Friday, May 13, 2011

To What Extent Will God Permit the Heathen to Attack Us?

"Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, to seize the spoil, to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets." --- Isaiah 10:5,6

As the celebrations continue over the death of Osama bin Laden it is time to consider an issue which only a few are willing to think about and/or discuss with others. That issue is God's use of heathen peoples as instruments in His purposes to judge those who claim to be His people but at the same time they play the hypocrite by rejecting His standards and principles for a sane, sensible, serene, stable, and secure nation with a positive hope for the future! Corruption in political and religious leadership is a major contributing factor in such a circumstance.

A lot of history reveals that God in times past used heathen peoples to chastise and in some cases ultimately judge those who claimed to be His people. The ancient Israelites were a people to whom God had revealed Himself and then were chosen to represent Him as the true God in a world engulfed in ungodly practices, even to the point of human sacrifices in worship rituals.

There were times that the Israelites adopted the practices of their heathen neighbors. In the Old Testament book of Judges we observe a "roller coaster" experience. For a time the people were obedient and under the blessing of God. But then they abandoned the way of obedience and God would respond in a very negative way. Terms used to describe these experiences are: "forsook God", "did evil", etc. God's actions are described as: "delivered them into the hands of...", "sold them into the hand of...", etc.

And so it went for centuries as kings came and went. Some were good kings who truly feared God and sought to be obedient, but many others were not and succumbed to evil influences and the worship of false gods. Often a part of this again involved human sacrifice, such as throwing an infant or young child into a roaring fire as an act of worship. It is actually reported that some kings who are clearly identified engaged in this horrendous practice!

But the time comes when evil, like an out of control cancer, reaches a terminal state. God no longer raises up prophets with an appeal to repent and come back to Him for mercy and forgiveness. The message of the prophets changes dramatically and basically warns of impending judgment.

The ancient northern kingdom of Israel was invaded and destroyed by the Assyrians in about the year 721 BC. The southern kingdom of Judah hung on a bit longer, but eventually time ran out for it and the Babylonians totally destroyed the proud city of Jerusalem in about 586 BC. In both cases God reveals that it was persistent disobedience and refusal to repent that led to these disasters.

In both cases God's "instruments" of judgment were the Assyrians and the Babylonians -- both were about as heathen as it is possible to get. It later turned out that these heathen kingdoms were judged by God with a lot of detail given as to what would happen before their respective judgments actually took place.

Now consider this: God does not change in His way of dealing with members of the human race and the nations which they establish through time. The United States was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and the Bible was quite prominent in the experiences of the founding fathers as well as successors in decades to follow.

The nation was identified with the Christian faith -- that is, most of the citizens professed to be Christian in their faith. From time to time there were some significant "awakenings" in which people in rather large numbers actively sought God's mercy and forgiveness, with faith centered in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

But as the republic entered the 20th Century something not good was happening. The seeds of doubt and skepticism were being sown within the ranks of Christianity. This new "trend" was eventually referred to as "liberalism" -- a "pseudo-intellectual" view and interpretation of the Scriptures! It was the "in thing" to question the information reported in Scripture concerning the works of God, the miracles, and of course, the Person of Jesus Christ and everything related to His life here on earth, including His sacrifice for the sins of the human race and His literal resurrection from the dead following His crucifixion.

The rebel seed has taken root over time and is producing "fruit!" The United States has taken on the characteristics of the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The main difference is that we have technology that those people did not have and consequently we can sin quickly, massively, and in ways those people could not even have imagined! As a result we are ripe for judgment action on the part of the Creator of this mighty universe.

Could His instruments of judgment at a certain point involve heathen peoples set on revenge because of our involvement in, our bragging and our intense celebrating the death of one of their own who was world famous? Most will instantly reject this possibility and if for no other reason, in ignorance declare that God would never do such a thing or allow such a thing to happen to the United States. Oh, and on what basis does that bit of speculation rest -- any Biblical authority to confirm that as fact?

Almighty God has yet to make a full response to the ungodliness that permeates this nation from one end to the other. It will not be pleasant to be living within its borders when that response does come, and it may come sooner than any of us want to honestly recognize!

It remains a solid truth -- the only thing we learn from history is the fact that we fail to learn from history and as a result are doomed to repeat the tragedies of previous cultures whose ruins lie in the dust and rocks of the earth!

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He also did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear an oath by God; but he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD God of Israel. Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the LORD which He had consecrated in Jerusalem. And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand. And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions. --- 2 Chronicles 36:11-19

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