11 Feb 2018

Baruch was a trusted friend of, and a scribe or secretary to, the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32: 12). He was from a princely family.

The relationship between Baruch and Jeremiah teaches a lot about a kind of useful partnership that can enhance the publication or dissemination of God’s word.

We could say that Jeremiah the prophet had the message, but not the pen or the skill to write that message, whereas Baruch had the pen, but not the message, for which he had to wait on the prophet.

At one point, Jeremiah was shut up in prison, which heightened his need of his secretary-friend, to convey his words to the people, for whom the word had come (36:5).

Jeremiah’s imprisonment represents a kind of limitation; and everyone has his or her unique limitations or handicaps, which others are well suited and skilfully disposed to help them out of. No one person has all the talent or anointing they need to get to where God is taking them. Not even Moses the friend of God. He needed Bezaleel and Aholiab to help him with their skills in crafts to realise the earthly Tabernacle whose heavenly pattern God had shown him. We all have deficiencies that somebody else is ordained by God to make up, so that every part of the Body would function well in their respective ministries, and no one person would think they are indispensible.

Jeremiah did not take to himself all the credit for his messages which Baruch helped him to ‘midwife’ to the people. The secretary-transcriber, Baruch, was well acknowledged. Jeremiah did not, as some of us do, present himself as the great prophet-writer of a book of which he never put a pen to paper.

Being from a princely family himself, Baruch could have chosen other, more noble political offices of comfort, than hang out precariously with an infamous prophet whose words were considered seditious. For a man to forgo the high offices he could have had in the land, and choose the risks of a prophetic ‘pen-nouncer,’ he must have conceived of his scribal role as a ministry. In other words, he was called to be a writer, and he stayed with it happily, and did it very well.

From The Preacher’s diary.


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