Wednesday, April 14, 2010

America In Crisis Part Three

Four hundred years ago the downtrodden and oppressed from Europe, and other lands, began to make their way to a new land across the sea. They were drawn by the promise of an ideal. This new land held out the promise of a better life, a hope, that over the centuries has crystallized into that which we call the American dream. Now as then America remains a vision of hope and freedom for the oppressed masses huddled in poverty and living lives of oppression in much of the world.

Yet my heart is moved as America moves into a new decade and attempts to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The 20th century was a time of great struggle and turmoil, yet American influence throughout the world was spread far and wide. This dream was fostered by the American ideals of God and country, these ideals fostered an innate goodness within the hearts of Americans and the rest of the world were the benefactors.

Yet as America moves forward we have seen a drastic shift and change in the moral values and ideals, which were the twin bulwarks upon which the greatness of this nation has stood. The world is a much more dangerous place today than it has ever been. As I examined the challenges we as a people face today, it drove me to my closet in prayer and supplication.
I was burdened in my heart as I with diligence in prayer and through a search of the scriptures sought the answer to one question. When does God bring judgment on a nation?

Long ago God brought his people out of slavery in Egypt. As recorded in the book of Exodus he brought ten plagues upon Egypt and thus humbled the mightiest nation on earth at that time. I believe we can learn much about not only when God judges a nation, but also when this judgment may be expected to occur. I believe the lessons we can learn from these times, will prove beyond all doubt, that America as a nation is at the present time already come under the judgment of God.

Pharaoh and his people hardened their hearts against the will of God. It was at that time that God chose a simple shepherd to not only be his mouthpiece in Egypt, but by his staff he became the rod of judgment in the land. Moses under the guiding hand of the lord God went once more to Pharaoh with a solemn warning.

So this is what the LORD says: “I will show you that I am the LORD.” Look! I will strike the water of the Nile with this staff in my hand, and the river will turn to blood. (Exodus 7:17)
The Lord turned the waters of the Nile into blood. The people of Egypt became consumed with a great thirst that nothing could satisfy. When a nation abandons the principles of morality and dignity as laid out in the scriptures, they lay down the standard of right and wrong. Every man does what is right in his own eyes. One of the signs that a nation is suffering the judgment of the almighty is when its people become consumed with pleasure. The walls of constraint are pulled down, and the people of that land give themselves over to the unbridled lust in all its forms, that the human heart can conceive.
Yet the pleasure of sin is fleeting and the sting it leaves in its wake is it creates a hunger or thirst, which cannot be satisfied. Millions of Americans having abandoned the God given laws and precepts of our creator instead find themselves lost in the grip of unbridled passion in all its forms. This is not a force of liberation but rather a curse. A heart driven by passion is a slave to itself, and a nation driven by passion is suffering the judgment of God.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

America In Crisis Part Two

- America at this time is confronted with a vast array of challenges both internal and external. It was due to my concern as I looked across the horizon that in prayer I began to search and seek the face of God. I began to diligently search the scriptures to seek the answer to one overriding concern. When does God bring judgment on a nation?

Not long after Israel was delivered from slavery in Egypt the Lord led them into the desert. The people began to thirst and complain. They came to a place named Marah. It was out of that experience that God laid before them what they must do to avoid the judgment of God, and with this word he also shows us when a nation or people may expect the judgment of God.

It was there at Marah that the LORD set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him. 26 He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the LORD who heals you.” (Exodus 15:25B-26 NLT)

In these two verses I believe we can see the standard that God uses to judge a nation. If our leaders and people listen to the voice of the Lord our God and does what is right in his sight and obey his commands and keeps his decrees as laid out in the word of God he will bless that nation. However when a nation turns its back on him and refuses to give heed to his word and direction that nation by doing so has already come under judgment.

Stubbornness a refusal to believe the word God as given by Moses to them, and an arrogance of unbelief, characterized the leadership of the nation of Egypt. In our nation the list is endless but it can be rightly said that not only have our leaders turned their back on the God of the Bible, but do not even want the word of God or prayer to even be allowed into public debate.

In the New Testament the Apostle Peter gave a sober warning to any nation that would harden its heart against the will of God.

They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. 7 And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed (II Peter 3:5-7)

Our founding fathers trembled for our nation because they knew that God was just. A nation cannot turn its back on God without consequence. Peter in this passage reminds us of truths that the ungodly choose to ignore. It was God who spoke the worlds into existence. It was God in his righteous decree who brought a judgment by water on the world of Noah’s day. It is by the will of God that the heavens are reserved for a judgment by fire. He shall in the end of all things bring upon the ungodly world of that day yet to come.

Yet in the midst of so much that is sobering the Lord in Egypt made a distinction between his people Israel and the nation of Egypt. The prophet Isaiah spoke of a day and time yet in the future with a word of hope for all those who love the Lord.

Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth,
but the glory of the LORD rises and appears over you. (Isaiah 60:2 NLT)
As we shall see as God began to bring judgment on the nation of Egypt he made a distinction between his people Israel and Egypt. So saint of God no matter what may yet come we that tremble at his name and word have his promise that he will protect and care for his own.