By Maurice A. Simmons
We are truly living in the season of which Jesus prophesied regarding wars and rumors of wars: wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; development of a nuclear program by Iranian President Ahmadinejad; world wide Jihad waged by radical Islamists; a strained and somewhat precarious relationship with Russia; and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip.
On September 11, 2001, America was introduced to something that is pretty commonplace to many nations of the earth- terrorism on her soil. Now we live in an age where the imminent threat of terrorist attacks constantly looms. America, having long been a super power is beginning to look more vulnerable as her military is over-extended and bogged down in Iraq. This coupled with the worst economic recession in decades is proving to be quite daunting for the nation who at one time seemed impervious, with her robust economy and military. Fear has been gripping the hearts of Americans as various conflicts and threats increase. In the scope of world opinion (under the George W. Bush Administration at least), it seemed as if there were more against us than with us. Succinctly put, the United States has been and is in a crisis. We are in a dilemma that even surpasses that of Vietnam. We have entered another cold war, not with the Russians, but with radical Islam, and this cold war is heating up. The government and a number of American citizens realize these things. Of course, there are those, suffering from what I call the ostrich with their head in the sand syndrome, oblivious to the mounting challenges facing us.
As the situations heat up and eventually reach a boiling point, whom do we turn to? What should we do? I believe the Lord is issuing a somber warning to this nation. I make this statement at the risk of appearing to be gloom and doom. However, my task and intention is not to promulgate fear, but to publish the Word of the Lord, which is always a message of hope for those who respond properly.
In the political arena, the left-wing (democrats) and the right-wing (republicans) disputed about how to defend our country. Now, they quarrel about how to repair the economy, which, to many, has replaced terrorism as the number one threat to our national security. It is within the context of these dilemmas that the Lord gave me a word based on 2 Chronicles 16, for our nation during the month of October 2006. As I meditated on this message, I heard the Lord say with crystal clarity, Turn not to the right or the left. Concerning national defense, the right is wrong, and the left is way out in left field. In a flash of what I would call revelation, I knew what He was talking about. I will share the implications of these things as they relate to us right now.
2 Chronicles 16: 9 KJV "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars."
According to 2 Chronicles chapter 14, Asa, the King of Judah, had been reigning for ten years. During this decade of rule, he only had one military conflict. That was with the Ethiopians. In fact, Asas army totaled over 580,000 men, while the Ethiopians eclipsed them with an army numbering at 1,000,000 men, plus 300 chariots! Asas army was outnumbered almost 2:1, yet because he and the nation diligently sought the Lord, God was with them and they defeated the Ethiopians. I will underscore the point that because Asa trusted in the Lord, God defeated their enemies.
Now subsequent to this great victory, the Word of the Lord came to the prophet Azariah in 2 Chronicles 15:2-4. Azariah exhorts the people to remain with the Lord and seek Him.
If you forsake Him He will forsake you, the prophet cautioned. You will find that in 2 Chronicles 15: 8-12, upon hearing the prophetic word, Asa was motivated to cleanse all idols out of the land and he led his nation to enter into a covenant to seek the Lord with all of their heart and soul. This is an extremely critical point in the passage. The people of Judah made an oath and swore with all of their hearts, and sought the Lord with their whole desire. He was found of them and He gave them rest and peace in the land.
2 Chronicles 15:15 "And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the LORD gave them rest round about."
Now that the framework has been provided, let us fast-forward twenty five years later into the thirty-fifth year of Asas reign. It is during this time that the king catches a severe case of amnesia in 2 Chronicles 16. King Baasha of Israel comes against Judah and besieges her. Asa, stricken with panic, forgetting the same God who gave him victory over an Ethiopian army, breaks his covenant with God. He does so by turning to Syria for help, instead of turning to the Lord God. To make matters worse, not only does he break the covenant with the Lord, but he has the audacity to cut a covenant with Benhadad, King of Syria, who was really an enemy of Judah. Benhadad comes to Asas rescue by disrupting the siege and chasing Baashas army away. For the moment, Asa and his people are safe in their comfort zone... or so they think. God sends a prophet named Hanani, with a word of correction for the King. God will always send a Word to His people when they leave His Presence and establish a comfort zone of their own. His Word comes to agitate us and get us to leave the place of false security, that we might return back to Him, where we belong.
A Broken Covenant
The word delineated in 2Chronicles 16:9 which was given to Asa, is now echoed to America: For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
The Hebrew word for perfect is Shalom, which means, peace or complete. God will show Himself strong on the behalf of a nation whose hearts are in a covenant of peace with Him. A covenant of peace with the Lord means we are completely His and we are one. It means that we completely rely and trust in Him, as Asa did earlier during his reign as king of Judah. Since Asa turned to another (Benhadad) for covenantal protection, he was no longer in a covenant of peace with the Lord. In this, the Lord said he had done foolishly and from then on Asa and the nation would have wars.
