Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Christians losing their minds over the Presidential campaign and election, part 2

Yesterday in part 1 I wrote of how this world is temporary. Pagans put their hopes in a human savior, usually in the form of a President or Prime minister, or some sort of high leader. Others pursue "social justice", or the "prosperity gospel', or the "Gnostic mystics." All those are different gospels. Christians know that our supreme leader is Jesus and our hopes should be on Him. He raises up leaders and ordains their time and even ordains the length of time each nation exists.

Yet, as Christians are painted into a corner regarding our current Presidential choices, hysteria is starting to rise. It seems that many have lost their minds regarding the election. I reminded us that voting is an activity. It's not a solution.

Today I look at a prophecy in Isaiah 3, God's warning of judgment on Judah. Though I do not know what God is doing now and I'm not making note of that past prophecy to apply it today, I am applying the principles to today. Whether it was Judah, or Persia or Assyria or Russia or Australia, God judges nations and ordains their time. (Acts 17:26). When nations flagrantly sin, they're judged. It seems to me that this is happening to America now, according to the progression outlined in Romans 1:18-32.




Prophecy: God's judgment on Judah. Lessons for today

Isaiah 3 goes into terrible detail about God's judgment on Judah. The southern kingdom had entered into divination and soothsaying, had set up idols, had clasped hands in joy in improper alliances, they had heaped up treasures and gold in greed, and had done all manner of other loathsome sins before the Lord. As with all nations, whatever manner of their particular sins, the Lord always judges. It was time for Judah to be warned of their coming judgment.

Judgment against Judah

1 The Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, will take away from Jerusalem and Judah everything they depend on: every bit of bread and every drop of water, 2 all their heroes and soldiers, judges and prophets, fortune-tellers and elders, 3 army officers and high officials, advisers, skilled sorcerers, and astrologers. 4 I will make boys their leaders, and toddlers their rulers. 5 People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor. Young people will insult their elders, and vulgar people will sneer at the honorable. For a man will take hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying: "You have a cloak; you shall be our leader, and this heap of ruins shall be under your rule"; 7in that day he will speak out, saying: "I will not be a healer; in my house there is neither bread nor cloak; you shall not make me leader of the people." (Isaiah 3:1-7)

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The MacArthur Study Bible comments on the verses:

And that was just the beginning. What does all this mean? What was God planning to do?
verse 1: In speaking of Himself as the Lord God of Hosts, God is emphasizing his ultimate authority. By the title "Adonai", the Lord, the sovereign God of all, and by "God of Hosts", as mighty and warlike.

verse 1-3: 'taking away'...'diviner' here God's judgment was to include a removal of the people's leadership.

verse 4-5: 'infants...honorable. Inexperience in government was to lead to degeneration and irresponsibility at every level of national life.

verse 6-7: 'this heap of ruins...leader of the people. Conditions of anarchy were to be so bad that no one would accept a position of authority over the people.

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The Faithlife Study Bible comments on (Is 3:2–7) also:

The prophet lists 11 leadership roles that cover the traditional areas of influence—political, judicial, religious, and military—to stress that the support being removed is greater than mere food and water. The entire leadership structure of Judah will be forfeited.

3:4 I will make boys their princes. When the generation of leaders is removed, only children will be left to fill the traditional male leadership positions. The lack of experienced leaders will lead to chaos and oppression.

3:5 will be oppressed. Suggests a return to the anarchy of the days before Israel had a king. See Judg 17:6.

will act arrogantly toward the elder. The social patterns of leadership and respect will be overturned.

3:6 You have a cloak. The qualifications for leadership are minimal; people without qualifications other than clothing will be designated as leaders.

3:7 I will not be a healer. No one wants to be in charge because there is nothing left for a leader to do except tend to the wounded.

3:7 You shall not make me the leader of. The strength of his protest suggests a chaotic “everyone-for-themselves” mentality as the fabric of society unravels.

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Walvoord explains the reasons for God's judgment on Judah in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures-

3:8–9. The reason such destruction would come on Judah (v. 1) is that everything the nation said and did was against her covenant God. The people defied God and were open about their sin much like the people of Sodom (cf. Gen. 18:20; 19:1–11; see comments on Isa. 1:9–10). Therefore the coming disaster was brought on by themselves. Woe (’ôy) is an interjection of distress or of a threat voiced in the face of present or coming disaster. Isaiah’s book includes 22 occurrences of that word or its companion word hôy, more than in any other prophetic book.

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Conclusion

I don't know what the Lord is doing exactly, I'm not a prophet. However I am a student of the Bible and I know that God never changes. Whether it's Judah in 600 BC or America 2,500 years later and all nations in between, God judges for sins. He judges nationally and individually. When a nation becomes flagrant about their sin and not only engages in them but shamelessly applauds all others who do, as Romans 1 tells us, God judges.

Hanging one's hopes on a flimsy election between two deeply flawed individuals to solve national ills is foolish and futile.

Clarification

I'm not saying that we are not to give generously to help the poor and to charitably donate to causes which alleviate suffering. Kindness and generosity are fruit of the Spirit, However, I gave the example in part 1 of Christine Caine founding A21. She founded that organization with intent to stamp out a social ill. This is haughty, prideful, and futile. Humans cannot stamp out social ills, because humans are sinners. The root cause of social ills is sin, and only Jesus from above is the solution to that. So, I am not saying not to be philanthropic. Just don't expect that human effort will erase poverty.

I am also not saying not to vote. There is no such thing as a "political gospel". Voting is a privilege and a civic duty. We don't live in a dictatorship so it's great that we can go to the polls. My point is where a person's emphasis lay. Knowing we are secure in His hand, citizens of His kingdom, we realize that all this is temporary (and maybe more temporary than one would dare to believe) we continue on in joy no matter the outcome of an election. Therefore we don't get hysterical. We don't become despondent. We don't have hopes dashed. We do our civic duty and we get on with living the Gospel life and all it encompasses.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2).

What IS "the world"?
First, let me say this. It is wrong to confuse human government with a world system. Human government was invented by whom? God. God is the one who began the process of government. Back in the Book of Genesis, God gave the right of capital punishment to government, and we just read a portion that, where God Himself states a life for a life. So the idea of government was given by God for the protection of good men and the punishment of evil men for the preservation of society. 
So, in the purest sense, human government is not a part of the world system. The term that we used, I think so freely and most of the time accurately, the world system has to do with the evil corruption of Satan in the world; but human government is an institution of God. We would not say that marriage is the world's system. We would say marriage is an institution of God, but it has been corrupted by the world, right? So has human government. (source)

The government is just the government. The President is just a man. Some are better at leading than others. That's it. There have been Nebuchadnezzars and Antiochs and Hitlers and George Washingtons and Abraham Lincolns since leaders began. The very first dictator in the Bible was was early in Genesis, Nimrod.

So if "the world" isn't government, then what is it?
It's the invisible spiritual system of evil. That is the world that we are not to love. It is the invisible spiritual system of evil. It is that...that order that is run by Satan, the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that works in the children of disobedience, the one who leads the course of this world. It is that system. (source)
Hate evil, pray for the leaders God raises up, and submit gracefully to the outcome. None of this should sway us from our spiritual duty of living righteously for Jesus and witnessing of His Gospel.



Part 1 here

7 comments :

  1. Psalms 37 is very appropriate for us to remember..."fret not thyself because of him (OR HER) who prospereth in his way, because of the man (OR WOMAN) who bringeth wicked devices to pass"..."for yet a little while and the wicked shall not be"..."they shall soon be cut down like the grass"...and it says repeatedly that the wicked shall be cut off, they shall be destroyed, but the righteous shall inherit the land. Please read the entire chapter for encouragement and patience.

    They are looking forward to things continuing as normal and making their mark in history (as the first woman president, for example), unaware that God says of them (lest He grants them repentance), "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts." Malachi 4:1-3

    Just remember that this is as good as it gets or will ever be for the unrighteous...they have nothing more to look forward to than the things of this temporary lifetime before things get eternally worse for them. But we should be able to patiently wait upon the Lord for Christ to return and rule and reign in righteousness. Our turn in leadership upon this earth is going to be a thousand years looooooong and glorious!

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  2. What does that photo mean?

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    1. I was working the polls as a poll clerk one election recently and I was charmed that there was a picture of Jesus in the election place. It's one thing I love about the south. It doesn't have any particular meaning, other than I happened to have on hand a photo of Jesus in an election place. I thought it was a good illustration of how though we vote as the privilege and duty it is, Jesus is still sovereignly over it all

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    2. Elizabeth, if you look closely you will see that the picture of "Jesus" is a Roman Catholic depiction of their false christ. This is one of their icons which they worship in rebellion to the 2nd commandment.It is based on an apparition that a nun supposedly saw back in the 1600's. I am very surprised that you didnt discern that. For more info see: www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/heart/meditation.htm

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    3. I am aware of Catholic iconography.

      The picture was in the fellowship hall of New Hope Presbyterian Church, est. 1788 and has been a continuous Presbyterian church since. If someone from a previous age had put up the picture, they obviously had no idea of the Catholic meaning or origin. I didn't delve too deeply or pickily into it, I was just surprised there was-

      1. a picture at all in the Hall, due to 2nd Commandment
      2. a picture in a government run facility (however briefly run, just on election days), something that would be immediately taken down in the north, where I'm from,
      3. the iconic juxtaposition of Jesus picture above the polling spot was the point
      4. There is debate on whether any and ALL depictions of Jesus are forbidden. https://carm.org/bible-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/should-you-make-graven-images-or-not

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  3. An excellent analysis from a Christian. One of the things that grieves me most is that American Christians seem to be suffering from The Samson Spiritual Bankruptcy factor, as preached by Pastor David Allen Keaton of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church of Minneapolis, and Dr. John MacArthur.

    It is based on Scripture that is very easy to understand, but very difficult for Americans to accept: Judges 16:20: “But he did not know that the LORD had left him.”

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  4. I agree, Elizabeth, amazing that the painting was there!

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