“Baruch, this is what the Lord says:
‘I will destroy this nation that I built.
I will uproot what I planted.
Are you seeking great things for yourself?
Don’t do it!
But don’t be discouraged.
I will bring great disaster upon all these people,
But I will protect you wherever you go.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
God has a looong history of orchestrating attitude adjustments to the inhabitants of this old Earth. He especially seems to focus on the people who have chosen to follow Him through Life. In this present moment, the whole world is dealing with a “plague” like most have never personally experienced. Unexpected, life-altering, scary, and destructive. Our own mortality is in our faces.
But within this global “Disruption” have come changes of attitudes, changes of perspective, and a lot more time to “be.” It’s been beyond our human control to end it. Most have experienced a realization that we cannot just “fix” this.
Earth has a long history of world-changing events…and often these have been part of an awakening to God Himself.
In the prophet Jeremiah’s time, his world was also experiencing a serious “shaking.” There was fear, a sense of helplessness, hopelessness, …all that had been was changing.
God’s perspective is far different from our human perspective. He does not focus on all the “stuff” of life on this planet. He is focused on hearts…on values…on how we value Him and the place we give Him in our daily lives.
God spoke to a man named Baruch, whose world was on the brink of devastation.
Baruch had been writing down the things the old Prophet Jeremiah spoke…which was a lot! He was not very happy about it, either…nor of the compensation for all his work. (Prophets tend to be “loner’s” and financially living on the kindness of others. And they talk a lot, so we can imagine what his “secretary” lived with.)
The people had taken their world into their own hands, disregarding the God who had made them a nation and had cared for them as His Own. Prophet Jeremiah likely had a LOT to say about all of that.
Baruch (which means “Blessed”, but AKA “The Secretary”) had God’s attention. We are given a glimpse into God’s warning to him about one thing: “Do not seek great things for yourself.”
We, as the people of God, are blessed…if for no other reason than His choosing us to be His Holy Nation…His Family. The greatest risk to that relationship is turning our focus on “me…myself…and I.”
In the desert refugee camps, a moment that is stamped on my mind was when I saw a scruffy little girl receive a gift from one of our group. She quickly opened it and pulled out a doll. Her shriek of joy quickly turned into a dash out of the tent, shouting, “Look what WE got! Look what WE got!” as she waved the doll over her head. Her little friends came from all directions, joyfully gathered around the new doll. There was no “I…my….mine” in the mix. The gift was for all of them, in that little girl’s mind.
The best place for us to be is focusing on God, rather than on ourselves. The focus of “me” and “mine” can dissolve in a moment. But keeping our focus centered on God is the safest place to be.