This is what Jeremiah the prophet told Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, after Baruch had written on a scroll the words Jeremiah was then dictating. “This is what the Lord the God of Israel says to you, Baruch: You said, ‘Woe to me! The Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.'”
The Lord said, “Say this to him: ‘This is what the Lord says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the land. Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.'” NIV
That’s it. That’s all of chapter 45 of Jeremiah.
I don’t ever remember reading this before. I’m certain that I saw it when I read through the Bible in a year, but, it’s so short … five verses … I completely missed the sentiment.
Baruch is an important example. He’s clearly feeling sorry for himself.
The Message translates verse 3, “These are bad times for me! It’s one thing after another. God is piling on the pain. I’m worn out and there’s no end in sight.” MSG
This last week, my Bible Study group studied Unit Six of Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God. There, Blackaby addresses “The Silences of God.” He eloquently uses the example of Lazarus to illustrate an important point, “God will let you know what He is doing in your life when and if you need to know.”
That’s so powerful. Everything comes from God. I was created by God. I live and breathe because it is at his pleasure that I do so. He can and will use me to accomplish His purposes if I’m willing to submit to His will and obey. When I do, things will not be easy, but, miraculous results will occur.
Along the way, like Mary and Martha and Lazaraus, I’m sure to be frustrated, impatient and discouraged. But, if I will wait upon the Lord, if I will look for His results and His perspective, like Lazarus and his sisters, I will be moved to a new level of expectation, of faith and of trust.
As Lazarus lay dying, Jesus received messages about his condition. After Lazarus had been dead four days, Christ finally arrived, only to be met by one of the sisters who is beyond frustrated. She is so angry … if Christ had come, her brother would not have died. She knew Christ could heal the sick. When He raised her brother from the dead, He used this experience to expand her perspective of his power beyond that which she had imagined.
Blackaby’s point is that God will do this for us, if we will listen and obey.
Baruch isn’t listening. He’s feeling badly about all of the frustrations of his own life … his own life, which God promises to spare. Verse 5 says, “Things are going to get worse before they get better. But don’t worry. I’ll keep you alive through the whole business.” MSG
Things may get worse before they get better … but when they get better, they will be so much better than we could ever have imagined!
That’s what I’ll think about today.