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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

BUT THERE IS HOPE

 
 "If My People"artist's print by Deanna Wiseman



Article by Danelle Carvell
Last week I gave you the bad news. This week I'm giving you more bad news, but I'm ending on a positive note. Let me start with the oil spill. Do you know that on April 19, the day before the Deepwater Herizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf, Fox News reported that the United States would no longer automatically stand with Israel in the UN Security Council decisions? Never before in US history has a president made such a declaration. Why is this relevant? The answer is found in an ancient promise God made to Abraham in the book of Genesis: "I will make you a great nation (Israel)... I will bless those who bless you. And I will curse those who curse you."

Our president's decision to no longer support Israel came one day before our nation experienced the worst environmental disaster in history. Coincidence? I don't think so. I believe that oil rig explosion was the hand and judgment of God. Some people believe that God is all about love and He would never send a curse. Yet all through the Bible are examples of God's judgment upon sinful people: the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, The seven plagues on Egypt, God's judgment on the Israelites, and the great flood that killed everyone except Noah and his family. In Ezekiel God says, "When a land sins against me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out my hand against it."

America is sinning against God. Our society greatly degenerates with each passing year. We are guilty of idolatry. Money is our God. We destroy our health in the mad pursuit of material things. Every 24 hours 4,000 babies are slaughtered. We export more pornography than any other nation. We have accepted deviant sexual choices that God never intended man to engage in. We are obsessed with sex. Television and movies are polluted with it. The music industry keeps lowering the bar with trashy videos of half-naked women striking suggestive poses. The moral decay of our country has reached the point of competing to see who can wear the least clothes and who can display the most offensive behavior.

Our most offensive behavior to God is that we've turned our backs on Him. We have deliberately pushed God and Jesus out of our lives. We pushed prayer out of our schools. We're removing all reference to God from public places. Recently, a North Carolina pastor was fired as honorary chaplain of the state house of representatives after he closed a prayer by invoking the name of Jesus. This country has declared war on Jesus. Christianity is the only religion that receives such all-encompassing hatred and persecution. What is it about Jesus that people find so offensive? Jesus was always helping people, always healing and uplifting them. Then he gave the ultimate sacrifice. He died on a cruel cross to pay a debt that wasn't even His (John 3:16).
Jesus represents everything good. And that's why everything evil hates Him so much.

To me it feels like America is circling the drain. How can we expect to escape God's judgment when we've turned our back on Israel and we have no fear of God. We've redefined God's meaning of marriage and family. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes. America is exactly as described in 2 Timothy: "...in the last days, perilous times will come. Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."

America has rejected God and the rules for living that the Bible teaches. As a result, God has removed His sovereign hand of protection from this nation. I believe we will see more natural disasters occur in the coming months and years. When I first saw video footage of the oil spill taken from the air, the oil wasn't black as I expected. It actually looked red. Seeing that made me think of this scripture in Revelation:"Then the second angel sounded and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed." Only God knows if the oil that's still spewing from the ocean floor is a warning about that prophetic judgment described in Revelation. God typically employs escalating judgments to prompt repentance.

No one can argue that disasters are escalating. According to the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, we've seen a 400% increase in natural disasters. Since the 1940's, natural disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, and cyclones have increased dramatically and continue to occur more frequently (from between 0-50 per year in the 1940's to about 300-400 disasters per year in current times). This brings to mind another scripture. In Matthew when the disciples asked Jesus, "What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" Jesus answered, "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars...nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places."

According to the Drudge Report 2010 quake sheet, 18 quakes shook seven different areas of the world today. The largest (a 6.5) occurred in Chile. We don't hear about all these earthquakes. We only hear about the big ones. I was shocked to discover how many earthquakes occur daily. They are increasing in both frequency and intensity. As for famines, a child dies from starvation every 30 seconds. And with all the turmoil in the Middle East, we hear rumors of wars every day. The leader of Iran has openly admitted that he wants to destroy Israel and the United States. He doesn't want to recognize Israel's right to exist. This was predicted in the book of Psalms: "They have said, "Come and let us cut them off from being a nation. That the name of Israel may be remembered no more."

Israel is surrounded by enemies. Its fiercest enemy, Iran, now has enough low grade uranium to make a nuclear bomb. We are in a life and death war with radical Muslims who are taught to destroy anyone who won't convert to Islam. Our president refuses to acknowledge that fact. Obama wants to give Jerusalem to the Palestinians (Muslims). But God gave Israel to the jewish people, and Obama is going against that holy eternal covenant. He's warring against God and He will surely lose.

So what can we do? The answer is found in 2 Chronicles: "When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." We can't control what the president does. The only way we can turn this thing around is if we pray that our nation will return to a fear of God. Prayer is the only thing that will change the direction of this country. It's the only thing that can lift God's hand of judgment. We must pray for our churches to open their eyes and realize the times in which we live. We may not have a reason to celebrate, but we have every reason to pray. That is our only hope.

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