I was led to a passage of scripture in Jeremiah 45 this week. I believe it applies to the situation Believers find themselves in regarding todays economy and social upheaval. Hopefully we all realize by now that things cannot continue as they are without major adjustments; which do not seem to be on the horizon, regardless of what the talking heads say.
In Jeremiah 45 God hears what the Scribe Baruch thinks in his heart. God is very displeased with his thoughts. Baruch is a godly man who ministered to the prophet Jeremiah as his author of God's words for society of his day. After reading his heart, God tells Baruch the sum of the matter:
" That which I have built will I break down,
That which I have planted I will pluck up, even the whole land.
In the middle of this you still expect great things for yourself?
Seek them not!
I will bring evil upon all flesh but your life will I give unto you
for a prey in all places wherever you go."
Baruch was thinking in his heart ..." Woe is me now! The LORD has added to my sorrow - I faint in my sighing and I find no rest." He was a young man sent by God to read Jeremiah's scroll before the king and his court. His readings were rejected as out of hand and he went into hiding to save his head. He was a youth setting out into the world-affected by the things of God through Jeremiah His prophet. But when it came to suffering he desired to be excused.
When he found that his message was rejected, not accepted, he cried out, " I am undone, I shall fall into the pursuers hands and be imprisoned and put to death or banished. The LORD has added unto my sorrow."
In other words, I cannot bear it! I faint from my sorrow and my sighing; I can find no rest or compose myself. Matthew Henry said " Some of the best saints of God (Elijah, for example) when they see storms arising, have been in frights and are apt to make the worst of things. God takes note of this, as He did with the thoughts of Baruch. He is displeased with these thoughts. Baruch should have rejoiced (as did the Apostle Paul and the first martyr Stephen, for example) that he was counted worthy to suffer in such a good cause and with such good company as Jeremiah.
* Think on this, counted worthy to suffer? He did not say counted worthy to prosper; not in this season of plucking and tearing down!
I think that I, indeed, as Baruch, have and am ( God have grace and mercy on me in this regard) vexed and greatly troubled and blame my lot on God; as if God is dealing harshly with me.
God was offended with Baruch, He is with me, surely also as He was with Moses who spoke unadvidedly with his lips. This one incident kept Moses from entering into the Promise Land! One incident! Woe is me...
It is the nature of our culture that all we have to do is ask forgiveness and God will forgive, He has to. DOES HE? Did He just forgive Moses? Am I going to tell God what He has to do? Dangerous thoughts-God forgive me of thinking such.
We find ourselves in the closing moments of the age of grace. The door is closing by the soverign hand of God; it will very soon be slammed shut to never be opened again. If He closes a door, who will force it open? He said He will shake everything that can be shaken, both in heaven (the spiritual) and on earth (the natural). That which He has planted He will pluck up - that which He has built He will tear down; even this whole land.
Do I, like Baruch, still hope to be rich and honourable and to make myself a figure now, of all times? Do I expect to be made high while all others are being brought low? Do I expect to be full while everyone else is empty? Today everything is uncertain and in decay - it is from His hand. He has said that if there is peace in a city, it is of Him. We cannot ignore that He also says that if there is calamity in a city, this also is from Him.
Where is our encouragement in this process? Look to what God told Baruch, even though He was displeased with his thoughts -
His life would be preserved as thousands go into captivity and are being destroyed on every side. To quote Matthew Henry again, " The preservation of and continuance of life are very great mercies...this prolongs our opportunity to glorify God in this world and to get ready for a better world, and especially when the arrows of death fly thickly about us, life is a signal favor we should be very thankful for, and while we have life we must not complain, though we may be disappointed of the great things we expected."
Did not Christ say that life is more than meat ( stuff, possessions)?
Today, we have precious promises Baruch did not have knowledge of. As great darkness envelopes this trouble planet and society, we know God promised that a great glory would descend upon His people that know Him. Not His people that know of Him, but that KNOW HIM.
In the middle of things being plucked up and torn down, the power of God, by the ministry of the Holy Ghost operating in us is a strong, vibrant Witness to the lost and dying God sends our way. This is the one last act of grace by God to the lost.
We must press on, hold fast and continue to establish our hearts and minds on things above as things fall apart down here. God is in heaven; we are seated with Him in heavenly places. If we would just know and remember this.
I continually repent of wanting more "stuff" down here while my spiritual man suffers from famine of the lack of the things of God. God, give me a heart to want only more of You!