And seek you great things for yourself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil on all flesh, said the LORD…
This short chapter embodies the history of Baruch, the secretary of Jeremiah.
I. THE VERY EXCUSABLE MOAN (ver. 3), "Woe is me now!"
1. He was probably pained for his master's sake.
2. Probably grieved on account of the unhappy national outlook.
3. Was evidently distressed on his own account. Possibly weary of being secretary with dangerous duties attached.
II. THE VERY DECIDED VETO ON HIS AMBITIOUS DESIGN.
1. God interpreted his aspiration, whatever its nature.
2. Decidedly nipped the project in the bud.
3. Suggesting by implication that he seek great things for others — Jeremiah, to wit. To be identified with him was true greatness. Men are engrossed in themselves, their family, their party, their "ism."
III. THE COMPENSATING GUARANTEE. "Thy life will I give unto thee."
1. The nation at large would pass through great tribulation.
2. Baruch and his master would be hurried hither and thither.
3. But the secretary's life would be given him as a reward. Baruch lived through all the dire experiences that followed. Escaped from Egypt to Babylon, and wrote the Book of Baruch. Who has not enjoyed the compensations of selfishness? Every surrender of selfhood helps to enrich the soul.
(W. J. Acomb.).
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.