My Thoughts. . .
Jeremiah was a prophet that had God’s promise that He would not allow others to kill him. God kept His promise, but it did not excuse him from suffering. He spent time in jail. He was imprisoned several times. His captors did not treat him kindly. Plots were made by different groups, even family, to murder him, but God did not allow it. Jeremiah was well known, but not popular with most Jews. He was negative when others wanted him to be positive. Most prophets in his day did not care to preach his message nor hear it. Jeremiah was better treated by Babylon’s king than he was by his own. Jeremiah would have directed his lifetime work in a different direction if God had not called him. But call him He did! Jeremiah did God’s bidding, but he did not wake up each morning with a smile on his face.
Jeremiah was not a preacher with crowds filling several campuses. Actually, few were friendly with him. Most did not like his preaching. He wrote his prophecies down and they were delivered to the king. That ruler had Jeremiah’s book read to him. Baruch was his faithful scribe or secretary, but his job did not make him popular with the people. I cannot imagine the verbal abuse he suffered as he made his way home each evening. Perhaps his parents and siblings attempted to influence him to find better employment. Siblings may have told Baruch that Jeremiah was a street that led nowhere.
Did Baruch stay with Jeremiah because of the salary, prestige, or positive notoriety he would gain from that employment? Did his family encourage him to work for Jeremiah or attempt to talk “some sense” into him? On his way to work or return to home, did folks on his route slap him on the back and tell him what a wonderful thing he was doing by working for Jeremiah? Did Baruch learn a “dark” vocabulary from people he passed by that recognized who his employer was?
If people thought Jeremiah was crazy due to his lessons of doom and gloom, would they not allow their hate for Baruch’s employer to also spill over on him? Sadly, neither the king nor his subjects excused Baruch employer nor him. The King did not think much of Jeremiah’s composition and showed his hatred with a knife. An official told Baruch “to hide” and he and Jeremiah did (Jeremiah 36:19, 26).
Bible students may admire someone like Jeremiah for his faithfulness in the face of hatred, threats, imprisonment, hunger, and such. However, how many consider or admire Baruch’s position? Think about what he and his family had to endure? Would you have wanted to work for Jeremiah under those conditions?