"I have sent also unto you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto Me."
There is no new thing under the sun (Ecclesiastes). God has revealed that which was, is and is to come. He is immutable (my favorite attribute of God); He never changes (Malachi). So in the midst of this time, God's purposes are being directed and His will is being done. But this is not a 'suddenly' moment. For we have had warnings for a long time in something like this to come, from history and from the Bible.
In Jeremiah chapter 35, Jeremiah was instructed to take the Rechabites and set wine before them to drink. However, their father had given a command that neither they nor their sons were ever to drink wine. This family and its descendants stayed true to that vow. and God speaks in the midst of this families illustration to say, 'Did I not command you, His children, His descendants of Israel? Did I not tell you?"
However, the response of Israel was different, they heard the commands but they refused to obey. They heard the directives, but they refused to listen. And in this verse above, verse 15, God has sent His servants to speak and declare what is and what shall be directly related to their ways and doing. And just as God as God has always responded, He responds to our ways and doings. Are we faithful or not? Are we obedient or not? And from that response comes God's response. God responds to a wicked nation; God responds to a rebellious people, His Own.
WE have known for quite some time that the hand of God's wrath upon the nations, and more personally, our nation, and His church was coming. The signs of the times were upon us in remedial judgements. We have covered this consistently for over a decade. How it amazes me that preachers and leaders refuse to recognize the Biblical words and works of God, Who is immutable to our plight today. As His hand came forth and wrote on the wall to the Babylonian king and Daniel interrupted it, so it is today, "thou art weighed int he balances and found wanting." God has been speaking and warning all along, we just didn't listen nor give heed.
There were 10 plagues in Egypt that constricted from outer to piercing sorrow of the 10th plague, death. And so all our remedial judgements went the same pattern, from outer to inner; and here we are at Death. Despite those that are trivial about this plague or unphased about the death rate and sick rate, it is a pandemic and it is deadly. At present, there are over 11,000 deaths world wide; over 200 here in US. Granted this is not a high number compared to other things, but the potential is huge to be worse. And in the midst of this it is for us to examine what is going on, why this is happening and what will come of it.
What is going on - God is judging our times, nations and His church. This I covered in last weeks blog posts, prayer email. Tonight for the prayer meeting I will be walking through this more in Biblical accounts, followed by prayer points. Never has this generation seen or experienced anything like this. The understanding though, this is not the first in human history or our nations. and sometimes in days gone by it was far worse with wars, rationing and greater death plagues.
Why is this happening - the church failed; the nations legalized abominations and the false gods were set to rule and reign over God's creation, nations and man's hearts and minds. You cannot continue to defy God, rebel, and revolt and not expect God to not answer in wrath for being provoked to anger. Yet, God has been sending warnings to His church and the nations all along, rising up and sending them in each generation to repent, restore the good and right ways and to return to Him with our whole heart. but as this verse in Jeremiah tells us, we rebelled, our ways and doings were contrary to His ways and doings. WE refused to hear, we refused to obey. WE compromised with sin, cheated on holiness and saturated ourselves with humanism, flesh, money, sports and entertainment all the while rejecting Him. God is not destroying us or annihilating us completely; this is not final judgement. Yea, it is the most severe that we have seen in quite some time; but it is not final judgment. This is His mercy. He is giving us time.
What comes next - this depends on the response of the church and the nation;
1. I see no fear of the Lord in the midst of the people. The fact that this is God's judgement is largely dismissed by the church; therefore it is utterly alien to the heathen.
2. Too many of the church and its leaders are simply praying for deliverance, healing and safe haven. Because they do not understand II Chronicles 7:13, they simply are asking God to do His 3 promises of 7:14. They have never done their part of 7:14 of their 4 things - humble (we are too proud and self reliant); pray (we still do not have houses of prayer or secret closets given to Him daily); seek His face (time is still about us not Him) and turn from our wicked ways (repentance and confession).
