45 The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the dictation of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,
2 Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, unto you, O Baruch:
3 You said, Woe is me now! For the Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am weary with my groaning and sighing and I find no rest.
4 Say this to him: The Lord speaks thus: Behold, what I have built I will break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up—and this means the whole land.
5 And should you [a]seek great things for yourself? Seek them not; for behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, says the Lord, but your life I will give to you [as your only booty and] as a [snatched] prize of war wherever you go.
- Jeremiah 45:5 Baruch plays a role familiar in normal human life today—that of having to take second place, having to play second fiddle. He was of high birth; his grandfather Maaseiah was governor of Jerusalem in the days of King Josiah (II Chron. 34:8). Considering all that Baruch was doing to make Jeremiah’s prophecies permanent by recording them for posterity, it is not surprising that he seems to have expected to share the prophet’s rewards. “To play a prominent part in the impending crisis, to be the hero of a national revival, to gain the favor of the conqueror he announced,” seems to have been his high ideal, his glorious dream. When its realization was denied him, “he sank in despair at the seeming fruitlessness of his efforts” (Sir William Smith, A Dictionary of the Bible). Yet Baruch is an excellent illustration of how little the gift of prophecy depended on men, and how completely it remained for God to grant or deny prominence and recognition to His perhaps equally deserving servants. But each man’s eternal rewards are proportioned according to his faithfulness, and not according to his earthly recognition or the lack of it (Matt. 25:14-30).