Monitor The Strategic Trends
“It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.”
-Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
The Best of Times?
By many reckonings, it appears to be the best of times in America: We enjoy a robust economy, reinforced by continually advancing technologies. At least one computer in every home, and a personal telephone on almost everyone’s belt. People are buying their 3rd and 4th cars. Our military is the most feared throughout the world. Indeed, in many ways, it seems like the best of times.
Judgment on the Horizon?
However, let’s assess the State of the Union in the mirror of God’s Word. Homosexuality is accepted as simply “an alternative lifestyle.” We murder babies that are socially inconvenient. We change marriage partners like a fashion statement. We have abandoned the sanctity of commitments in our families and in our businesses. Immorality and deceit have come to characterize the highest offices in our land; our politics have condoned and covered up more murders than we dare list. Our public enterprises have been prostituted to the convenience of the elite. Our mainline media takes pride in forming public opinion rather than informing it, which had been its sacred role in a representative republic. Our culture has disconnected character from destiny. Our entertainments celebrate adultery, fornication, violence, aberrant sexual practices and every imaginable form of evil. We have become the primary exporters of everything that God abhors.
One of the major theological mysteries is why hasn’t God judged America? The parallels in Bible (Cf. Hosea 4-14; Isaiah 5; et al) would suggest that it is long overdue. The only ostensible answer is God’s commitment in Genesis 12:2-3, in which He promises Abraham that He “will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee.” It may well be that America has been spared-so far-due to its support of the nation of Israel. But that, too, may be short lived...
Conspicuous by Its Absence?
One of the mysteries in the Biblical prophetic scenario, is where does America appear?
The final battle-the Battle of Armageddon-is a four-power conflict: triggered by the “Kings of the South” (Egypt?), responded to by the “Kings of the North” (Syria? Russia? ...various opinions), and dominated by a Western Confederacy (The Antichrist, et al) until the “Kings of the East” are drawn in.
Where is the United States? There are many conjectures among scholars. Some assume that we will ultimately be somehow associated with the Western Confederacy. The continuing erosion of our constitutional republic, plus the increasing move toward a police state to “fight terrorism,” seems consistent with the growing tide toward a global government.
Others assume that America simply will not be a major player at that time. As variations of this second view, some suggest that America will have become economically and militarily less relevant by then. Others (disturbed by the hint in Ezekiel 39:6), fear that we may have been the subject of a major nuclear exchange over the growing tensions in the Middle East.
Life Cycle of Nations
As we study the rise and fall of nations, there is a disturbing sequence throughout history. The sequence of nations, as observed by Alexander Tyler, 1750, follows a predictable pattern “from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependence back again into bondage." It is hard to deny that we may well be at the zenith of that sequence. If you ask the average American what is the biggest problem facing our nation, Is it ignorance or apathy? He will likely answer, “I don’t know and I don’t care!”
It remains to be seen whether the wake-up call of September 11, 2001, will prove to be more effective than simply a brief spasm of patriotism, or whether it may lead to a more serious revival and return to our heritage. In any case, we each need to prepare and to rise to the opportunities that present themselves for a spiritual revival and we must begin with ourselves. God has declared an immutable principle:
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 will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
Notice that this isn’t addressed to the Congress, or the Administration, or to the pagan left. It is addressed to His people, who are called by His name. It is the members of the Body of Christ that are standing in the way of what God would prefer to do in our land. A revival needs to begin with us.
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