Baruch: Hard Work Goes up in Smoke (Jeremiah 36 and 45)
The people in Bible times did not have computers and printers. When they wanted to write a book, they had to write it by hand on a scroll. The people who wrote books and important papers were called scribes.
Jeremiah was a prophet in Bible days. He warned the people that if they did not obey God, bad things would happen to them and their land. God told him what to say in his warnings, and He told Jeremiah to write down all the warnings in a book. God said that the people might read the book and stop sinning. Jeremiah asked a scribe named Baruch to write the words after Jeremiah spoke them. Baruch wrote down all the words faithfully, enough words to fill a book.
Baruch read the words of the book “in the hearing of all the people.” Later he read from the book to important men and princes in the kingdom. The important men were afraid because of God’s warnings in the book. “We will surely tell the king of all these words,” they said.
The king was in his winter house, sitting by the fire, when they read the words to him. After he listened to just three or four columns of the book, the king cut it up and threw it in the fire! He did not fear God’s warnings. All of Baruch’s work went up in smoke.
Jeremiah and Baruch worked together to write the words all over again in another book. But Baruch was disappointed. “Woe is me now!” he said. “God has given me sadness along with my pain. I’m worn out with suffering and can find no rest.”
But God reminded Baruch that He cared for him.
Copy a verse from the Book of Jeremiah by hand. What would it be like to copy the whole book twice? We can trust God even when He calls us to do hard work for Him.
Translator William Tyndale loved the Bible and yearned to make it available to everyone. He translated the Bible into English, even though his work angered important people. Tyndale was translating the Old Testament when Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were destroyed in a shipwreck. He had to rewrite them by hand. Learn more here.