No one Can Kill us Unless God Says O.K.

Near Watsonville, California there is a creek that has a strange name: Salsipuedes Creek. Salsi puedes is Spanish for “Get out of it if you can.” The creek is lined with quicksand, and the story is that many years ago, in the early days of California, a Mexican laborer … More

This chapter comes from the time when Jeremiah sent Baruch down to the temple to read the words he had dictated, as we saw in our previous study (v. 1). Chronologically it should follow Chapter 36. But Jeremiah has placed it right here because it gathers up the feeling of the heart which is behind all these manifestations of the flesh (v. 2). Baruch  expected that his reading would have a tremendous impact upon the people, and that he himself would be exalted before them as the spokesman of God, and would be lifted up in their eyes. But it did not work that way. Instead, they rejected the words and they rejected Baruch. He went home feeling that his ministry was useless.

And he cried out to God this way: “Woe is me now! for the Lord has added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest” (v. 3). So God sent Jeremiah to him with this message: What is the root of all our troubles with the flesh? It is seeking great things for ourselves. That is behind the secret vengeance, the treachery and murder, the unjustified fear, the pious deceit, the baseless hopes, the misdirected blame, the evident rebellion – all of these arise out of a heart which longs to have glory that belongs to God. That is the basic problem, is it not? That is what the flesh is like. We struggle to correct these tendencies ourselves, but we cannot do it (v. 4). Only God has the wisdom to do it (v. 5). That is why Jeremiah’s word in the tenth chapter comes to mind when he said, “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” And we are driven again to the wisdom of the Proverbs.


As I look at this I say to myself, “Who is sufficient for these things? How can I lick this terrible enemy within?” The only answer, of course, is the cross and the resurrection of Jesus. This is all that has ever been able to deal with the flesh in man’s life.

Jeremiah 45:1-5 (English Standard Version)

The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he wrote these words in a book at the dictation of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: You said, 'Woe is me! For the LORD has added sorrow to my pain. I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.' Thus shall you say to him, Thus says the LORD: Behold, what I have built I am breaking down, and what I have planted I am plucking up-- that is, the whole land. And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the LORD. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go."

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