3. Solemn assembly - I wrote Ronnie Floyd and shared this is the next step needed. It was the next day that I saw where Jonathan Cahn will be hosting one in Washington, DC in September. It is my desire that the SBC respond. Had the concerts of prayer been embraced and employed, as we desired, and the Lord led, we would be much more at a right place before Him. but alas, this verse condemns Israel for their rebellion, so goes the state of the church today.
As I read and hear so many church leaders today on social media, I wonder where they were all along over this last decade. One former SBC president, who refused to even talk with me on the phone or give time to me; quoting Scriptures that he should have been employing while president to lead us rightly. For over a decade I met and tried to meet with each SBC president, since Frank Page in 2006. almost all gave time and place so we could talk and pray together. But there were several who refused to pray or talk. they didn't want to hear it or respond to it. so often I felt like Amos, 'Amos, quit preaching, go preach to Judah, but don't preach to us.' And Amos reply, 'I was farmer, tending to my things up in the hills. And the Lord said, "Go down and preach to them". And come down and preach I will to you." I went and pleaded with them; begging some to respond. Most of the time simply getting their favorite phrase, 'Dan, really appreciate your heart". don'e appreciate it, obey the Word; respond rightly!
God has always been rising up and sending His servants to call the people, warn the people and prepare the people. It is the people's choices and leaders decisions that determine what comes next.
Now do not think, that as I write this, that I am simply saying, "I told you so". For I am as much to blame for negligence as any other. There are many like minded serving with me on what has happened and why it is happened. "to him that knoweth to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin." I have should have pressed more and done more. I should have prevailed more. But alas, hindsight is wonderful to see a little better. But that cannot change now; what is before us and upon us is most important. What will I do now? What will you do now?
We will respond rightly. Declaring the whole counsel of God. We will instruct on Who God is and what He has desired. And we will plead in prayer for His Divine Spirit to lead and direct and fill. Yes, revival and awakening may come out of this. But only. . . ONLY!!! if the church responds rightly. If we continue and revert back after this passes, and it will pass and things will return to 'normal'. If we go back to what was, then we learned nothing in this moment. We can never return to what was! It is what got us here. Priorities and daily routines and practices must change toward God and not toward self and ease. Holiness must be number one; sin must be confronted and rebuked. sin can no longer be allowed to dwell in the crevasses of a saint. 'Come out from among them and be separate'; 'what business doth light hath with darkness'.
Pray so as to prevail. Seek Him, know Him and be about His business.
1. Drug & Alcohol - this judgement continues upon our society along with these other issues; overdoses, waste, long-term affects, and death; bars closed here in US and surrounding areas, and alcoholics pitched a fit; so many stocked up on this their chains of sin;
2. LGBT - this evil continues, as they seek to ensnare an entire generation and the following one; no truth on this abomination and the compromising of the church towards it, emboldens it; leading to Sodom;
3. Natural Disasters - earthquakes remain low, under 80; but last 72 hours, 4 in the western US, 2 in Alaska; the first one of these in the west shook Salt Lake City, knocking the trumpet from the hand of the golden angel set to blow for Mormons; reminded me of dagon of the Philistines when they took the ark of God and Dagon fell with his head and hands cut off by the angel of God; again record flooding in Middle East, coupled with the continued swarm of record, historic locusts;
4. Children - with schools cancelled and kids without suprervision greatly alarmed me; food is being delivered by local school systems, and many restuarants are providing - this is great; but children in harms way requires more prayer from us, deliver from evil and harm,
5. Plagues - on top of our other diseases at record numbers, comes the pandemic Cororna virus; 250,000 infected, over 11,000 deaths; china, Italy and Spain some of the hardest hit so far; China is recovering, here in US we are just getting started; God sends forth such things, throughout history and the Bible we see this;
6. Great Evil - Homicides/Murder-suicides/Suicides - this past week we cross 5000 estimated suicides; and 3000 homicides; 14 police officers killed; 65 mass shooting (4 or more wounded); and murder/suicides are 120, for March that is 1 and 1/.2 per day; This plague continues coupled with all the other.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon