Monday, May 30, 2005

I will be a queen forever: More thoughts

In my previous post on Isaiah 47, my primary thoughts were how this scripture might apply to the individual. When studying the scriptures, my first thought is, "How does this apply to me?" Since I posted my thoughts, others have commented on how this scripture might also apply to nations today. These comments have been insightful and appreciated. In light of these comments, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on how this passage could be applied to my country, the United States of America. Specifically, how my country is participating in some of the same sins committed by ancient Babylon.

But before we move on, care must be taken not to confuse the Babylon of Isaiah 47 with the Babylon of Revelations 18. The exact identity of the Babylon mentioned in the book of Revelations is, in my opinion, still up for discussion. One thing I've learned about prophesy is that it is a lot easier to understand after it has been fulfilled then before. Yet, without trying to identify one nation or another as the end-time Babylon, I do think we can apply this scripture in Isaiah 47 to our current nations.
  • "I was angry with My people, I profaned My heritage and gave them into your hand. You did not show mercy to them, on the aged you made your yoke very heavy." (Isaiah 47:6) There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about how America has handled their Muslim prisoners of war. Specifically, how they have show respect (or disrespect) for the Koran. In my opinion, the American military has gone to great lengths to show mercy and kindness to their Muslim captives. They have provided them with copies the Koran and have made every effort to treat the Koran in a way that would be honoring to the Muslims, even to the extent that they wear gloves when handling the Koran so not to offend the Muslims. Others may disagree, but where it comes to showing mercy to those who have engaged in arm conflict with America, I believe that America has excelled.
  • "Yet you said, 'I will be a queen forever.' These things you did not consider nor remember the outcome of them." (Isaiah 47:7) I feel in general, that most Americans live their lives as if life will continue forever with out change. They believe that America will always be strong, will always be a world leader, and will always enjoy financial prosperity. I fear that many Americans fail to see that if America continues its slide toward becoming a secular society, that the consequences of such a drift in morality could have significant and long lasting consequences upon the America that we know and upon her place in the international community. America is great only because God has made it great, and if we leave God behind, He may not choose to uphold her as He once did.
  • "You felt secure in your wickedness and said, 'no one sees me.' " (Isaiah 47:10) One of America's secret sins is abortion. Each day, thousands of innocent unborn children are murdered in the name of personal choice. I call this her "secret" sin, not because people do not know about it, but because much of society seems to rather not have to deal with the issue. Leave it alone, leave it to the mother and the doctor, and don't trouble us about it. In hiding our face, we never stop long enough to wonder what God thinks about all the abortions. God sees and one day, I'm afraid, God will judge.
  • "Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; for you have said in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one besides me.' " (Isaiah 47:10) There is a sense among the liberals and the intellectual elite that we have become enlightened. Our learning and education have raised us above the old fashion and out dated morals of our parents. Over the past fifty years we have "grown up" as a nation and should no longer be burdened with the morals and scruples of the past. One case in point is the current attempt by some to redefine marriage from a union between a man and a woman to include the union of a man and a man or a woman and a woman. All this because we have become enlightened, and thus should cast off the unnecessary yolks of the past. Truly I think our "knowledge" and "wisdom" have deluded us.
  • "You are wearied with your many counsels; let now the astrologers, those who prophesy by the stars, those who predict by the new moons, stand up and save you from what will come upon you." (Isaiah 47:13) There was once a time when the church was at the center of our culture and society. People respected the church and her teachings, even if they did not believe in them themselves. Today, all that has changed. The media and entertainment industry has become the center of culture and society for many. They continually spew their immoral world view upon unsuspecting viewers who readily drink it in. But in the end, the media will not be able to save us. Hollywood does not have the answers that America needs. If we want answers and direction, we must turn to the Lord and not the television.
So what hope is there for a society that is slipping away? Here are just three:
  1. "When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he ... issued a proclamation and it said, ... 'let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.' When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it." (Jonah 3:6-10) The nation of Nineveh was saved because the people repented at the preaching of Jonah. America needs a revival birthed out of repentance. We need to pray for our country that God would have mercy upon us, that He would forgive us of our sins, and that He would visit us with His presence. God takes notice of a nation that turns from its sins and implore the mercy of God.
  2. "Then he said, 'Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?' And He said, 'I will not destroy it on account of the ten.' "
    (Genesis 18:32) The sad fact about Sodom was that there was not even found within her ten righteous souls. I believe that Christians can "stand in the gap" for their nation. "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." (2 Chronicles 7:14) I believe that if God's people would get serious about God, and pray, then God would move to heal their nation. I believe that it is the Christians in a nation that hold the greatest key to that nations healing.
  3. "Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I bring evil on this place and on its inhabitants, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read. ... My wrath burns against this place, and it shall not be quenched.' But to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the LORD thus shall you say to him, ... 'because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants ... I truly have heard you," declares the LORD. Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace , and your eyes will not see all the evil which I will bring on this place.' " (2 Kings 22:16-20) Judgment was decreed against Jerusalem and God would not relent. However, God swore to Josiah that he would go to the grave in peace. God was granting Josiah and the nation of Israel a season of peace before His judgment fell. It was because of the righteousness of Josiah that God held back His judgment. Judgment is certain upon this world, yet I believe that Godly leadership can serve to hold back the judgment of God. A nation may not be able to escape judgment forever, but righteous leadership can bring a season of peace and prosperity to reign in spite of the pending judgment. As Christians, we should pray for our leaders and ask God to give us godly men and women to lead our nation.
So what about your country. I know many people from other countries read these postings. How do you see this scripture applying to your own country? I would enjoy hearing your thoughts.

David Robison

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