This is the predicament currently facing our nation. Like Asa, we also have gone turncoat on the Lord and have trusted in the chariots of others, instead of our God. We have trusted in our military prowess, the United Nations, foreign policy, and our government to keep us safe from radical Islamists who wish to lay siege on this nation as Baasha did to Judah. For the past couple of years, the eyes of the nation were on presidential candidates to see who would be able to steer us through the troubled waters. Now we have chosen a president whom many act as though he is the Messiah. There are those who believe that he will be able to save and deliver us from all of our troubles. I have heard people say that they feel like Obama can help them change and become a better person. They say that he will make the world a better place.
President Obamas colleagues on the democratic left wish to negotiate with those who would be our enemies: Iran, Syria, Russia, and some rogue regimes. Not understanding the gravity of certain threats, they believe we can come to the table and set aside our differences working together to bring peace in the Middle East and the world. They have even changed certain terminology from Global War on Terror to Overseas Contingency Operations. This is all done in an attempt to make overtures to Muslim nations around the world and bridge the gap towards peace with them. The democratic left consider themselves intellectuals. However, they are foolish enough to sell God out, for a more pluralistic and secular America-ultimately this is their agenda. The spirit of Anti-Christ lurks in their assemblies. Yet during campaign season, they will show up in our churches and dust off their badges of faith to wear it in our sights, in the hopes of garnering our votes. Indeed, the left is way out in left field.
On the other end of the political spectrum, the republican-right have consistently preached that a strong national defense will keep us safe from terror threats. They take pride in our capabilities as a nation and they long to see America continue her reign as a world superpower. Patriotism for this nation is their religion. The likes of Rush Limbaugh is their prophet, while capitalism is their gospel. Like the Left, they have their own agenda, which does not coincide with Gods Kingdom agenda for our country. In their pride they claim to be in tune with the morals of mainstream America, but spiritually they are just as bankrupt as their foes on the left. To be sure, the right is wrong!
Dont Turn to the Right or the Left!
Both political parties have erred greatly. The Lord is saying we shall do what He commands us. According to scriptures in Deuteronomy 17:20 and Joshua 1:7, we should not turn to the right or to the left. Neither of them have the answers. Neither can resolve our conflicts and ultimately keep us safe. Both of our political parties are full of pride and they are missing God. In fact, when we turn to the Right or the Left for resolution, we are turning our backs on the Lord. For this reason, He explains in Isaiah 30:21,And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
The reason the voice of the Lord is speaking to us from behind is because by turning to the ungodly counsel of the right and left, we have turned our backs on God and broken fellowship with Him. The Lord is admonishing this nation from the Church to the White House, down to every household, against taking counsel that is not of Him.
This point is amplified in Isaiah KJV 30:1-2:
1Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
2That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
Apostle Paul states in Ephesians 6:10, that we are to
be strong in the Lord and in the power of His Might. Notice the emphasis on strengthening ourselves in the Lord and not Pharaoh who typifies our rulers or leaders. It will not be by our diplomatic efforts or military might, but only by us returning to the Lord through the Spirit of God. This is our only and best hope!
Isaiah 31:1KJV declares: "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!
To our State Department, and the nation of Israel: Watch whom you make allegiances with! Deception lurks in the assembly rooms of some of your apparent allies. In the Middle East, Russia, and China the Obama administration must know that: a leopard can not change his spots.
Gods Bailout Plan
When we look to Capitol Hill for answers and our government looks to the United Nations or ungodly alliances with other nations for help, we are in essence going down to Egypt for help. Spiritually speaking, Egypt is and always has been a place of bondage. On the contrary, Psalms 121:1-2 states, I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD
To America, the message is clear. We must not look to Capitol Hill. Instead, we must look up to the Holy Hill of God where our help truly comes, not the left or right. Lasting change will not come from President Obama. The help that we really need will not come from our pastors, prophets, or your favorite television evangelists. None can save us because we are in the midst of a spiritual war- first and foremost.
In Isaiah 31:3, the Lord explains that, Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together. Our leaders are flesh; they are not God. They cannot win a spiritual war. We are warned in the above scripture that we will all fail together if we are solely relying on man for a rescue plan. Beginning with the Church, our nation must repent of our pride and presumption in thinking that we can overcome our obstacles by our own intelligence, might and ingenuity. We must repent of breaking our covenant with the Lord, for we are not truly One Nation Under the God of the Bible. The Church must realize that our state of union with the Lord is in need of serious mending. I will not outline the numerous things for which we as the Church must repent, but I hear the Lord saying, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land and this is change you can truly believe in.
So we see that there is hope on the horizon, if we return to the Lord and make sure that our hearts are perfect towards Him. God will manifest Himself mightily for us and we will come to truly know Him. He will put our enemies to flight, bringing peace to the land. The Lord will make our crooked places straight if we abandon our personal agendas. Then we can take on His Heart, that we might fulfill the Kingdom Agenda here on earth. I pray that we will not be duped into thinking change has come when we see things improve shortly. For a season, things will appear to get better on the surface, and our president will continue to be heralded as a messianic figure throughout the world. Dont be misled. True lasting change and resolution to what ails our nation and the world will only come through repentance and a turning to the one true God of the Bible. Amen.
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Maurice A. Simmons