Jeremiah Chapter 45
Jeremiah 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,”
“Fourth year of Jehoiakim”: (The year was 605 B.C.; Chapter 36), when the recording of God’s messages to Jeremiah was in view.
This message of hope to the faithful scribe, Baruch, was delivered “in the fourth year of Jehoiakim”, the same year in which Baruch went to the temple and read the scroll of Jeremiah’s prophecies.
We know that Baruch was a very good friend of Jeremiah’s. He acted as secretary to Jeremiah when he wrote the prophecies that Jeremiah spoke with his mouth. This chapter is looking back to the 4th year of the reign of Jehoiakim.
Jeremiah 45:2 “Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch;”
Whom he knew by name and had a regard for, and honors with this prophecy. And, being an Israelite, both in a literal and spiritual sense, he addresses him as the God of Israel. And as being his covenant God. In whom he should put his trust, and from whom he might expect safety and protection in the worst of times. And to whose sovereign will, in all the dispensations of his providence, he ought to have humbly and patiently submitted.
This prophecy is very unusual, in that it was addressed to an individual. This means that the general prophecy against the family of Judah did not include Baruch.
Jeremiah 45:3 “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.”
“Woe is me!” Baruch felt anxiety as his own cherished plans of a bright future were apparently dashed; even death became a darkening peril (compare verse 5). Also, he was possibly pressed by human questionings about God carrying through with such calamity (compare verse 4). Jeremiah spoke to encourage him (verse 2).
Baruch was like many ministers, he found himself alone. His friends did not associate with him, because they did not like Jeremiah’s message. In turn, they did not like Jeremiah. Baruch was included in that because he believed everything Jeremiah said. Baruch did not want to associate with them for a totally different reason. He was grieved at their sinful way of life. He was even more grieved that they did not repent of their sins. It grieved him greatly when the writing he made for Jeremiah was burned in the fire. He was a godly man and could not understand their sinfulness. He was greatly grieved because these were his people.
Jeremiah 45:4 “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.”
“Say unto him”: God will judge this whole nation (the Jews).
Baruch’s lofty calling was simply to be a faithful minister (compare Mark 10:45), content with the Lord’s appointment (compare Phil. 4:11). Faithfulness has its own reward (compare 39:16-18; Heb. 13:5-6; see the note on 36:4).
Judgement had come upon the whole land. Baruch just happened to be living there when it happened. Many godly people endure hardships, because of the sins of the people around them. All of it belonged to God and He would do with it as He pleased.
Jeremiah 45:5 “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.”
“Seekest thou great things?” Baruch had his expectations far too high, and that made the disasters harder to bear. It is enough that he be content just to live. Jeremiah, who once also complained, learned by his own suffering to encourage complainers.
God said unto him, “This is no time for you to prosper. You will have to be satisfied that I will save your life”. Baruch would probably have to move about from place to place because of the people’s hatred of him. There would not be good times for anyone, even Jeremiah. A prophet usually suffers some of the hardships of the people they prophesy to.
Jeremiah Chapter 45 Questions
- What was he to Jeremiah?
- What does this prophecy to an individual mean?
- How was Baruch like many ministers?
- Why did his friends not associate with Baruch?
- Why did Baruch not want to associate with them?
- What does the LORD say, He will do in verse 4?
- What would Baruch have to be satisfied with from God?
- Who is the prophecy of Jeremiah 46:1 speaking to?