1. After those things, lo! the heavens opened, and I saw that power was given to me, and I heard a voice from heaven say:
2. Baruch, Baruch, why are you troubled?
3. If one travels by road, but does not complete his trip, or he that travels by sea, but does not arrive at the chosen port, will he be happy?
4. If one promises a gift to another, but does not give it, is it not robbery?
5. If one sows the ground, but does not reap in harvest time, does he not lose everything?
6. If one plants a plant in the wrong season, is it not unlikely for one to get fruit?
7. If a woman who is expecting a child, and it comes prematurely, does it not result in the child's death?
8. If one builds a house, and does not put a roof on it, can it be called a house? Answer me first.
Bar0uch’s questions in his prayer to God, had some harsh talk and critical statements, showing a lack of faith in the Lord. God speaks first to the attitude and the lack of faith of Baruch, for if that is not changed there will be no further revelation to him.
God will finish what He starts, and too often, people judge Him before He is finished working. Baruch first receives a rebuke for his lack of faith in God’s workings.
Prophets must speak for God, not against Him. Teachers do not simply tell a Bible story, they must help apply it to the lives of the class. Youth leaders and sponsors also attempt to make the Bible truths relevant to the youth. Men's leaders, and women's leaders also speak forth a message from God to the lives and circumstances of those they direct. Witnesses in the downtown streets speak to the hurting souls and lonely people near the bars and clubs they have sought out for escape. Most every ministry that God gives us in these last days- will involve having us speak for God. This means we have a prophetic ministry.
We may speak 95 % forth-telling in our ministry, but since we are in the last days before the greatest judgment time ever seen on this earth - we also necessarily must speak to the fact of this coming judgment. We have the Bible's prophecies to inform us what our facts are to present. We need the leading and direction of the Holy spirit to tell us when and how to speak it. Too many want to avoid the speaking of a foretelling ministry. We cannot afford to watch a lost world walking toward a dangerous precipice while blindfolded without warning, and shouting out, the danger they are quickly approaching. We know the answer, and we are on this side of the "new covenant" that Jeremiah saw in his vision. Therefore we must show both the prophecy of foretelling the coming judgment, and forth telling the new covenant as a substitute for the judgment. The foretelling (5%) must be accompanied with the forth telling (95%).
This portion of Baruch shows the deepest insight into the plan of God. As a young prophet, Baruch was impulsive, impatient, intolerant, and easily deceived. Yet, at the end, he had vision, trust, love, forgiveness, and patience.
It had been Baruch's ministry to stand in the way of a nation rushing headlong to total destruction. He and Jeremiah made a heroic effort to turn their nation back from this judgment. Yet, they rejected the message. Baruch watched as the city was defeated, many people were put into captivity, and others were killed and raped. How painful to minister in this way.
God now begins to show deeper truths. Baruch had seen the old religion devastated. Then he is shown in the vision a fuller religion, where everyone will know God and do His will. This gave him hope in a time of despair, and joy in the face of turmoil.
The time of this sermon was a time of despair and defeat. There was trembling, paleness, famine, despair, unrest, and pain for the survivors of the judgment. The hurt was incurable. There was no one to plead their cause or change the judgment that had befallen. No healing ointment would make the pain go away. The chastisement from the Lord was a cruel one.
In the midst of this, God reveals that He has a promise for Israel's future.
"I will turn again the captivity of My people... I will cause them to return to the land... I will break the yoke from off thy neck... I will save thee from afar... I am with thee... for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have scattered thee, but I will not make a full end of thee... I will restore health unto the, and I will heal thee of thy wounds... I do earnestly remember him still; therefore My heart yearneth for him, I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord."
God, in spite of the terrible sins of the people, and in spite of the rejection of God's message of warning given, still loved the people. Earlier Jeremiah had shouted warnings and threats:
Jeremiah 13:27, 10, 18
"Woe unto thee... this evil people."
Yet, now, in the day of calamity, Jeremiah reassured the people of God's continued love:
Jeremiah 31:16,17, 5, 23
"Thus saith the Lord, Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears, for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end. Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria...the Lord shall bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness."
Sometimes the prophets of today wonder why rest is so hard to find, they wonder why the trials are so heavy. Yet, when least expected, God can come forth with a dream or vision that will lift up the downcast prophets:
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh... your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions."
The "perilous times" that were prophesied are now upon us. The prophets of today have a difficult message to give the people of our time. Judgment is coming soon. We have an arduous task upon us. We will soon be seeing the increase of some difficult times upon the children of God. The promised dreams and visions for us of the last days will be as welcome to us, as this dream of Jeremiah was to him.
Baruch is shown that God will complete what He has started until the very last person planned by Him to be born is born (See Baruch 23:4-5). God is well-organized, has all things under control, and knows exactly what He is doing. This should be a comfort to all of us who live in troubled times.