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Could There Really Be A Reason
Political leaders in our country have called the dastardly attack to the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11th the "worst thing since Pearl Harbor." Iím concerned that in the final count we will find there are several thousand people, innocents for the most part, killed and missing. This is not counting the hundreds, perhaps thousands, who are physically injured. Also, there is no way to measure the emotional devastation on the families and loved ones of the people who will never return to their homes. Should we be angry? I think yes! Should we be suspicious of other peoples who are not like us? NO, a thousand times NO! Just as there are fanatical Christians, those who have bombed abortion clinics and killed doctors who performed abortions, there are fanatics within the Muslim religion. Muslims, are for the most part, peace loving people. They worship Allah, who they think is the same God the Christians and Jews worship. In reality, that is not the case, but we wonít attempt to cover that subject at this time.
We, as a nation, must stand firm in our resolve to uphold the leaders of this country in prayer. I donít think there has ever been a more critical time for the application of 2Ch 7:14 ó "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." (my emphasis)
For some reason, almost all the people living in America call this a "Christian" nation. They point out that even our coinage, imprinted with ĎIn God we trust" proves the point. In light of our actions as a nation in the last thirty to fifty years, how is it possible for us to consider ourselves a Christian nation? We have "kicked God out of school," misinterpreted the constitution concerning the "separation of Church and State," legalized murdering unborn babies and, in general, become a very hedonistic society. And now, in a time of testing our resolve, we run around asking God to "bless America." How ludicrous! He blessed this nation over two hundred years ago when He sent people over here to occupy the land for the purpose of getting out from under a state run religious system and the furthering of His evangel. Not too many years later, we became greedy and wanted the land that the original Americans (Indians) had settled and started a systematic slaughter of their food supply to force them to move to other locations further west. Not satisfied with that, we started to migrate to the west forcing the Indian nations to move even farther away from their original homelands. The primary motivator, gold and the quest thereof. It even got to the point that some bright soul (Mr Trent, for whom Trenton, New Jersey was named) figured out that they could make a goodwill gesture to the Indians and give them blankets for the winter. The only problem being they were infected with smallpox and intended to infect as many Indians as possible. This goodwill ploy decimated the number of Indians quite significantly. Yes, America used biological warfare on an unsuspecting population. Then later, after the Indians fought back to keep from losing their way of life, (which was brutally harsh and we didnít agree with it), the United States government bureaucrats, lied to the Indian chiefs and got them to sign treaties that, to this day, the United States has not honored. Does this sound like the actions of a Christian nation? Maybe, just maybe, we as a nation are reaping some of the seeds that have been sown over the last two hundred plus years. Isnít it ironic that the current threat of Anthrax has been traced to a point of origin in Trenton, New Jersey? Coincidence?
If we want to get to the source of the trouble we are seeing today we must start at the beginning. In Genesis 21:6-13 we read ó And Sarah said, "God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me." 7 And she said, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age." 8 And the child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9 Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, "Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac." 11 And the matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, "Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. 13 "And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant." [NAS] An interesting point was discovered by referencing an extra-biblical text called the Book of Jasher (referenced in Joshua and 2 Samuel). In chapter fifteen, verses 30-32 we read: "30 ... And Pharaoh took more cattle, men servants, and maid servants, and silver and gold, to give to Abram, and he returned to him Sarai his wife. 31 And the king took a maiden whom he begat by his concubines, and he gave her to Sarai for a handmaid. 32 And the king said to his daughter, It is better for thee to be a handmaid in this manís house than to be mistress in my house... We learn later that this daughter of Pharaoh was Hagar, the mother of Ishmael. She was a princess of Egypt, yet she served as Saraiís handmaid.
