Last Friday 13th March, I attended an impromptu prayer meeting at our church here in Luton. Earlier in the day, I was encouraging the saints which ended with the call to prayer later than evening.

The inspiration for this blog came during the said prayer meeting and was polished up afterwards.

It’s Friday 13th March and the world is silent. This silence has been coming for a while ever since the coronavirus disease was discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Hence Covid-19.

This novel virus, so called because it’s never been seen before. I say seen, but the truth is the virus is invisible to the naked eye. It can only be seen under a microscope. It’s effect though range from a mild cough or temperature to fatal. 

The coronavirus is a strain of existing viruses so science is familiar with it but it’s new and there is no vaccine for it.

Since its discovery it has travelled beyond all national and other borders. As it travels it became an epidemic and now a full blown pandemic. Victims are infected without either the carrier or the recipient knowing.

So now the whole world is affected: as victims, travel bans, closure of sporting events, concerts, theatres, cinemas, elections cancelled, museums, places of fun and frolic.  

School playgrounds, shopping centres, soon courthouses and Houses of Parliament. High commissions and embassies are also closed.

Aeroplanes are grounded, ocean liners docked in harbours, people forced to stay inside their homes for up to two weeks and in some cases for months.

The streets are quiet for people are not gathering in city centres and public spaces to window shop, sightseeing and to protest. 

Schools, colleges, universities silent, because children are not in school. In the UK schools remain open for the time being, but Britain is the exception, it’s only a matter of time before Britain is under lockdown too.

Offices, factories and other places of work are silent because people are at home under quarantine. 

There is silence on earth as the world try to find a vaccine against this disease.

The only voice we want to hear is that of scientists. Tell us what to do. 

Politicians, the media and the general public are all deferring to scientists. 

In this crisis – politicians plan, scientists advise and doctors treat patients. 

The job of the church is to pray. And the job of the preacher is to declare “thus saith the Lord”.

A Pharaoh had two dreams of a famine that would devastate the world but he couldn’t interpret it. Joseph came out of prison to interpret the dreams and saved many lives.

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which he forgot. Despite not remembering the dream it had an impact upon him. God revealed the dream to Daniel and also gave him the interpretation.

A farm worker is moved by God to preach to Israel. King Jeroboam 2, has brought prosperity and success to the country. Faith in God and love for God is at low ebb. Religion is practised but not according to the truth of the word of God. They have forgotten God.

From sunny blue skies dark clouds began to appear. Pestilences and parasitical invasions blights the land; there is fear and distress.

This unknown farm worker cannot hold it anymore. This unknown figure is sitting under a tree out of the noon day sun. He sees, hears and perceives for the Spirit of the Lord is upon him and he cannot but speak out. With his obedience the prophet Amos is born.

The tell tale words of God’s prophet are: “thus saith the Lord”. These words are found throughout the book of Amos.

Men and women speak, young people and children speak; we have opinions and points of view, but “thus saith the Lord” is all together different.

“Let God be true and every man a liar”.

Amos begins to direct his words to his fellow countrymen. He is loaded with “thus saith the Lord”. Soon his words are everywhere throughout the land because the plagues in the land has produced national silence. Vexed with the words of Amos another so called prophet tries to silence Amos by telling him to go prophesy somewhere else.

In Chapter 3, Amos calls the people’s attention thus:

“Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, 
[2] You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. 

[3] Can two walk together, except they be agreed? [4] Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing? [5] Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all? [6] Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it ? 

[7] Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. 

[8] The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy”?

God tend to ask us questions when we are in trouble and have nothing to say. Or when we are overwhelmed and need to come down a peg or two.

God is speaking to the world but we won’t listen.

Creation is groaning. Fires, floods, earthquakes, storms, hurricanes, pestilences.

The children are crying for fear. Our future is bleak they are saying.

In the 1960’s, young people went on marches and protests out of fear that another war more deadlier than all previous wars was about to take place.

Humanity, less than a generation since the ending of the Second World War had not learnt the lesson so young people looking into the abyss cried “make love not war”.

Eventually, the weapons of war were turned into manufacturing tools. At the same time God, in response to the prayers of the church, brought revival that impacted the whole world. This was a gospel or good news revival because having come so close to war the world needed the gospel. This revival lasted right through to the 70’s ushering many into the Kingdom of God.

This is the year 2020, God wants to roar out of Zion. Before the Lord went away he promised the church the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit fell as a great outpouring and has been with us ever since.

The prophet Isaiah listed preaching the good news as the first reason for the anointing. “He has anointed me to preach”. (Isaiah 61:1).

On the mount of Olives at his ascension our Lord said when the Holy Spirit comes, the church will be “His witnesses”.

The silence on earth is both eerie and deafening. Leaders who had so much to say and tweet are now silent.

The lion whose roar can be heard up to 5 miles away is roaring. This lion is King of kings and Lord of lords.

“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast”. (Isaiah 26:20).

Our platform is the world and congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant

Lloyd Denny