June 2, 2020
I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men… 2Sa 7:14
We were all birthed in a parental environment and most people can identify with the scenario of a good parent who disciplines a child. The parent wants to teach the child a lesson from the disciplinary experience on how to become a better person and grow into a mature adult. We also can probably imagine what the child is seeking from this ordeal: how never to do that again! If God is sending discipline into all the earth over His anger and disappointment with His children, what might the lesson be? It is not difficult to figure out the lesson because we have merely to go back to His original intent and instructions. Discipline comes when the child breaks the rules or instructions given by the parent. God’s intent was that man and woman would live in a place where they could grow and mature while having fellowship with the Father. He wanted them to be fruitful and replenish the earth as a loving family and community that supported each other under the loving authority of their Heavenly Father. He supplied all their resources and their responsibility was to duplicate His authority in the earth, enjoy life and be thankful.
When we look at God’s intent and then at the results we have produced, it is not difficult to see why God might be upset with His creation. We live with warfare in our homes, community and world, and are facing the breakdown of our world even while distressed over the very air we breathe. Mankind has brought our world to the point of collapse. Of course, those people who do not recognize or accept God as author and Sovereign ruler over the earth will not be able to see this dichotomy. When we recognize that a parent is angry over our behavior, there is an expectancy of discipline. Discipline is not enjoyable to us but the parent is in control and calls the shots, just as we know God is in control over mankind. The best thing the child can do is to humble himself, plead for mercy and admit to the wrong. God, of course, is much more loving than the average parent and has already built into His discipline provision for mercy.
With the understanding of parental discipline, we have the tools necessary to understand what God is doing in the earth. Who could possibly put a check on the world system that would bring every single person to a halt with fear for his very next breath? Who could possibly make the whole world to focus on something as intangible as the air in front of our faces. There have been sicknesses for which man has found a cure and there have been storms that man has learned to maneuver safely. Mankind has developed witty inventions and gadgets to make life safer and more comfortable for himself. From the north to the south and from the east to the west mankind has majored in finding his enjoyment and comfort.
While man has enjoyed his comfort even at the expense of others, the Father from heaven has had a front row seat looking into the earth and watching mankind. Imagine the view from heaven as the Father sees men frolicking and enjoying all the pleasures and benefits of life that He has provided. Imagine though when He turns His head a few degrees and sees hunger, disease, slavery, abuse, idol worship and a plea going out for help. Surely He waits to see if someone will respond because He gave man authority to care for his family in the earth. When there is no answer to assist the cry for help, God is moved to respond. “I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know (Gen. 18:21)”.
Long after the days of Adam or Abraham, a prophet named Isaiah gave us a window into what God was seeing:
Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory? Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. Isa 10:1-4 KJV
Because man has responded like he did not see the wrong and shown little or no concern for the weak and disabled, God is bringing the evil He sees directly in front of man’s eyes. Every day on the news, we see a catastrophe that is happening in the earth brought before our eyes. We cannot turn away because it comes over and over again in our news, social media, and conversations. Every electronic device alerts us of the latest news. Our response is either approval or disapproval. The contrast that God sees He wants us to see, so He is putting us in a position where no one can claim ignorance and every individual will have to answer for his role. As our God, He wanted to smell the sweet fragrance of our praise in worship service because of His goodness, but instead there was a stench from sin and evil. Through the Old Testament prophets, God spoke to the chosen people to let them know how He felt:
Isa 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
Isa 3:24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
Amo 4:10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
Isa 5:4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
In these scriptures and so many more in the bible, Father God has shown His displeasure with His people. Because people have failed to understand the words of the bible through gospel preaching or from warnings sent through turbulent weather; God has allowed the judgment of Corona virus to touch the whole earth. It is as if He was saying surely someone will hear. He is allowing us to experience the grief He feels when a stench comes to His nostrils rather than a sweet smelling savor. We whine: “When will it be over?” We see people at various levels trying to respond to the troubles we are experiencing but they have no understanding. They can try to manage what God sends but they will have to admit they have no control. They try to use secular wisdom to solve problems that stem from spiritual disobedience. Spiritual leaders that should have led and guided people through these times chose instead to smooth over God’s warnings and place their emphasis on church enlargement and financial gain, making them incapable of solving the problems. They have been further silenced by their compromise with a secular government to protect their worldly resources. In the absence of their righteous leadership, people are looking for leadership and have found none. Imagine the heart of the Father who established righteous leadership under Christ authority as He watches our confusion and disobedience in the earth.
Because truth has fallen in the streets and cries are going unanswered, God has taken up the case against sin and oppression. While people are wondering whether or not the pandemic would let up so they can go back to a normal life, God is observing whether or not mankind and particularly America will understand His complaint and fix the problems. America is waiting for the problems to go away, but God is waiting to see if He will have to increase the trauma to get the nation of America and others to turn around. America carries the greater guilt because she has been given the greater liberty to know the Father and His Son, Jesus.
All of the problems have been brought to the surface again and again and have been discussed and debated by groups that are religious, lawmakers, social media, law enforcements, news media and around our kitchen tables. Talking has not resolved the problems, because hearts are unchanged. We have appointed leaders who will not take decisive action to lead the people into resolution and healing. Some people with greater power have assumed themselves safe because of their power and removal from the trauma being experienced by the poor and vulnerable, but perhaps they have not realized that God owns them and their power. We have had bad times before when the conscience of America would be pricked and new leaders came to the forefront to lead the nation into a better future. Where are those that see the error of our way? While God waits and the people are in distress, evil consequences disrupt our lives until we acknowledge our sin and rise up to confront evil.
In the midst of this vacuum of human leadership, God has tried to turn people back toward Himself, His promises and His unfailing love. Surely when we consider the crises of the hour, senseless loss of life to the pandemic, the hazard of the air we breathe, poor leadership, violence in the streets, and distress over daily provision; we will turn to the God who provides life, the breath of life, resources for sustenance and Divine guidance. America is on trial and the case is being presented before us all. The world is the jury and God will render the final verdict for America’s future.
God’s purpose in bringing seemingly unsolvable problems before us is to make people acknowledge their inability and turn to His Sovereignty. The American Civil War fought over black slavery caused white people to stand up against other white people to oppose evil. It was a battle between right and wrong and people took sides and stood up for righteous principles. A lot of lives were lost but righteousness won against evil. Unfortunately, the anger and hatred merely went underground for a time and has resurfaced over and over again in expressions of hatred that still threatens to destroy the nation. This hatred today has found a place in the highest office of the land where it is serving as authentic government authority and is seeking to lead the nation backward into the rule of evil. Where are those that will stand up on principle against the evil we all see? Has Americans completely relinquished their authority in the land to a rule of evil dominance? Where are white Christians, a majority in this nation, that should be standing up in righteousness for Christ and truth? Are they selecting majority rule to dominate in power over the choice of Christian virtue they have proclaimed? America has had time to utilize all of its resources of religious guidance, mass media, government systems and finances to deal with the problems of racial hatred, greed and inequalities. The ploy of the enemy is the same as it has always been to make people bow down to his evil ways and serve him through evil acts in exchange for his temporary gifts of fifty lucre, power and fame. It is the same temptation that came to Jesus after His wilderness journey. Jesus showed us how to overcome the enemy’s temptations and serve God for pure and eternal blessings that are valued above gold.
The beauty of the book of Isaiah is that it tells of the anger and wrath of God because of the evil in the land but continuously expresses the mercy of God: “For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (Isa 9:12, 17).” Isaiah also tells us of the birth of the Savior, Messiah and King that would come and Who has come to redeem every lost soul who will trust in Christ. “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up (Hos 6:1)”. God, the Father, has put it upon Jesus Christ to pay the price for all our sin through His crucifixion so that we can escape the penalty and punishment that we rightfully deserve. Now the door is open for everyone to receive forgiveness and mercy through Christ and be transformed into the nature of Christ.
True faith and conversion will bring true peace to our community and world whereas hypocritical faith and false religion has brought disillusionment, poor leadership, division and chaos. In the midst of all our sin, the Father is still willing to forgive, restore and guide us into His perfection and peace. He has given us the life of Jesus Christ as our example to imitate and follow.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. Joh 3:16-17
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