A WORD FOR AMERICA? YOU BE THE JUDGE.
I’M NO PROPHET
I am a teacher and an exhorter, not a prophet. Many years ago, just before Y2K, when the world was supposedly about to enter into chaos because of a computer glitch, one prominent well-respected prophet rose up and said that Y2K wouldn’t be as bad as some were predicting, but it would have an impact. Well, it had no impact and this person never had anything more to say about it (as far as I know).
We are far too cavalier when claiming to speak for God. We must be more careful when it comes to public predictions, so as not to bring His name into disrepute. Yet sometimes things are just so clear in God’s word that you don’t need to be prophetic to see them. Hence, I am presenting this, not as a ‘prophetic word’, but merely as something for you to pray about.
For years I have heard many a preacher say that God’s judgment is on America and yet, with me, it never bore witness. It is easy to catalogue America’s sins, but compared to Europe, China, Russia or the terror-ridden Middle East, it is hard to make a case that the United States is more deserving of judgement than others. Over the past week, however, I have sensed a change. America is at a crossroads and I do believe that tomorrow’s election could critically impact her future.
AMERICA IS SPECIAL
“To whom much is given, for him much will be required,” says Yeshua, in Luke 12:48. You see it is not that America is worse than those other nations or regions, but rather that God’s blessing has been on us for so long that we are more accountable. Like ancient Israel, who had the very commands of God, we will be held to a higher standard.
As I said at the end of the article I wrote last week, when America became the best friend of the tiny new nation of Israel, the blessing of God began to fall on the US in a greater way. We quickly became the most influential nation in the world. God has used the US to block the anti-Israel United Nations from coming against the Jewish State over and over again.
I used the example of Great Britain, about which it was once said, “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” As a student of history, we can trace the beginning of the decline of Great Britain from the time she broke her promise to establish a Jewish homeland in Brtish Mandate Palestine[i] (see Balfour Declaration), and instead, carved off 72 percent of it to create the country of Transjordan (now Jordan) in 1922. God wasn’t kidding when he said to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you” (Gen. 12:3).
NO MONDAY MORNING PROPHET
It would be too easy to refer to Sandy as judgment. I would be more impressed if someone told me six months ago that just before the election there would be a devastating hurricane in America’s North Eastern States, than the plethora of voices crying judgment in her aftermath. Nevertheless, like the sons of Issachar, we must read the signs of the times. What can we discern from this destructive storm that wreaked havoc on millions of Americans? In ancient times, such devastation would have brought people to their knees in repentance, understanding that such an event is not random. No more than it was random that deadly tornadoes tore through Bill Clinton’s home state of Arkansas the very weekend that he welcomed Yasser Arafat into the White House as an honored guest in March of 1997 and delivered “a sharp rebuke to Israel for building on Har Homa.”[ii] In addition to killing 25 people[iii] the tornadoes left a billion dollars of destruction in its wake.
In our day and age, just the mention of judgment is enough to bring the wrath of the mainstream media down upon you with accusations of being insensitive. But who is truly insensitive and heartless? Is ignoring God really in our best interests right now?
Having said that let me now say this: I don’t think it was judgment, but rather a warning. And let me be very clear, I tread softly when seeking to interpret an event from which so many precious people are still suffering. It breaks my heart watching the reports—seeing the bereaved, others who lost their homes and memories, and people suffering without gas or electricity, having no idea to whom they can turn. And yet, as believers we must be wise and ask the Lord, What does this mean?
‘THAT VERY NIGHT…”
My sense in all this is, that it was God saying, “America, you are not indestructible. In a day, in an hour, I can bring you to your knees. Be careful in which direction you turn.” Remember, it was only a matter of hours after Daniel interpreted the writing on the wall that mighty Babylon was overthrown by the Medes and the Persians.
“But you, [King] Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven… You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand (Humanism?). But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways… God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end… You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting… Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians… That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two. (Various verses from Daniel 5)
This did not happen in Nebraska or South Dakota, but New York City and the surrounding areas. Like in ancient Babylon, the strongest among us were crippled: the subway was flooded, houses were completely removed off their foundations, if not destroyed, and people can still be found waiting for hours just to get gas—not to mention the electricity outages which are intensifying the suffering of millions as the temperatures drop.
A STRANGE THOUGHT
Many years ago during a vacation in the coastal city of Eilat, I did something foolish. We were playing catch in a swimming pool when the ball went over the railing into the lagoon below. It was about a 15-foot jump. I was feeling brave and shocked everyone when I jumped out of the pool and went over the railing into the lagoon to get the ball. And as I did, I had this bizarre thought. What if I get hurt? … I won’t get hurt; it’s just water—not even God could cause something bad to happen.
It was a strange exchange that went through my mind, as I don’t usually think that way. I retrieved the ball and then swam to an area where I could be helped out of the water. Two men reached down to lift me up, but what I hadn’t realized was that the sediment on the wall, upon which I placed my feet, was as sharp as knives. By the time they pulled me up, my feet were a bloody mess. I still have the scars to remind me.
My point here being, that I had strangley and wrongly felt invincible, as in two seconds flat, blood was flowing.
This is not a time for overconfidence, but humility. If we believe in God then we can’t imagine that this storm, which “could be among the most expensive in United States history,” (ABC NEWS) was random—happening as it did, just before, what I believe will be, the most crucial election thusfar, in my lifetime.
Again, I want to emphasize that speaking of a tragedy as being from God when people have died and are still suffering is not easy, and can often come off as thoughtless and arrogant. That is not my heart. I have shed tears over the news reports. My heart goes out to everyone who has suffered loss and are currently without heat, water, or electricity and I pray that America’s northeast can quickly be back on her feet. But I don’t want something worse to happen. As unsettling as it is, those who believe in the Bible must admit that there are times when God sends a warning prior to judgment.
MORDECAI AND ESTER
While there are many issues we should be concerned about: i.e. the protection of the unborn, protection for the traditional family, the Hollywood mandate to brainwash our children agaisnt Biblical values—the issue at hand here is, Israel.
As I said in my previous article, despite her being a tiny little sliver of a nation surrounded by antagonistic neighbours and Islamic terrorist organizations that plot her destruction, it is not Israel about whom I am concerned. Israel has powerful promises of protection from God. He is their shield and strong deliverer. But He has chosen America to play her role and we have played it well these many years.
In the story of Queen Esther, Haman conspires to destroy the Jewish people. Her cousin, Mordecai, sends word that she needs to expose the evil plot to the king. She hesitates out of fear, since the king could have her killed for entering his courts uninvited.
Pay attention to Mordecai’s words to Esther:
Do not think that, because you are in the king’s house, you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:13-14)
In the same way, if America chooses a president who minimizes our relationship with Israel or even pushes her aside, under the misguided illusion it will improve relations with the Muslim world, it could be America that is pushed aside. “Deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place,” but what could happen to the nation that has been given so much light and favor if she turns against Israel, makes me shudder to think. Of course, this is not God’s will. Like Esther, one of the reasons that America has been raised up, is for this very same purpose. God wants to bless America!
LISTEN TO BILLY GRAHAM
What have we learned from “Super-Storm Sandy”? That in a moment we could lose everything. We are not invincible, but vulnerable. Without God’s blessing we stand to lose our influence, prosperity, and security. In my nearly