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,
2 Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch:
3 Thou 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.
4 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.
5 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.
Have you bought in to the prosperity gospel? Do you think that because you are a Christian that God owes you comfort and luxury in answer to your prayers? Or do you think that because your life revolves around serving Him that you deserve to be the exception in times of hardship as a reward for your service? Rest assured that God can and often does bless His followers in tangible ways, but it is never because we “deserve” it; it is always because of his mercy and goodness. Sometimes he reminds us that mere survival through the hard times is blessing enough.
Baruch faced similar temptations and must have been muttering to God when Jeremiah reported this word from the Lord, “Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don't seek them. Indeed, I'm about to bring disaster on all flesh,' declares the LORD, 'but your life will be spared wherever you go.'" Jeremiah 45:5 ISV. Hold on to Jesus during trials and answer with faithful Job, "I left my mother's womb naked, and I will return to God naked. The LORD has given, and the LORD has taken. May the name of the LORD be blessed." Job 1:21 ISV.
Karen D. Lifshay
Hermiston SDA Church Communications Secretary, Oregon USA