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Friday, June 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 45

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-5

Chapter 45

Now as we move into chapter 45, we are moving into the final part of Jeremiah's prophecies. This is known as the sixth part of the prophecies in which we have miscellaneous prophecies that are of... come from the different periods of Jeremiah's life, but they are directed for the most part against the nations that are round about Israel. And God brings these nations around Israel - Egypt, the Gentile powers, Philistia, Tyre, Babylon and so forth - He brings them into a prophetic view as God declares the judgments that will come upon these various nations.

But chapter 45 is a message to Baruch who was Jeremiah's friend and scribe. Jeremiah dictated it to Baruch who was a scribe and who wrote the words of Jeremiah in a book.

So this is,

The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to 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 ( Jeremiah 45:1 ),

Now you remember Jehoiakim took the scroll and he cut it with his penknife and tossed it in the fire. Now at the time that Jeremiah gave to him these words and Baruch wrote them, God also gave a special word to Baruch.

Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch ( Jeremiah 45:2 );

Wouldn't that be something to have God give you a personal message? Heavy duty, you know. And yet, I have had God give to me personal messages right out of His Word. When right out of the Word of God the Word just seems to speak to you. And you knew it was God speaking to you right out of the book and just a personal application. It just fits so perfectly and was so appropriate for the moment. "Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch."

You did 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 ).

Actually Jehoiakim, when he cut up the scroll, was seeking Baruch. He was going to really give it to him for reading that scroll. And Baruch was in hiding. And he heard that Jehoiakim was after him and all and he says, "Woe is me! For the Lord has added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest." That's what Baruch was saying.

But 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 ( Jeremiah 45:4 ).

I built this nation; I'm going to break it down. I've planted; I'm going to pluck it up.

And seekest thou great things for thyself? Don't seek them ( Jeremiah 45:5 ):

The whole thing's going to go down, Baruch. I'm going to pluck the place up. I'm going to break it down. So it is foolish at this point to seek great things for yourself. 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 wherever you go ( Jeremiah 45:5 ).

In other words, "I'll spare your life wherever you go. But I'm going to bring destruction." Therefore, the message of the Lord to Baruch basically was "Don't seek great things for yourself. The whole system's going down the tube so why seek great things for yourself?" Jesus said, "What shall it profit a man, if he would gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" ( Mark 8:36 ) What if you could gain the whole world? What joy do you think you would have being the richest man in hell? What should it profit a man if he would gain the whole world and lose his own soul? "Don't seek great things for yourself. It's all coming down, Baruch. Don't worry about it. Don't seek a great name. Don't seek greatness for yourself. Seek God. God will protect you wherever you go. He'll be with you. He'll give you your life. But don't seek after great things for yourself."

Jeremiah had one of the most difficult ministries that any servant of God has ever been called to perform. For from the beginning his ministry was destined for failure. God told Jeremiah in the beginning, "I'm going to send you to these people, but they're not going to listen to you." And so it happened. Jeremiah came and spoke the word of the Lord faithfully to them, but they didn't listen. "And because they will not listen, thus I am going to bring upon them all of the evil that I have declared." And Jeremiah had to stand by helplessly knowing what was happening. Seeing the decay. Seeing the downhill plunge. Seeing the people headed towards destruction. Calling out, crying out, warning them, but unable to do anything to turn them or to stop them from their own disastrous path to oblivion. He had to watch and oversee the death of the nation that God might be faithful and righteous in His judgment so that no one could say, "Well, God didn't warn us," or, "God didn't tell us," or, "Oh, if God had only told us, things would be different." God is always faithful. He always has His servants there to warn and to speak the truth.

I feel that there are tremendous parallels that can be drawn between the nation of Israel at this time of their decline and fall and the United States, in that Israel was known as a people of God. In their beginning they were founded upon God. They experienced the blessings of God and God made them a strong and powerful nation. And you can see the parallel. In the beginning our founding fathers were looking to God for guidance in the establishing of these United States. And they established the Constitution guaranteeing the freedoms of worshipping God. One nation under God. Acknowledged the fact that we were a nation under God and we were known as a nation under God. And God blessed and prospered our nation. But Israel, when they became prosperous, got their eyes off of God and began to worship and serve other gods, the gods of their own hands, the gods of materialism. Even as we in the United States today are burning our incense to the gods of materialism. And having forsaken the true and the living God, they became forsaken by God and they were weakened and they ultimately failed. Jeremiah had to watch the fall. Seeing what was going on, warning them, but with no avail. He had to see the tragic consequence of a nation who had turned their backs on God.

I am deeply concerned of the horrible moral conditions that exist in the United States today. I am deeply concerned about the prevalence of pornography, the exploitation of sex, of the openness of homosexuals and lesbians. And of the latest advocating of incest, encouraging parents to have sexual experiences with their own small children. We are about as low as we can go. When these people can even get a voice in a national publication like Time Magazine this week where they espouse their views. It can't go on.

Now God has His faithful remnant and God will be faithful to His remnant. They shall escape. But the judgment of God is going to fall heavy and hard. You can be sure of that. God's Word gives vivid details of His judgment that is coming very soon. Jesus spoke in great detail of that judgment. And turning to His followers He said, "Pray always, that you'll be accounted worthy to escape all of these things that are going to come to pass upon the earth, and to be standing before the Son of man" ( Luke 21:36 ). Pray that you'll be that faithful remnant. More than pray--commit your life to God. Serve the Lord. Put Him first. "Beware," Jesus said, speaking of these last days, "lest at any time your own heart be overcharged with surfeiting, the dining pleasures, drinking, drunkenness, or the cares of this life, that that day come upon you by surprise" ( Luke 21:34 ). For it will come as a surprise upon all who are dwelling upon the earth. Be careful it doesn't take you by surprise. Live after the Spirit. Walk after the Spirit. Be led by the Spirit. Turn from a life of the flesh and the seeking of the satisfying or gratifying of your flesh to live a life after the Spirit. "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near" ( Isaiah 55:6 ). And, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" ( Matthew 6:33 ).

Even as in Israel womanhood became degraded, I notice how they are attempting to degrade womanhood today starting with pretty little teenage girls and making them sex symbols. How tragic. We hold them up as examples to the women. God help us. For when women become degraded that's always the final straw.

You that are the Lord's, serve Him. Make a new commitment of your life to God. "God, I'm going to live after the Spirit. I'm going to follow after You. I'll forsake Egypt. I'll forsake the flesh. And I'll live fully after Thee, O God." The time has come for you to make that kind of commitment and to lead your family in it that they might escape these things that are shortly coming to pass, as God's judgment is certain to fall upon this godless generation. Time will show whose word is going to stand: that of the agnostic, or that of God; that of the liberal press, that of the mocker, or that of the true and the living God. But the thing is, when God's Word was proved true, it was then too late.

God warned through Noah, "There's going to be a flood." "Ahh, flood, whoever heard of a flood?" "Water is going to fall from heaven." "Ahh, whoever heard of rain?" Noah went in. God shut the door. It began to rain. "We believe you now. Wow!" Too late. There are many believers too late. God's Word is going to stand. It's important that we stand on God's Word. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Jeremiah 45". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/jeremiah-45.html. 2014.
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