“But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek [them]; for behold, I am going to bring disaster on all flesh,’ declares the LORD, ‘but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you may go.’”
This message was sent to Baruch, who had taken Jeremiah’s dictation to record a portion of the book of Jeremiah. It seems that Baruch was distraught — he speaks of pain and groaning and sorrow and restlessness — and God wanted to respond to his distress. So God reminds Baruch that bad times are ahead for the Israelites and ends with a promise that Baruch gets to keep his life anywhere he goes. Quite the promise in the midst of the years that would follow.
What am I seeking? God tells Baruch not to seek great things, but what does that entail? I mean, not long before this, God promised to tell great and mighty things to those who called to Him. I suspect that the disconnect is in what kind of great things are being looked for. Earlier, God was speaking about answers; about revelation of Himself. Now, God is speaking about a man who wants to not have pain and sorrow and restlessness. Each could be a devotional unto itself. Suffice it to say that some pains are necessary and some unavoidable. Jesus suffered physical and emotional pain. And the servant is not greater than the Master. Jesus Himself was known as a man of sorrows. If Jesus had sorrow, I should not be surprised if I have sorrow, too. As for rest, the only place I am told I can find rest is in Jesus Christ. He said that I should come to Him if I am weary and weighed down and He would give me rest for my soul. Note that the rest is not physical. I may very well be uprooted and moved from place to place. Permanence with regard to geographical location is not a guarantee God has offered to me.
Jesus tells me to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness and the other things that I need will be added to me. If I seek God’s kingdom first, then I get the blessings of fellowship with Him and, as a bonus, God provides for those other things that gave me a moment’s concern. Paul wrote that I should be anxious for nothing but should instead make my requests known to God.
What am I seeking? It may not be what God is prepared to grant me.