In the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, “Take a scroll of a book, and write in it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I intend to do to them, that they may each return from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.”
Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all Yahweh’s words, which he had spoken to him, on a scroll of a book. Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, “I am restricted. I can’t go into Yahweh’s house. Therefore you go, and read from the scroll which you have written from my mouth, Yahweh’s words, in the ears of the people in Yahweh’s house on the fast day. Also you shall read them in the ears of all Judah who come out of their cities. It may be they will present their supplication before Yahweh, and will each return from his evil way; for Yahweh has pronounced great anger and wrath against this people.”
This passage exposes the heart of God for everyone to see. After all of these pronouncements of His coming judgment on Judah, He still has the desire to see if anyone would be willing to repent. Isn’t it obvious that God hates to do bring punishment? God would do anything to get His people to repent and turn back to Him and even after all that Jeremiah has spoken, He is still trying to get them to repent so that He wouldn’t have to punish them.
So God had Jeremiah write a book that contained everything God told him. I am pretty sure that this required a supernatural memory. It could also be that men were smarter back then. It would make sense that people today are not as smart after so many years of genetic degradation. I think that the reason we think we are smarter, other than mere arrogance, is that our culture has influenced us to think in an evolutionary way. We automatically think that we are getting smarter when the scientific facts would suggest the exact opposite. It’s true that we have built on the documented knowledge of others, but that doesn’t mean that the average man is smarter today. In any case, Jeremiah was able to do the job.
Another encouraging thing is that Jeremiah found a brave man willing to write it down and then proceed to go out to read it to others. Baruch could see that Jeremiah’s words had already caused him to be restricted, but was willing to be obedient to God’s desire. It’s encouraging to know that Jeremiah wasn’t completely alone. It is possible that we may be called to suffer alone for a time, but often, God gives us friends who are willing to to go through hard times with us.