“O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? …’If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will … cry out to You in our affliction….
O our God, will You not judge them?
For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, BUT OUR EYES ARE UPON YOU.”
2 Chronicles 20:6-12
There is a cycle that we can learn from the Bible, in how God deals with a disobedient people.
Now we can learn from this history, and correct the problem, or we can repeat it… it’s our choice!
Here is the cycle:
|1. Peace and prosperity: God’s gifts to the people He loved.
2. Apathy and compromise: They took His gifts for granted and forgot to thank Him.
3. Rebellion (humanism) and paganism: They traded God for other sources of strength. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.” (1 Samuel 15:23)
4. Famine, war, plagues and slaver: Showing the people the inadequacy of their own resources, God would bring them back to Himself.
5. Confession and repentance: The people recognized their need for God.
6. God hears, saves and restores: He blesses His people with peace — as long as they follow Him. When they turn to other gods, He stands back and waits.
Let us heed God’s Warning:
6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
19 If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.
Below is an email I got from a brother, in response to an earlier blog, about the Gulf oil Spill; and I’d like to share my response with all of you:
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2010 2:48 AM
To: ‘Skip Barland’
Subject: RE: KEEPING IT SIMPLE. a possible answer to the gulf oil spill!
When I was praying about this the LORD showed me an explosive device on the wellhead, its intent was to damage the U.S. economy
I believe this was a deliberate act, the LORD says pray for justice.
Here is my response:
You might be right about that… I’ve heard that some have suspected sabotage, possibly from North Korea.
Whether it is or not the result of sabotage, regardless, we are nevertheless without leadership in Washington; and worse, as the Bible says a house divided cannot long stand, I think that also applies to nations as well.
Add to that problem, when you also have a corrupt and flawed foundation in any house, you have a serious problem; and as Jesus said, “When the winds of adversity come (not if, but when they come), that house will not stand!”
On the positive side, I also know that Christians are praying; and that fact alone gives us the advantage over any strategy of the enemy!
I also think with all that is wrong with our nation, and getting worse every day… this nation is ripe for a Revival!
From God’s perspective, all of these things, and even those things that are yet to happen (and I think very soon), which I believe will be much worse than an oil spill, if it brings America to its knees, and if it causes men and women to turn back to God in repentance, then it is well worth it!
Besides, from God’s perspective, that is always his ultimate reason and goal, when things like this happen… to bring us to our knees in repentance, and bring us home!
If the Bible teaches us anything, it is that God ultimately is in control of everything; and that is true, even though Satan is the one who kills, steals, and destroys!
Whatever happens, God either allows it, or disallows it (as He did with Job)… and I believe that often the outcome is hinged upon whether we, who are the Christians, are praying, and are as the 300 wise soldiers, in Gideon’s army?
We mustn’t forget that we are in a war, both in the spiritual and in also in the natural; and in every war there are always causalities.
Also in war all are affected, including both the good and the bad; and what makes the difference in which way the battle goes, will be those who have learned to fight, using their spiritual weapons; who also have learned not to be discouraged; and to rather keep their focus on Jesus, and on the battle… and not on themselves! Selah
The best we can do, as Christians, in these times is to do as Jesus said, “Be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
Let us stay close to the Word, and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, moment by moment, 24/7; and most importantly, let us not be fearful, regardless of what happens.
Remember Jesus has promised to NEVER leave, nor forsake us; and regardless of how bad things get, or how bad they look, let us keep our focus on Christ!
Besides, I read the end of the Book (the Bible)… and guess what, we win!
Whatever happens, let us remember to keep Jesus first!