We are introduced today to Baruch who serves for Jeremiah as his scribe and writes down the words that Jeremiah commanded him to write down through dictations. We read that Jeremiah had been banned from the temple, probably by the king who was tired of him getting people excited with bad news from God. Notice what Jeremiah’s intent was to write a scroll with all of his prophecies which when they are put together are substantial because they speak about impending doom.
Maybe if I put them all down in one place and have someone read them, then people will see the magnitude of what is about to happen and turn from their evil ways. Baruch does that, he writes down all that Jeremiah had said up to this point (it is thought that these words are the meat of chapters 1-24 of Jeremiah) and then he sends him into the temple to read them aloud. As he reads them aloud it is obvious that the people around him are terrified and are starting to recognize that something has to happen if they are going to be saved.
So the leaders of the temple decide that it is a good idea to bring this to the king. They do and as they read the scroll to the king after each prophecy he rips it off the scroll and throws it in the fire. In this way he thinks he is negating the Word of the Lord. His advisers tell him to take action, but he says no and continues in this course of action. Jeremiah is told to write another scroll and reminds the people that the actions that are written in the scroll will be taking place. Scary when your leaders don’t listen to their counselors and just strike out on their own thinking they know better.