God takes notice of the frets and discontents of His people and is displeased with them.
To seek great things for ourselves when the public is in danger is unbecoming.
We should count even the preservation of our lives in such times a great mercy, and continue faithful to our service.
1 The word that Jeremiah the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,
2 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch;
3 Thou didst say, Woe is me now! for the LORD hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.
4 ¶ Thus shalt thou say unto him, The LORD saith thus; Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land.
5 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.
Jeremiah 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Jeremiah 45:3, 5—Thou didst say, Woe is me now!… but thy life will I give thee.
Trouble is an inevitable part of human experience. “Man that is born of a woman”, we are told (Job 14:1), “is of few days, and full of trouble.” In addition to their share in the common heritage of man, it often falls to the lot of God’s saints to suffer specially in connection with his kingdom and glory. They know the fellowship of his sufferings. They sigh and cry for all the abominations which are being wrought in their midst. The very association of Baruch with Jeremiah extorted the groan (Jeremiah 45:3), “Woe is me now! for the LORD hath added grief to my sorrow.”
But out of our sorrow and pain, when born patiently and trustfully, comes the more abundant life. “Behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh… but thy life will I give unto thee” (Jeremiah 45:5). Pain casts a vail on all our pleasant earthly things, so that we take no further interest in them, and turn our thoughts to the unseen and eternal. Sorrow drives us to the God of all comfort. By the fire our dross is consumed. Through travail of soul the characteristics of godliness are born. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24).
God often reveals ourselves to ourselves till we cry, Woe is me now! When God’s light discovers our sins of appetite, of avarice, meanness, and niggardliness; of temper, fretfulness, and peevishness; of lack of conscientiousness, the partial fulfillment of promises, unfaithfulness, and misunderstandings. When we think of the want of constancy, truth, prayer, faith, and love, we are plunged in despair. Woe is me now! But out of all this there springs abundant life, and we rejoice that the great Revealer did not spare. —Our Daily Homily