet. Notwithstanding severe afflictions, Baruch and Jeremiah stood their ground. Admiration from the priests and Jews was unthinkable. As a result, these people became enemies that sorely and increasingly assailed them morning until night.
The priests fiercely stormed at Jeremiah.
Despite it all, Jeremiah gained a loyal and faithful friend in Baruch. Indeed, a grim picture of a lonely path together.
Baruch, a learned man of the Mosaic Law and customs, could rise to a high position. However, he chose to repress his ambition. Contented to throw in his lot with the prophet Jeremiah, Baruch became secretary and companion to him.
Baruch carefully wrote the exact words Jeremiah dictated to him. He felt the “heat of his spirit” with Ezekiel.
“So the spirit lifted me up, and seized me away. I left in sorrow in the heat of my spirit. Even so, hand of the LORD was powerful upon me.”
Baruch distressed over a message which he was to write from God. However, he continued into writing them. And without disguise, he bravely read the sharp message of reproof to the hearing of the people.
Baruch pleaded, “Hear the words of GOD!”
“Wake up and present your supplications.”
“Humble before GOD, and call for mercy!”
“Return every one of you from your waywardness!”
“Awake to the great anger and fury of the LORD!”
How grievous are the sinful hearts of God’s chosen people? They turned cold and stiff-necked in their love. They eventually succumbed to utter disobedience to GOD.
Judah’s King Zedekiah heard about the foretold ruin of the land. He was full of wrath and commanded for Baruch's arrest, death sentence, and the written words burned.
By now, all the people of Judah regarded the confrontation as a sitting duck for imprisonment. The spirit of their surroundings continued to oppress them bitterly. The two inseparable friends awaited them.
As a team, Jeremiah and Baruch earnestly pressed on. Despite the arrest and banishment, they continued to plead with God. God protected them from the murderous intents of the people. Therefore, He kept Jeremiah and Baruch safe.
Later, as said in Jeremiah 45, Baruch despaired. He met with discouragement. It disheartened him that all those were the enemies of Jeremiah became his too.
“Woe is me now,” he cried. “For the LORD has added grief to my sorrow,...”
Baruch mourned for the spiritual deadness the people faced. He also mourned for the dangers to which his own life was vulnerable.
"And as for yourself, are you looking for greatness?” GOD gently rebuked him to aim for Baruch's trust in His care. God was Baruch's comfort and confidence.
“Have no wish for them: for I will send evil on all flesh,” the Lord said. “But I will keep your life safe from attack wherever you go."
There may be Baruchs in our different circles of friendship. It’ll be worthy of grace to encourage them to holdfast the Truth in Christ’s perfect love.
Desires intended for this world are all broad and vain. Even so, God had planned a better and expected hope for the world at large. Surely, all will vanish away at the coming of the Savior. Even so, the narrow path in which GOD has chosen for His obedient children is everlasting life.
GOD has done all to save humanity. The gift of salvation demanded a high cost. God the Son, in the person of Jesus Christ, left the glories of Heaven. He came to minister to the people; suffered at the cost of His patient pursuit in obedience to the Father, even to death. This act of mercy should draw response of repentance and faith in Him.
How faithfully do we keep the flame of pure love burning in our hearts for GOD?
I am blessed to think it sufficient that God has determined to preserve the Jeremiahs and the Baruchs of our day.
Baruch would have penned these words with Jude,
“Beloved, I gave all diligence to write to you of the common salvation.” Jude continued, "... And encourage you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.”
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