Jeremiah, the “prophet of doom” in the Old Testament, had a personal secretary named Baruch. I don’t know if Baruch was an actual student of Jeremiah’s, or if he had just unwittingly fallen into the position for lack of anything better to do, considering the circumstances and all.
Or maybe he was looking for adventure. If that’s the case, he got a bit more than he bargained for.
To begin with, his boss was not a popular fellow. Regardless, writing down everything Jeremiah said was, in itself, not necessarily dangerous. Until one day when Jeremiah sent Baruch to actually READ it to the powers that be:
“Then the king commanded…to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah. But the Lord had hidden them.” (1)
Baruch, faithful as he was, had his moments. After Jeremiah was jailed, they were both later carried away to Egypt, where God had said most everyone was going to be slaughtered in the near future, (that just had to be comforting, considering how accurate his boss had been so far.) So sometime later down that road, here’s what is recorded:
“This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You have said, ‘I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven’t I had enough pain already? And now the LORD has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest.’ “Baruch, this is what the LORD says: …Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people; but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, the LORD, have spoken!’” (2)
Can anyone relate? Worn out. And he’s just the messenger’s messenger! He’s so far down the food chain, they’re nibbling up the toes! What good have I done and does it even matter? What’s the point? Why bother? Let’s get outta here and go order some pizza and least try to enjoy what’s left of life.
Then God reminds Baruch of a foundation truth:
It’s not about him.
Fast forward to the first century church, replete with their own political and social challenges. Paul warns his young friend, Timothy, in this way:
“Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (3)
It’s not about me, not my comfort, my pleasure, or even my life. It’s about Him, and like for Baruch, He promises that if I lose my life for His sake…
…I will indeed find it.