OH MAN! (He missed the first MAN 🤔)
We are going to get to the Book of Baruch in just a second
A little context for Isaiah Ch 32, we have this prophecy of a righteous king
Isaiah could be talking about Hezekiah
Hezekiah was righteous in many ways
He prayed before the Lord as the Assyrians, led by Sennacherib were coming into Jerusalem
It was a HUGELY DESPERATE situation
What did Hezekiah do?
He brought that letter from Sennacherib and he brought it to the Temple of the Lord
He placed himself face-down, honored the Lord, and asked for His intercession
God heard and answered his prayer
So it could be that Hezekiah was that RIGHTEOUS KING
It could also mean the great grandson of Hezekiah, Josiah
2 Kings Ch 22 mentions that Josiah was DEFINITELY a righteous king
This could be Isaiah talking about Hezekiah or prophesying about the future king Josiah who was also righteous
Isaiah is CALLING PEOPLE BACK
There is this recognition not only of righteousness and integrity from the king and what a blessing that is
There is also a call to prepare for the COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
It talks about COMPLACENT WOMEN (sorry, ladies 😉)
A lot of times it’s YOU MEN OF JUDAH TURN BACK TO THE LORD BECAUSE YOU ARE WICKED
Today, it is the COMPLACENT WOMEN
So what is that?
It’s the women WHO ARE AT EASE
It’s the women WHO ARE COMPLACENT DAUGHTERS
IT DOESN’T MEAN JUST THE WOMEN
It is THE PEOPLE who are self-indulgent with a self-focused life
“I am untroubled by all the trouble happening around me.”
That COMPLACENCY, that SELF-SATISFACTION can ultimately become LUKEWARM
So we know in the Book of Revelation the Lord God says to the Church at Laodicea in Ch 3:15, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.”
God wants to VOMIT the lukewarm out of his mouth
There’s this element where the complacent people of Judah are self-satisfied and therefore are self-indulgent and therefore they don’t really care about the troubles that are happening around them
So there is this call from Isaiah to WAKE UP AND TURN BACK TO THE LORD
Isaiah Ch 34 (Fr. Mike said Isaiah Ch 34 but we did not read that chapter today so I’m guessing he misspoke?? Or maybe he’s just referencing Isaiah Ch 34?? My brain really hurts now) talks about the RIGHTEOUS JUSTICE of the Lord AGAINST ALL THE NATIONS (MAN OH MAN I am confused now because he is clearly referencing Isaiah Ch 34 but we didn’t read that today! AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!! Maybe Fr. Mike spoke so fast that he travelled forward into the future and we missed it? 🤔 WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!?!?!?)
And it talks about the COMPLETENESS OF THE JUDGMENT
Remember, we read about the COMPLETENESS OF GOD’S JUDGMENT in the other prophets
No one is going to ESCAPE GOD’S JUDGMENT
All you nations here, all you people, LISTEN TO ME
Because the indignation of the Lord is coming against ALL NATIONS
God’s JUSTICE is coming against ALL NATIONS
One of the things that we can take away from this is that not only is God calling the People of Israel, and here in the current context Christian People, BACK TO REPENTANCE
EVERYTHING BELONGS TO GOD
EVEN THOSE PEOPLE THAT DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD BELONG TO GOD!!
EVEN THOSE WHO DON’T PROFESS ANY RELIGION STILL BELONG TO GOD!!
All those things that are not handed over to God will be BURNED AWAY
Everything that doesn’t belong to the Lord will FADE INTO OBLIVION
So if I don’t want to BELONG TO THE LORD then that’s one of the things that will be BURNED AWAY
MAN, IT’S POWERFUL!!
BUT IT’S ALSO TRUE!!
Now let’s go to The Book of Baruch
Baruch is one of the Deuterocanonical books
IT IS PART OF THE CANON
Fr. Mike didn’t fully explain this when we read The Book of Tobit
Do you remember there were Sadducees and there were Pharisees in the time of Jesus (there were also other groups of people)?
When it comes to the CANON of the Bible, the Sadducees ONLY acknowledge the FIRST FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES as Canon
The Pharisees and others had a LARGER CANON
We can see that in the time of Jesus, there was NO ESTABLISHED CANON
Since there was NO ESTABLISHED CANON in the time of Jesus, then who was it up to for ESTABLISHING A CANON?
