This is the message which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written down these words in a book at Jeremiah’s dictation, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying: “Thus says the Lord the God of Israel to you, O Baruch: ‘You said, “Ah, woe is me! For the Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am weary with my groaning and have found no rest.”’ Thus you are to say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, what I have built I am about to tear down, and what I have planted I am about to uproot, that is, the whole land.” But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I am going to bring disaster on all flesh,’ declares the Lord, ‘but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you may go.’”

Jeremiah 45

Jeremiah 45 is among the shortest chapters in the Bible, being only 5 verses long, but it has much more significance than its value as a Jeopardy question.

Baruch’s prayer to God was answered through the prophet and the message that was returned was striking. Baruch was eager to have his security and his prosperity in the moment he was living in, but God had other plans. There was to be a displacement and a disruption. No new walls to protect were going up and the walls that were there were to come down.

It was time to uproot the unfruitful vineyard and prepare for a new planting.

In return God promised a different reward, not the secured borders of conquest nor the spoils of a raid. The treasure that Baruch could expect to hold onto was to his own life.

The safety God promises is permanent and unshakable but sometimes distant or hard to perceive. We might never live in the right time to enjoy the benefits of earthly peace and security but we always follow the One who is winning the war.

Ethan Kirl

Originally published July 9, 2020