The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 11/19

Posted on | November 19, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 11/19

Scripture reading: Jeremiah 36:1–32

Baruch the Magnificent

But whoever would be great among you must be your servant. (Mark 10:43)


Someone once asked Leonard Bernstein, conductor of the New York Philharmonic, which instrument was the most difficult to play. With- out hesitation he replied, “Second fiddle.” It takes grace and humility to be second. Many chafe and resent being placed in such a position. And yet there would be no first fiddle without someone being second . . . and third, and fourth, and fifth, etc. Think for a moment of those men whose supreme role in life was to be the sidekick of someone great and famous: Tonto, Sam Gamgee, Barney Fife, Robin, Boo Boo. The Bible has many examples as well in men like Aaron, Mordecai, Jonathan and Barnabas. But these second fiddlers all played their roles so well they made their partners look really good! Truth be told, it is often more difficult to support the leader than to be the leader.

The prophet Jeremiah also had a sidekick. Only those who know their Bibles well will even recognize the name of the man who served as his personal secretary and scribe: Baruch. Though gifted and talented himself, Baruch found grace to play second fiddle. There would have been no Jeremiah without his behind-the-scenes support and encouragement in the face of outward persecution and inward depression. Without Baruch, Jeremiah simply could not have maintained his ministry, recorded his messages, or transmitted them to others. Without Baruch our Bibles would have only 64 books  ( Jeremiah and Lamentations would be missing). In the eyes of the world, Jeremiah is the Superstar and Baruch is only a lowly secretary, easy to forget. But in the eyes of God, Baruch is the real hero!

If God’s symphony is to produce the music he desires, it will take an army of men and women willing to play second fiddle. Let’s examine some of the qualities that are needed to produce a man like Baruch:

Discernment. Not every secretary in Jerusalem desired to serve a

manic-depressive prophet like Jeremiah. Many would have looked for a more popular prophet, one who would enhance their professional career. But Baruch had the wisdom to see what others couldn’t. God’s anointing was on Jeremiah; therefore Baruch counted it an honor to serve him wholeheartedly. Playing second fiddle has merit only if the guy playing first fiddle is worthy of support!

Hiddenness. Though Baruch was well educated, gifted and had family connections that could have been used for self advancement, he was content to work in the shadows. He found grace to accept the fact that most people would never even know his name.

Servanthood. Baruch’s greatest joy came not from being served but from serving. He found his greatest fulfillment in seeing someone else succeed.

Humility. Apparently there was a time in Baruch’s life when he had aspirations for himself. But God came to him and said; Do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not (Jeremiah 45:5). Once his own heart had been purified of selfish ambition he was able to devote his time and energy to seeking great things for someone else. He didn’t think badly of himself. He didn’t think of himself at all!

Never underestimate the importance of the man or woman called by God to play second fiddle! The task is harder than you think, but such persons are the greatest in the Kingdom of God. Three cheers for Baruch the Magnificent!


It needs more skill than I can tell to play

to second fiddle well.—Charles Haddon Spurgeon


point to ponder We will all be called to play second fiddle at some point or other.

prayer focus Thankfulness for those who are passionate about helping Christian leaders succeed.


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