Well, NOT the Jewish people POST-JESUS
Because the Jewish people AFTER JESUS are meant to be in the FULFILLMENT
They are MESSIANIC PEOPLE NOW
They were waiting for the MESSIAH
The MESSIAH came in JESUS
Jesus fulfilled all the HOPES
Jesus fulfilled all the PROMISES
Jesus fulfilled all the PROPHECIES
Jesus fulfilled EVERYTHING THAT WAS MEANT TO BE FULFILLED IN JUDAISM
So Jesus wasn’t STARTING SOMETHING NEW
Jesus was DOING SOMETHING NEW
Jesus was FULFILLING JUDAISM IN HIMSELF!!
So those FIRST CHRISTIANS are the FULFILLMENT OF JUDAISM
BECAUSE OF THAT...
THOSE THAT DO NOT ACCEPT CHRIST HAVE ESSENTIALLY NO AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH A CANON!!
IT TOOK THE CHURCH THAT CHRIST FOUNDED TO ESTABLISH THE CANON!
AND BARUCH IS PART OF THAT CANON THAT CHRIST’S CHURCH FOUNDED!
So Baruch was a contemporary of Jeremiah
Baruch wasn’t just Jeremiah’s travelling companion
He might have been Jeremiah’s SCRIBE
He might have been Jeremiah’s CO-PROPHET
He is writing AFTER THE BABYLONIAN EXILE
He is actually writing to the people of the EXILE
That’s why he is in the BABY-BLUE ERA because they are SINGING THE BLUES IN EXILE IN BABYLON
Baruch is administering to the people who are in Babylon
He is writing a letter to Jerusalem
They are taking up a COLLECTION
Because they are exiled in Babylon and they are NOT in the Temple, which is the ONLY place where WORSHIP CAN HAPPEN
So Baruch was asking for the people to PRAY FOR THEM, OFFER WORSHIP ON THEIR BEHALF
BUT ALSO...AND THIS PART IS CRAZY…
OFFER UP WORSHIP FOR NEBUCHADNEZZAR, KING OF BABYLON, AND FOR BELSHAZZAR, HIS SON!!
That is REMARKABLE
St. Paul is going to REPEAT THIS in Romans Ch 13
Pray for rulers, even UNJUST RULERS
Because at the time of St. Paul there were some pretty UNJUST RULERS
Nebuchadnezzar is the one who BROUGHT THEM INTO EXILE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!
So it’s remarkable that he is saying, “PRAY FOR THE RULERS.”
But then he goes on to talk about CONFESSION OF SINS
“Yeah, we disobeyed the Lord.”
“We KNEW HIS LAW.”
“We didn’t lack ANYTHING”
“The only thing we lacked were HEARTS THAT WERE WILLING TO BE CHANGE.”
“EARS THAT WERE WILLING TO LISTEN”
“EYES THAT WERE WILLING TO TRULY SEE.”
“LIVES WHERE WE ARE TRULY WILLING TO TRULY BE WHO GOD HAS CALLED US TO BE.”
RIGHTEOUSNESS BELONGS TO GOD
But the people chose something OTHER than RIGHTEOUSNESS
He leads them in this PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE
“Lord God, bring us back.”
Baruch even includes the WORDS OF GOD HIMSELF
God basically says, “Don’t worry. I’m going to bring you HOME. I am going to bring you out of this land of exile because I have established my Covenant and I will bring you back.”
We are going to continue journeying with Baruch for three days
It is REMARKABLE to not only be with Isaiah BEFORE the Babylonian Exile
But also to hear the words of Baruch DURING the Babylonian Exile
Here is a people that have been HUMBLED
They were a mass of people that had become a SMALL REMNANT
That REMNANT is saying, “God, don’t forget. God you WON’T forget and you WILL BRING US HOME.”
Baruch 2:35, “I will make an everlasting covenant with them to be their God and they shall be my people; and I will never again remove my people Israel from the land which I have given them.”
THAT IS GOD’S PROMISE
WE GIVE GOD THANKS
WE ARE SO GRATEFUL
FR. MIKE IS SO GRATEFUL FOR YOU!!
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER