Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Ripe for a fall

Figs - Nahum 3:12
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Nahum 3:1-19

TO CHEW ON: "All your strongholds are fig trees with ripened figs;
They fall into the mouth of the eater." - Nahum 3:12

I wonder how the people living in Nahum's time felt about his prophecies. Did they think he was crazy, predicting the fall of such a strong, brutal nation and in graphic detail? Or perhaps they thought his writings were patriotic wishful thinking? Or maybe they did take him seriously, shining his words onto the bleak future like a miner's lamp lights an underground tunnel?

His predictions remind me of a book I read a while back. Implosion: Can America Recover From its  Economic & Spiritual Challenges In Time? by Joel Rosenberg (Tyndale House, 2013) predicts the possible implosion of America unless there are turnarounds on many fronts, especially the spiritual. He begins:

"Is it possible that the American economy—and more broadly, American society in general—is not simply facing serious challenges or a season of decline? Could America actually collapse in the not-too-distant future if serious, fundamental, and sweeping changes are not made soon? Once, such a question would have struck most Americans as ludicrous—even offensive. But times have changed ....

"Many Americans genuinely fear that God is preparing to remove his hand of protection and blessing from our country—or perhaps already has. They fear that unlike previous dark times in our national history, God may not intend to help us turn things around and get us back on the right track" - Implosion p. 1, 10.

He goes on to detail the situation the country is in, delving into many subjects in chapters titled: "America's Rising Anxiety," "Signs of the Times," "The Significance of the Rebirth of Israel," and "What Happens to America in the Last Days?"

He paints several possible scenarios of catastrophe in "The Financial Implosion Scenario," "The War and Terrorism Scenario," and "The Natural Disaster Scenarios," showing us how little it would take to bring a country even as strong and seemingly vigorous as America to its knees. (Of course, we have only to remember back to the impact of the terrorist attack of 9-11, the ongoing devastation that is left in the wake of recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters, and the jitters caused by tiny North Korea's nuclear capability, to grasp the truth of even America's fragility.)

Rosenberg feels that America is not unlike that Assyrian fig tree with its conquest as easy as shaking fruit from a tree, and that only a great spiritual awakening will turn the situation around.

Though I live in Canada, where many things aren't in quite the same state as the U.S., the moral climate here is, if anything, even more secular. The question for us is, what can we as individual citizens of these countries—that seem intent on marching to their doom—do about our ripe-for-judgment nations?  Here is the answer suggested by Rosenberg at the end of his book:

"... I believe with all my heart that if we are to avoid implosion as a nation, we must repent of our sins and turn to Christ—personally and nationally.

"Will you join me in that endeavor? Will you pray with me for our nation, for the church, and for a Third Great Awakening? Will you examine your own heart and seek your own personal revival? Will you work to engage your church and your culture with the truths of Scripture? Will you ask God to show you whether he wants you to be involved in political change, and if so, how? .... What are you and I willing to devote to saving this country?" -  p. 348

 PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to see Canada as You see it, and to do what I can to be salt and light in my little sphere of influence. Amen.

MORE: Christians and politics

In the last chapter of Implosion, Rosenberg suggests five answers to the question: "What role—if any—should Christians play in politics?" (Of course in the book he elaborates on each suggestion.)

Christians need to:

1. Pray faithfully and consistently for wisdom and direction for our national leaders.
2. Exercise their right to vote and mobilize others to vote as well.
3. Some Christians need to run for elected office, serve in some other governmental capacity, or serve as advisors to national leaders who are affecting the future of our country.
4. Some Christians need to stay completely away from the political arena.
5. Christians must not become addicted to partisanship - pp. 336-344.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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