Jeremiah 36:1-20 – Introducing Baruch

Read Jeremiah 36:1-20

quill and scroll paper with Hebrew writing

What a drama we see unfold before our eyes in this reading! And in just twenty short verses we covered the span of a year. I always like when we get those nuggets of exactness on which to create our mental picture of what’s happening in that moment. God was hopeful, “Perhaps the people of Judah will repent when they hear again all the terrible things I have planned for them.”

Faithful Jeremiah listens to God about writing it all down. What surprises me here is that all this time, Jeremiah was not keeping written notes of his prophecies from God. I suppose that’s because I journal a lot! I pour my heart out to God and keep track of answered prayer.

What a memory Jeremiah must have! Or perhaps we see a glimpse of the Holy Spirit aiding Jeremiah to remember. Jeremiah is clearly obedient and favored by God.

Imagine all the hours that Baruch and Jeremiah spent together. If you’ve ever tried to write on a scroll while taking notes, you know it is not an easy task. However, Jeremiah had summoned Baruch — probably known to be a good scribe. As such, his skill in this translation project would be high quality.

We’re not told if Baruch was a believer in God. Yet, I can’t imagine Baruch would risk his life reading these prophecies in the Temple if he were not committed to the LORD and to Jeremiah’s message. We see Baruch’s willingness to do as Jeremiah said. Even if not at first, God would use this opportunity to speak to Baruch’s heart through the words he was putting carefully on the scroll. I’m sure a bond was growing between these men having been part of God’s work together.

Can you think of people you work aside doing God’s work? There’s something “different” there, right? You can’t help but bond with those that share the same love for God.

Did anything else jump out at you today in this reading? For me, I had two things. First, that Jeremiah was in prison. That’s why he had to recruit Baruch to speak for him. “I am a prisoner here and unable to go to the Temple. So you go to the Temple on the next day of fasting, and read the messages from the Lord that I have had you write on this scroll. Read them so the people who are there from all over Judah will hear them.”

Second, the whole interaction that took place between the king’s officials and Baruch. Having heard Jeremiah’s words, Baruch was asked to read the scrolls to them in private. Baruch was then told, “You and Jeremiah should both hide,” the officials told Baruch. “Don’t tell anyone where you are!” I thought Jeremiah was in prison. How could he hide?

The drama in our reading ends focusing on the fate of the scroll. For some reason, I feel like that may have been a cliffhanger, but we’ll have to see how that all plays out. I know I’ve been imagining the scroll is the beginning of the Book of Jeremiah we are now reading.

Reflect on how you are serving God, who you serve with, and if there is more you can do to better honor God.

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray ... Lord, I love seeing how obedient Jeremiah was and how you worked through him. Thank you that I can share this relevant message with others today. I stand in wonder at your mighty hand. Seeing your prophecies fulfilled so perfectly reminds me of the great God you are. I know can count on your promises. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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