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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Famine in the Land

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20-21).

End of the WorldI have often wondered why there are not men and women walking the streets of the cities of this land wearing placards such as those on the fellow in the photo. Perhaps it is because sandwich boards have been replaced by blogs.

The future history of our nation (of our world) is not looking good.

On the news last night, I watched a report of the drought conditions across the lower portion of the U.S. The news is not promising. The prospects are bleak. No matter who wins the coming November election, peace and prosperity are not going to come. If this nation is ever to be restored, it must come after pain and hardship. We are in deep debt. The Piper must some time be paid…but there is more.

Not only do we have monetary debt in this land, we have moral debt. The slow, insidious process of changing the moral fabric that encases the hearts of the people has succeeded. The fabric is frayed and tattered and dirty. Evil is considered to be good. Good is mocked, shunned, and condemned.

God is no longer given His due. He is also mocked, shunned, and condemned if He dare propose anything contrary to the cut of that fabric.

My God wrathful? No! He is love.”

“God dare call what is my right sin? Then He is cruel! I will have no part in Him! There is no God!”

The gods of this nation are Gaia, Molech, Aphrodite, Ares,*Bacchus…The world view accepted by the majority of the populace has been turned upside down. The human body, nature, animals, insects, food, entertainment, fun, etc., are all elevated to positions they should not occupy.Humility, shame, self abasement, and such things as delayed gratification are not to be considered.

Concerning what is normal and acceptable, each generation stands on the edge of an ever-widening chasm, opposing the standard of good that is true and right and just: God’s holy standard of righteousness.

The truth is that the only reason we are not all a pile of ashes now is because of God’s forbearance. And the reason He forbears judgment is because He isn’t ready yet. He is waiting for the fullness of time, and as the moments pass that time can only be drawing closer. 

But that doesn’t mean He is not involved in what is happening. The sovereign Lord of the universe does not shrink at bringing about calamity to forward His purposes (1 Kings 21:12; Job 31:23; Jeremiah 19:3, 15), and He is just to do so. When terrible things happen—things like droughts, famine, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, fires, etc.—people no longer seem to understand or consider that those things are sanctioned by God. If they were not, they would not happen. Nothing happens unless God allows it. Nothing. And very bad things can happen in this fallen world, which trembles under the weight of sin’s corrupting influence.

Job 37:9–13 contains verification of this truth. The last few chapters of that book are some of my favorites to read when I need a hefty dose of the majesty and sovereignty of God. Look carefully at what is being said here. He is directing the weather—the lightning storms—for His purpose. Sometimes He causes it for the good of mankind, sometimes for their punishment, and sometimes for the good of the earth.

Out of the south comes the storm, and out of the north the cold. From the breath of God ice is made, and the expanse of the waters is frozen. Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud; He disperses the cloud of His lightning. It changes direction, turning around by His guidance, that it may do whatever He commands it On the face of the inhabited earth. Whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen.

Someone once said that nations do not have an afterlife, so God must judge them now. Repentance is the only hope for this nation. The king of Nineveh realized this long ago, and his response can be read in Jonah 3:6–10.

When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. He issued a proclamation and it said,

“In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”

Those verses astound me. A look of the history of Nineveh reveals it was a desperately cruel and wicked nation, yet the God who is able to turn the hearts of kings (Proverbs 21:1) turned the heart of this king. And with the turning, with the humbling, with the repenting, God lavished that place with grace.

When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.

“The end of the world is nigh. Repent your sins.” “Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”

…………………………………………………………………….

*There are those who would deny this; peace is our motto; the peace symbol is everywhere, but violence is a huge part of our culture—look at our entertainment to verify this: movies, television programs, the books we read, our comic books, even our T-shirts.

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