Lynn B. Fowler

A prophetic word by Lynn Fowler, a member of Women’s Apostolic Alliance

It was a time of turmoil in the land. The warnings of the prophets over hundreds of years, calling the nation to forsake its idols and turn back to the Lord in repentance, had largely fallen on deaf ears. The good king, Josiah, had brought about massive reforms, tearing down the idolatrous altars and restoring the feast of Passover, but his reforms did not outlive him. His son, Jehoahaz, quickly turned back to the evil ways of earlier kings. As a result God allowed Pharaoh to raid the land and take Jehoahaz captive, installing his brother Eliakim as a puppet king and changing his name to Jehoiakim. As a result, Jehoiakim taxed the people heavily in order to pay the tribute imposed upon him by Pharaoh.

At the same time, raiding parties from all the surrounding nations were coming against Judah, intent on destroying it. Worst of all, Babylon was looming, and quickly stepped in taking large numbers of the people captive.

Through all this, Jeremiah was prophesying against the nation, and his scribe Baruch was often the one responsible for delivering those messages of God’s judgement. Baruch, it seems, was not terribly impressed with this whole scenario. He was suffering, and he was complaining about it.

Then the Lord gave Jeremiah a word to give to Baruch, not to take to others but for himself. “You shall tell him, Yahweh says: ‘Behold, that which I have built, I will break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up; and this in the whole land. Do you seek great things for yourself? Don’t seek them; for, behold, I will bring evil on all flesh,’ says Yahweh; ‘but I will let you escape with your life wherever you go.’ ” (Jer 45:4-5, World English Bible)

In simple, modern terms, God said, “Baruch, stop whinging! You are in this storm with the rest of the world, and it’s My doing.”

As I read this passage in the middle of yet another lockdown, with businesses collapsing all around, with fear rampant through the community, with the spectre of hopelessness everywhere, I can’t help but think how relevant this is to our current situation.

Regardless of what you think about the virus, or about government responses to it, we are all in the same storm. And whether or not you believe that all this is a direct judgement of God against a world that is even more rebellious against Him than was Judah in the days of Jeremiah, we can at least say that God has allowed it.

The big question is, what will be our response?

Do we, like Baruch, complain about the effects that all this is having on us personally? Do we whine because of the restrictions and frustration? Grizzle about the sheer injustice of it all?

Or will we look beyond our own discomfort and take it as an opportunity for intercession? Will we rejoice that the Church is being pushed into prayer like never before? That there is a sifting and purifying taking place from which the Bride will emerge in radiant glory?

We are all together in the storm. The choice we have to make is whether we will allow the storm to beat us down and destroy us, or whether we will rise above it and come through in victory.

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