Reading: “Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch: Thou didst say, Woe is me now! for the Lord hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest. Thus shalt thou say unto him, The Lord saith thus; Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land. And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.”—Jeremiah 45:2–5
Here is instruction—and a blessed one it is, when applied by the Holy Ghost—suited for God’s people in all ages of the church, and in all generations. At all seasons, it is unbecoming in a believer in Jesus to have a mind hankering after things of the world, which the carnal seek; but the evil is increased in times of general calamity.
Baruch, though the Lord’s servant, yet felt too much desire of the world’s ease. Learn to avoid every thing that may lead to an attachment to things below; that when you are called on to leave them, their hold may be too little to be felt. And in a day like the present, does the Lord not speak to you in the same language as to the prophet: “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not.” If I have been with Jesus, and given in myself to him, “what have I to do any more with idols?”
It is remarkable, that after the Lord Jesus had instituted his holy supper, and put the cup into his disciples’ hands, he observed, “I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom,” hereby teaching us, that in the dedication of the soul to the Father there is an exchange made of earth for heaven. From that hour, Jesus’ cup was the cup of trembling, and of wormwood and the gall. So, Christian, the disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. And they that are Christ’s are said to have “crucified the flesh, with its affections and lusts.”