Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2003 James Melough
45:1. “The word
that Jeremiah the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had
written these words in a book at the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of
Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,”
saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch:”
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.”
It is generally accepted
that chronologically this chapter follows 36:1-8.
It seems that Baruch, after
having written all that the Lord had revealed unto Jeremiah, was overwhelmed
at the terrible judgments about to fall upon Judah because of her
disobedience, and now his master, Jeremiah, had a word of comfort from God for
His grief-stricken servant. This reminds us that even in the midst of affairs
that concern nations, and that are millennia-long in scope, God still has time
to take note of what concerns one individual, as it is written, “Are not five
sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye
are of more value than many sparrows,” Lk 12:6-7.
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
This, in brief, is the
confirmation of God’s intention to destroy that wicked generation of Judah: an
intention that nothing could change, because the people’s refusal to repent
within God’s time had sealed their doom.
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.”
“... great things” is also
translated smooth fortunes: special treatment. Faithful servant though
he had been to Jeremiah and therefore to God, Baruch was being advised that
this would not exempt him from having to share in the general misery
occasioned by Judah’s wickedness; and in this we are being reminded that
faithfulness doesn’t exempt any believer from having to partake of sufferings
that are common to all mankind, or from having to suffer the results of
judgments incurred by the sinfulness of the unconverted. Our blessings are
not according to earthly standards, as we are reminded in Eph 1:3, “Blessed be
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all
spiritual blessings in heavenly places (things) in Christ.” The Lord also
warned us not to be looking for our reward here on earth, but rather to having
to suffer tribulation, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good
cheer; I have overcome the world,” Jn
“I will bring evil upon all
flesh” appears to go beyond judgment upon Judah, and to point to the
world-wide judgments of the coming Tribulation.
“... but thy life will I
give unto thee for a prey....” Baruch might not be exempt from trial and
suffering, but he was assured that his life would be spared until it came
God’s time to take him home; and that same assurance is given every believer.
This obviously doesn’t mean that every believer is exempt from having to die a
violent death, for it is obvious that many do die just such a death. It is
the assurance rather that whether the believer dies a natural or a violent
death, he takes out into the eternal enjoyment of heaven that spiritual life
obtained through faith, and that can never die.