At this point I would like to introduce a bit of history concerning Ishmael. His name, Ishma-el, means God hears. He grew up a true child of the desert, wild and wayward. On the occasion of the weaning of Isaac his rude and wayward spirit broke out in expressions of insult and mockery. Influenced by a divine admonition, Abraham dismissed Hagar and her son with no more than a skin of water and some bread. Ishmael settled in the land of Paran, a region lying between Canaan and the mountains of Sinai; and "God was with him, and he became a great archer." (Gen 21:9-21) He became a great desert chief, but of his history little is recorded. When Ishmael was about ninety years old, Abraham died. On this occasion the two brothers met after being long separated. "Isaac with his hundreds of household slaves, Ishmael with his troops of wild retainers and half-savage allies, in all the state of a Bedouin prince, gathered before the cave of Machpelah, in the midst of the men of Heth, to pay the last duties to the Ďfather of the faithful.í" He died at the age of one hundred and thirty-seven years, but where and when are unknown. He had twelve sons, who became the founders of so many Arab tribes or colonies, the Ishmaelites, who spread over the wide desert spaces of Northern Arabia from the Red Sea to the Euphrates, "their hand against every man, and every manís hand against them." They are now mostly Mohammedans, who look to him as their spiritual father, as the Jews look to Abraham. Their language, which is generally acknowledged to have been the Arabic commonly so called, has been adopted with insignificant exceptions throughout Arabia. Since we know that historically Ishmael took wives out of Egypt, in direct contradiction to Gods command, it is traditionally taught that he also instituted the worship of Allah in rebellion to his earthly father, Abraham. The Allah worshipped was not the same God as the God of Abraham, Yahweh. One can easily see that the Mohammedans became the enemies of the Israelites, and that hate continues to this day. It has been further expanded to include anyone who is not a worshipper of Allah, considering them to be infidels.
Am I saying that God is "judging" the United States? No, I am not. However, I personally believe that the circumstances of September 11, 2001 are the result of much planning by a small group of fanatical people who see the United States as the "Great Satan" and will go to any lengths in attempting to destroy it. Apparently, the major reason that something like this can occur, is not because God has "lifted His hand of protection" from the United States but rather, we the people of this nation, have relegated God to a place of no authority in the day to day activities of our lives and government. He has been legislated out of the public eye by liberal politicians and judges while we have sat around and said "they wonít or canít do that." Well, it has been accomplished and we have done nothing to rescind it. It seems as though the majority of Americans are either lazy or afraid to contact their elected representatives concerning the many issues that should concern us, especially the Christian folks. Since the attack on the World Trade Center there has been public acknowledgement of God and public prayer seems to be the norm again. Patriotism is again in the forefront. How long this continues is anybody's guess. Again I ask, can we really ask God to bless America considering the pitiful moral morass we find ourselves wallowing around in? I think not! We as a nation must heed the scriptural admonitions concerning the sanctity of life and the proper pursuit thereof.
We read in the book of Malachi 3:2 "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap." [NAS] In direct contrast to this particular scripture, a great number of Christians believe that God will not allow any trials to come and we should be living in relative ease compared with the rest of the world. If you are having troubles or problems, then you are not in Godís will and you deserve what you get. That is a very inane mentality. We donít live in the "sweet bye and bye," we live here, in what I call the "nasty now and now." This scripture states that God will sit as a refiners fire and fullers soap. If one were to take the time to search it out, a refiner of silver must watch the silver being refined by the fire and control the heat to a very exact point. Only when he can see his face in the silver is it ready for use. His job is to test and prove true the silver. I think that the analogy is readily apparent concerning our lives and how God superintends the processes He allows to refine us for worthwhile service. A fuller washes by treading upon. As you can easily see, we will be fired and tread upon by Holy Spirit enroute to attaining the maturity demanded by Father of His sons. Too many Christians are content to remain children and are fearful of the firing, testing and treading necessary to become full fledged sons. What many are not taught is that everyone will eventually become a son. The fire, tests and treading are inevitable, so the wise thing to do is submit to them when they occur. Donít look at the circumstance, look at the spirit of the word and see where you are and what the test is attempting to judge. In most cases, whenever an individual or a group of people (the nation of America) is tested, they turn toward God. Generally, they are looking for comfort rather than the reason for the trial. I donít feel that God is wasteful and He will accomplish what is necessary through the incident of September 11, 2001.
There are many examples of God using the enemies of Israel to discipline His chosen people. In spite of what some preachers tell the congregations, the Old Testament is just as valid today as it ever was. Scripture tells us in Malachi, I am the Lord God, I change not. Why do we seem to insist on being "hit over the head" before we align ourselves with scriptural admonitions? Can you think of the last time you heard a preacher who was calling for living a holy life and not partaking of the things of the world? That is not very popular these days. We as a nation, and Christians in particular, want to live and do our own thing without the constraints of living a holy life. In Godís dealings with us, we canít straddle the fence. We are either with Him or against Him.
