Thursday, June 21, 2018
Have you ever had one of those days when you wondered why you ever got out of bed? You reached for the jelly and immerse your toast with spilled coffee? You put your car keys down and cannot remember where? That hide and seek game devoured too many minutes, making you late to work! Have you ever sat down at work and noticed you had a black shoe on one foot and a brown one on the other? Some days scream out, “Stay in bed, it’s not worth it”!
When Baruch was being interviewed for the job as Jeremiah’s stenographer, did he inform his wife that he had landed a “cushy” job? Did the prophet inform him of that job’s “side-effects”? Perhaps such information wasn’t required then as it is today.
Perhaps Baruch thought his life insurance was guaranteed if he was in the company of God’s prophet. Such a position would not only provide a reasonable living, but generate popularity, respect, and gratitude from others because he was working for a God man! His work as a scribe would one day encourage and edify millions. He was part of history itself! Each copied word had the imprint of God’s hand!
What an honor it was when Jeremiah told him to take the finished scroll to the king and read it aloud. He would be the center of attention. He would be informing the king and all his entourage what God wanted them to know. It must have been a huge surprise when the king made mince-meat out of his hard work. If the king didn’t hold Jeremiah or his inspired work in high esteem, wouldn’t that hint at be the fate of the scribe too! When the one who dictated the message ended up in a muddy well, maybe the scribe who wrote it down wouldn’t smell like roses either!
It must have dawned on Baruch that if his employer and his inspired material were not respected, neither would he be? The moment came when that realization struck him completely and he cried out, “Woe is me!”
Are you a fair-weather Christian who believes God is wonderful if life is good for you? When everything is going South, do you believe God went AWOL? God promised to protect Jeremiah and Baruch’s life. He did. Jesus promises us everlasting life, not a free get out of jail card! James lost his life. John lived to be elderly, but most apostles met horrible deaths. Jesus promised persecution and Paul reiterated it (Matthew 5:11; 2 Timothy 3:12). Neither Jesus nor Paul promised you an additional vacation house, two cars, a pickup truck, a bass boat, two or three vacations each year, and a salary to live a wonderful life style. Being a Christian isn’t a guarantee of a life without problems.
Baruch cried out, “Woe is me.” One day, we may mimic his groaning? With free will comes responsibilities. Some don’t take theirs seriously. Sin affects us all. It has its consequences. Sometimes those results spill over into our lives. Like Eve, something appears more attractive than walking with God. Troubles plagued the first century church. Pressures were put upon Jewish Christians to renounce their new-found faith and return to their parent’s belief. Some did (Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:25-29). Yet, some knew there was a greater prize in following Jesus (Hebrews 11:37-40)
“We are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39).
One of those days . . . are you ready?