Jeremiah 45:1a, 2-5 This is what Jeremiah the prophet told Baruch … “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch:  ‘You said, “Woe to me! The LORD has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.”’”  The LORD said, “Say this to him: ‘This is what the LORD says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the land.  Should you then seek great things for yourself?  Seek them not.  For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the LORD, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.’”

Baruch’s name means ‘blessed’ – but this faithful scribe of Jeremiah felt far from blessed!  The punishment the LORD was bringing upon his arrogant, rebellious, unresponsive people in Jerusalem was being inflicted on them UNIVERSALLY, without regard for the few faithful individuals like the prophet and his scribe – it was to be ‘throughout the land’.

Baruch was even told not to strive for his own advancement or special treatment because HE would be caught up in the Judgement along with ‘ALL people’.  This gives us a helpful perspective on what is happening today to faithful believers in places where there is war, famine, pandemics, wildfires and other natural disasters.

However, there was a PROMISE given to Baruch: ‘wherever you go I will let you escape with your life’ (5).  We may not be protected FROM the disasters around us, but we will be protected IN them.  Yet this must always be understood with an ETERNAL perspective.

Jesus made an interesting promise to his disciples in Luke 21:16b, 18-19 – “… and they will put some of you to death. … But not a hair of your head will perish.  By standing firm you will gain life.”  He was telling them that whereas they might DIE, they would not even suffer the very minimum of PHYSICAL HARM!  This can only make sense if seen in terms of ETERNITY.

WE ALSO need to have this eternal perspective as we seek to remain faithful to God’s Word in a society that in many ways is more ungodly than Sodom and Gomorrah, and therefore under God’s Judgement (cf Matthew 10:14-15; 2 Peter 2:6).