It seems to me that over the past several hundreds of years, that we mortals have insisted that "our way is better than your way" when dealing with the things of God. All we really need to do in order to prove our superiority is to create a universe in five days, then weíll be able to tell the real creator how to do things. As a race, weíve managed to take almost everything that God has either given or allowed us to discover and either pervert or misuse it. God gave us hemp for medicinal purposes and we could make rope with it, but instead, we decided to smoke it and kill off cells in our brain. He allowed man to discover atomic energy. Did we initially use it for good? No, we made atomic bombs and killed thousands of people in Japan to bring the Second World War to an end. As a people, we donít even feed ourselves in accordance with Godís intention. We eat red meat, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, donít exercise, etc., and then wonder why a majority of the population of the United States is greatly over weight, has diabetes, high incidence of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and on and on. Scripture tells us to indulge in fruits and vegetables. Weíre also the only species on earth that drinks milk from another species after weíve been weaned. Good job by the dairy industry, yes? (I could keep on giving examples of how we are destroying ourselves in the natural by our chosen life styles but there is nothing to be gained. People are going to keep doing whatever they please because it is their right to do so according to our constitution.)
Now you may be wondering just why Iíve gone through this mini-tirade seeming to go nowhere. People are looking around attempting to find the "fix" for the situation in America. One of the problems I see is that there is no one in any position of authority who is willing to take personal responsibility for his or her own actions. Folks in the church are no different. Youíll hear things like "my preacher said," "we donít believe that way," "our denomination has never done that before," and a myriad of other excuses, each with the same amount of validity. Weíve been quick to blame the CIA or the FBI for not knowing about the terrorist activity that has obviously taking place in this country for quite some time. Ask yourself, do you know the folks who live within ten houses on either side and across the street from you? Where are they from? What things do they like and dislike? Do they know you? In this age of virtually instant communications via several different means, it is practically impossible to prevent encroachment of others into your territory or you into theirs. The main message I can see as a result of the World Trade Center attack is we as a nation have got to learn to get along with each other. One of the problems is acutely visible every Sunday morning when every different denominational group meets and greets each other at "their" church. That is, without a doubt, the most segregated one to three hours of the week. Iíve been to different denominations sometimes not wearing a tie and coat. In most cases it is evident that Iím not acceptable because of my lack of proper attire. Itís the same mentality that says a street person is unwelcome because theyíre dirty. Why not let God clean up the fish? Canít we, as the church just worry about catching them?
Yes, this great nation has many problems, none of which are unsolvable. We already have the solution and have had it for over four thousand years ó 2 Chronicles 7:13 "If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15 "Now My eyes shall be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. [NAS]
Could there really be a reason? I think so and the solution is in the hands of the Godís people. Do we really want and expect God to heal this land? Are we willing to pay the price He demands in order to achieve the results promised? These questions have to be answered by each individual between himself and God. Whatever action each individual takes will ultimately determine the fate of this great nation. Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.[NAS]
Thoughts from Barbara
Hello Blessed Ones,
What a day we live in! God has again sounded His trumpet (9/11/01) and given us another chance! A wonderful God of more than one opportunity to obey Him! What grace and mercy. I love the scriptures in Psalm 147, 148, 149 and 150. Such promises of victory in the worst of situations. The Old Testament was written as an example for those who come after and that my Brethren, is us! We can stand knowing God is bigger than anything. Read Genesis 50:20. Iím not taking it out of context, but if God never changes I believe that verse can stand alone for us today. So speak to the evil ones saying "But as for you, you meant evil against me (us), God meant it for good in order to bring it about as this day, to save many people alive." (NKJ)
Many reports of good have come in and God is getting a lot of Glory. My only fear is that "the called out ones" wonít finish the job of uniting under God but only under the American flag. True repentance will be evident when our relationship with Father is more important than our relationships here on this earth. Weíve got a long way to go but at least the trumpet sound in September has awakened some that were sleeping. That is wonderful news. Now if we can find the "rest" of Hebrews four and live a life of praise to the God of the universe there will be some progress made to having "His kingdom come and His will being done" both on and in this earth.
My prayer for us as Godís people is Joshua 1:7,9 and Psalm 32:8-11.
Pray for Jerusalem (Psalm 122) and enjoy the love and protection of our Father! Go into all the world and preach the good news, Jesus died for everyone's sins, all the world, and only good will come out of all the evil that He allows. Look for Him in the storm and the calm. Youíll find Him if you seek with your whole heart.
Abiding and Resting,
2 Tim 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.
Life Givers Ministries
Frank and Barbara Doyle
PO Box 251
Lincolnton, GA 30817-0251