Saturday, January 18, 2014

"What's in a Name, Baruch ??"

I think about what it must have been like for Baruch to carefully, painstakingly copy letter by letter , word for word, the message that Jeremiah dictated.    What kind of scroll was it , what kind of pen, what kind of ink ...  how long did it take him ?
The greatest miracle is that we .. thousands of years later... have Baruch's recorded words in our hand, in our language!

We looked at the life of Baruch in my last post -- today I wanted to share some neat insights if we dig even deeper into Baruch's carefully recorded  ancient words of scripture.

1. Names are important in the bible, their meaning telling a story about the name bearer.

Baruch means 'blessed'.   His name is often linked with that of his father, Teriah .
Teriah means 'light of God'.

I'm reminded of the first Psalm that says... "Blessed is the man ... (whose) delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law he mediates day and night."   

So we have Baruch -- blessed because day and night he sits in the 'light - or Word- of God'...
(Psa 119:130  The entrance of Your words gives light; )

2. There is a neat analogy/picture in the story of Baruch.

When we first saw Baruch,  he was involved with the legalities of Jeremiah's purchase of land -- but this was no personal investment for future economic security.
Jeremiah was carrying out God's word of commandment to him - it was a prophetic enactment with meaning. To the Jews it was meant to be a pictorial promise  that one day God would restore them to their land.  He held the deed to it and would preserve it.

But I believe there is a deeper meaning for us  hidden in this picture.
After  Baruch wrote out the documents according to God's words and sealed the deeds  according to legal procedures,  Jeremiah then gave Baruch this further order. We read it in Jer. 32:13-15,   
Then I charged Baruch before them saying, 
"thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: 
Take these deeds, both this purchase deed which is sealed and this deed which is open, 
and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may last many days."

In this picture we see  in Baruch an example of both  the 'hearing' and the 'doing' of God's word.  
Jas 1:23  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 
 God added one last detail in His instructions... "put them in an earthen vessel" .
Why ?  so they would last many days.  
In II Cor. 4:7  our physical bodies are referred to as earthen vessels ...
and in Psa 119:11  we read ... Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.  It is not enough to hear, or even to keep the letter of God's laws  ... we need also to 'hide' it in our hearts so that it will be preserved -  as a 'living Word' that becomes part of us. 

So then from this picture we see ...  "We are blessed if we meditate on God's word, walk in the light of it, and hide it in our heart, so it will 'last many days' --We know God's word, His promises will stand, they will not fail and if we keep them in our heart, they will bear  eternal fruit and we know in Him - the Word of God - we have eternal life!"  

3. There is another interesting 'picture' in this story.    
Jeremiah's prophecy came true -- Israel was carried away into captivity by the  Babylonian king.  
Jeremiah and Baruch were among the few that remained  in the land of Israel, but Baruch's brother Seraiah was among those taken captive.   
Jeremiah had a task for Seraiah.  He  gave him the following instructions. (Jer.51:59-64)
He said, "Seraiah, when you go with the King of Judah, with those taken captive to Babylon , when you get there, take this scroll  upon which I have written all the evils that will come upon Babylon. They shall be utterly and completely destroyed. When you have finished reading it so all can hear, then tie a stone to the scroll and throw it out into the Euphrates River so that they will know that as the scroll sinks to be seen no more, so also shall Babylon sink and be no more when I bring my judgement upon her!"   

It is  interesting or important to note  that Seraiah was given this task and not Baruch.     
Baruch's name means  'blessing' and this was no blessing that God was proclaiming upon Babylon.  
Seraiah's name means .. 'God has prevailed!"  making him such a 'fit' choice to deliver  the judgement prophecy over Babylon.   
So the people of Babylon who stood listening to Seraiah,  HEARD the words of God,  SAW it enacted ,  and also , could not ignore the name of the messenger GOD HAS PREVAILED!   

When God speaks -- so shall it be !! 

Baruch,  a little known character in the bible... but with surprisingly much to teach us !  


Sandy said...

Oh Julie, thank you for digging deep in the Word and giving us a picture of God prevailing...You have been a Berean...Thank you for your insight...
Love from NC
PS Yes, names given in those days meant something....I pray that people will choose their children's names wisely in these last days...

Hellen said...

Wow, at first glance, I love the depth that I see in your blog! I will come back later and read more thoroughly!

After reading Ann Voskamps 'One Thousand Gifts' book I was pondering the names thing...and thought that I might do a blog about it. I think that names are still significant today.