犹大王约西亚的儿子约雅敬第四年，尼利亚的儿子巴录将先知耶利米口中所说的话写在书上。耶利米说： 巴录啊，耶和华以色列的 神说： 巴录曾说：哀哉！耶和华将忧愁加在我的痛苦上，我因唉哼而困乏，不得安歇。 你要这样告诉他，耶和华如此说：我所建立的，我必拆毁；我所栽植的，我必拔出；在全地我都如此行。 你为自己图谋大事么？不要图谋！我必使灾祸临到凡有血气的。但你无论往那里去，我必使你以自己的命为掠物。这是耶和华说的。
Jeremiah’s Address to Baruch.
B. C. 607.
How Baruch was employed in writing Jeremiah’s prophecies, and reading them, we had an account ch. xxxvi., and how he was threatened for it by the king, warrants being out for him and he forced to abscond, and how narrowly he escaped under a divine protection, to which story this chapter should have been subjoined, but that, having reference to a private person, it is here thrown into the latter end of the book, as St. Paul’s epistle to Philemon is put after his other epistles. Observe,
I. The consternation that poor Baruch was in when he was sought for by the king’s messengers and obliged to hide his head, and the notice which God took of it.
He cried out, Woe is me now! v. 3. He was a young man setting out in the world; he was well affected to the things of God, and was willing to serve God and his prophet; but, when it came to suffering, he was desirous to be excused. Being an ingenious man, and a scholar, he stood fair for preferment, and now to be driven into a corner, and in danger of a prison, or worse, was a great disappointment to him.
When he read the roll publicly he hoped to gain reputation by it, that it would make him to be taken notice of and employed; but when he found that, instead of that, it exposed him to contempt, and brought him into disgrace, he cried out, “I am undone; I shall fall into the pursuers’ hands, and be imprisoned, and put to death, or banished: The Lord has added grief to my sorrow, has loaded me with one trouble after another. After the grief of writing and reading the prophecies of my country’s ruin, I have the sorrow of being treated as a criminal; for so doing; and, though another might make nothing of this, yet for my part I cannot bear it; it is a burden too heavy for me. I fainted in my sighing and I find no rest, no satisfaction in my own mind. I cannot compose myself as I should and would to bear it, not have I any prospect of relief or comfort.” Baruch was a good man, but, we must say, this was his infirmity.
Note, 1. Young beginners in religion, like fresh-water soldiers, are apt to be discouraged with the little difficulties which they commonly meet with at first in the service of God. They do but run with the footmen, and it wearies them; they faint upon the very dawning of the day of adversity, and it is an evidence that their strength is small (Prov. xxiv. 10), that their faith is weak, and that they are yet but babes, who cry for every hurt and every fright.
- Some of the best and dearest of God’s saints and servants, when they have seen storms rising, have been in frights, and apt to make the worst of things, and to disquiet themselves with melancholy apprehensions more than there was cause for.
- God takes notice of the frets and discontents of his people and is displeased with them. Baruch should have rejoiced that he was counted worthy to suffer in such a good cause and with such good company, but, instead of that, he is vexed at it, and blames his lot, nay, and reflects upon his God, as if he had dealt hardly with him; what he said was spoken in a heat and passion, but God was offended, as he was with Moses, who paid dearly for it, when, his spirit being provoked, he spoke unadvisedly with his lips. Thou didst say so and so, and it was not well said. God keeps account what we say, even when we speak in haste.
II. The reproof that God gave him for talking at this rate.
Jeremiah was troubled to see him in such an agitation, and knew not well what to say to him. He was loth to chide him, and yet thought he deserved it, was willing to comfort him, and yet knew not which way to go about it; but God tells him what he shall say to him, v. 4. Jeremiah could not be certain what was at the bottom of these complaints and fear, but God sees it. They came from his corruptions. That the hurt might therefore not be healed slightly, he searches the wound, and shows him that he had raised his expectations too high in this world and had promised himself too much from it, and that made the distress and trouble he was in so very grievous to him and so hard to be borne. Note, The frowns of the world would not disquiet us as they do if we did not foolishly flatter ourselves with the hopes of its smiles and court and covet them too much. It is our over-fondness for the good things of this present time that makes us impatient under its evil things.
也许耶利米不能确定巴录的抱怨与恐惧的真正原因，但 神知道——这些来自于他的堕落。创伤并不能不疼不痒的就得医治， 神把伤口剖开，使巴录看到他自己对世界有太多的期待，他幻想能从中得到的太多。这样，他所遇到的困苦就对他显得是如此的沉重以至于他似乎不能承担。若我们并不傻乎乎的献媚于世界、期待它的笑脸，那么，它是否向我们皱眉又有什么好担心的呢？正因为我们过于追求能给当下带来快乐的东西，所以就变得不能忍耐任何不顺心的事。
Now God shows him that it was his fault and folly, at this time of day especially, either to desire or to look for an abundance of the wealth and honour of this world
For, 1. The ship was sinking. Ruin was coming upon the Jewish nation, an utter and universal ruin: “That which I have built, to be a house for myself, I am breaking down, and that which I have planted, to be a vineyard for myself, I am plucking up, even this whole land, the Jewish church and state; and dost thou now seek great things for thyself? Dost thou expect to be rich and honourable and to make a figure now? No.”
- “It is absurd for thee to be now painting thy own cabin. Canst thou expect to be high when all are brought low, to be full when all about thee are empty?” To seek ourselves more than the public welfare, especially to seek great things to ourselves when the public is in danger, is very unbecoming Israelites. We may apply it to this world, and our state in it; God in his providence is breaking down and pulling up; every thing is uncertain and perishing; we cannot expect any continuing city here. What folly is it then to seek great things for ourselves here, where every thing is little and nothing certain!
III. The encouragement that God gave him to hope that though he should not be great, yet he should be safe: “I will bring evil upon all flesh, all nations of men, all orders and degrees of men, but thy life will I give to thee for a prey” (thy soul, so the word is) “in all places whither thou goest. Thou must expect to be hurried from place to place, and, wherever thou goest, to be in danger, but thou shalt escape, though often very narrowly, shalt have thy life, but it shall be as a prey, which is got with much difficulty and danger; thou shalt be saved as by fire.” Note, The preservation and continuance of life are very great mercies, and we are bound to account them such, as they are the prolonging of our opportunity to glorify God in this world and to get ready for a better; and at some times, especially when the arrows of death fly thickly about us, life is a signal favour, and what we ought to be very thankful for, and while we have it must not complain though we be disappointed of the great things we expected. Is not the life more than meat?
神对巴录的安慰：虽然你不会成为大人物，但你是安全的。“不分高低贵贱，我会把所有人都置于灾难之下，但我却要保全你的性命。”“你虽然会处于种种危难的环境下，会受到伤害，但我却要从中救出你的性命”。性命的延续是 神很大的恩慈，使我们仍有机会在这个世界荣耀 神。尤其是四周被死亡环绕的时候，生命是多么宝贵的恩典呀！虽然我们个人的希望落空了，但这又有什么好抱怨的呢！生命难道不胜于饮食吗？