When God Strikes, People Listen…by Bob Gamble Jr
February 28, 2013
The atheist standing on the podium across from Greg Bahnsen in his verbal contest about whether God exists declared with venomous disdain “If God were to but appear on this stage, right here, right now, then I will believe in Him, no questions asked!”
As we know, God did not just “Poof” show his existence at that moment, or did he, and Tabash, the atheist, just wasn’t looking for Him?
I would submit, that God has been “poofing” His existence all over creation since the world began. But the real issue at hand is are God’s people listening?
Elijah came into Ahab's throne room and boomed out like Moses before him a curse. A curse of “No Rain.” And thereafter, curiously enough, it did not rain. In fact I think Ahab believed Elijah, because when he met up with him later his words were “Is it you that troubleth Israel?!”
And Elijah’s response was :
1Ki 18:18 I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.
I wonder how many today would make the connection between our drought and God? I think many might say that God has indeed afflicted this nation, but do they really understand what God is trying to say?
Does God delight in smiting a nation? Does God delight in sending calamities, or is God trying to teach us something, that we should be able to read, as plainly as the print on this page?
I would submit, that God is not hiding himself, but we are hiding Him.
It is clear in scripture that there is a connection between no rain and God’s displeasure with His people.
Deuteronomy 28 the “blessings and curses chapter of the Bible” is a quick look at God’s handwriting on a culture. The chapter is about good trees and bad trees.
A good tree can be shaken and bear good fruit, so much in fact that it takes baskets to carry it away. But a bad tree, when it is shaken bears bad fruit, fruit not worth consuming but throwing away. And as Christ said, is worth nothing but to be burnt as firewood.
God shakes nations, and the shaking of a nation in drought conditions will yield dubious results. In fact, we may just get dead leaves.
Deuteronomy 28 sheds light on the fact that if we discount God, if we decide to abandon His way of thinking, if we decide that really “our hands have gotten us this wealth” that God will send “Miraculous Curse” upon the land.
Some may scoff and say that is the God of the Old Testament, that God does not judge like that anymore. I would contend that God certainly spends a large amount of time using that Deut 28 section to explain how societies will rise and fall in the Old Testament. And then suddenly we are to believe that in the New Testament God has suddenly changed in his attitude towards nations.
I would say His attitude has not changed, and he has maintained course and plan. Christ was the master plan to deliver ALL nations, not just Israel…that for another time.
Famine conditions bespeak economic disaster. People are looking for their next meal, they are preparing to die, as the future is very bleak without sustenance. Like the dead tree the society bears little fruit.
From an agricultural standpoint, the land is dead. Crops die in fields, and dust bowl conditions take over. If the drought conditions continue, farmers will be out on the street and the fields will remain either dead, or untended. Not to mention price increases because of shortages in food supplies. The cattle industry suffers for lack of food supplies. Grocery store prices increase and our next meal is a price hike.
The price hike hits our wallets and we cry out to God, Why us? Why is our nation in such woes?
The judgments of the Lord are deep, and the famine conditions are just a symptom of the severity of the real issues which lie beneath the surface.
Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.
This statement really reflects many ages of History, especially those of desperate nations. As we discussed earlier is an age that rings well in our memories: the age of Elijah and Ahab. Recall that Elijah commanded the Curse of No Rain and the land was suffering greatly for three years without rain. In fact
Ahab dared say “Art thou who troubleth Israel?”
Is that how we look at God? God is sending these chastisements and therefore he troubles us?! On the contrary, it is we who trouble Israel, and these Chastisements come upon us. More specifically the contest was between gods, Baal and YHWH.
Who was going to run the Civilization, Baal and his 400 priests, or God?
Whose Laws were they going to follow, Ahab and his Baalish wife Jezebel, or God’s Laws as taught by His priests and His prophets?
The famine conditions were a reflection of the lack of nourishment in God’s Laws, and God’s Truth. As Amos points out, the famine of God’s Word. Elijah himself even lamented later in the cave before a fiery- tornado, that he was left alone, that he alone trusted and wanted to obey God, there were none others. God correct him and told him that 6000 had declared His name, a mere 6000 amongst millions of Israelites. There indeed was a famine, both of God’s word and in the land. A civilization comes crunching to a halt when famine conditions afflict it, so too, when the Truth of God is taken from a nation, the Nation wanders in confusion.
During the days of Ahab, the king was exercising absolute authority over the land. He went after Naboth’s vineyard and took it using a corrupted court system. He used what we today would call eminent domain, and God would have none of it. In fact, Elijah confronted Ahab as he opened the gate to the vineyard as he was taking an admiring stroll in it. Elijah confronted Ahab and declared that his descendant’s would be banished from the throne, that no heir would be his legacy. He even declared the end of Jezebel and that dogs would lick up her blood.
This astonishing and dumfounding judgments hit the heathen king. Just imagine how the Lord looks at a land that throws away babies in the garbage, and upholds this bloodshed in the court systems.
Just imagine how God looks at a nation that cannot even tell what truth is. A nation that allows fiat money to prevail, while people lose their homes left and right because their jobs vanished from the debauched money system that we live in.
When the best thing we can muster in a Christian Church is “I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ “ and that is where it ends.
What is this personal relationship doing here in the earth?
- Is this relationship coddling a personal life, or erecting a family, and a Church?
- Is this personal relationship building a business, or is it tearing apart our neighbor because he knows how to work and save?
- Is this relationship defending Christian rights such as freedom of worship, freedom of property, freedom of defense, freedom from tyranny? Or is this personal relationship allowing the government to become Pharoah like, devouring, grabbing all and making it a slave empire?
The famine conditions in our land reflect our distaste for God and His word. It reflects the sin afflicted nation that we are, parched and dry ready to burst into flames. It reflects how tyranny afflicts a culture. Its heat, like the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar, scars, and blights the land with devastation and hurt.
Instead of justice in the courts, we get a grinding, a pulverizing of righteousness and good people. As the proverbs says “When the wicked rule the people mourn.”
The only way to change this tide is to repent, and restore. It needs to start with us personally getting out of the famine conditions in our landscape of Churches and finding and establishing Churches that have wells full of living water.
We need to turn back to God’s word. We need to hear what it really has to say. We need to not turn a deaf ear at the hard truth:
The hard truth of the famine is a picture of what is to come: a true famine of God’s word.
Here is an interesting conversation that occurred just recently between a friend of mine and a Chinese Business man….
“ Perhaps I told you of my NTEA Show encounter with an extremely successful and educated Chinese businessman that approached the booth. After a lot of shop talk we spoke of China and how rapidly it has changed and advanced in the last 30 years.
As I bid him farewell I jokingly said I hoped the US could someday repay the trillions of dollars owed to China. Without any hesitation he turned to me and said it has, for a number of year now, been the firm consensus of the Chinese government, banking system, and military that the US will NEVER be able to pay China back.
He added that they have been proposing to the US for years that instead of paying China back in ever inflating dollars that instead the US pay China back in natural resources. Then he (half) jokingly said that if you start seeing mining operations and oil rigs in US national parks . . . they will be Chinese!
Watch it gradually happen. Watch us become a complete vassal state of China. Then watch the US be partitioned along racial lines to better control the smaller new independent countries that were once the mighty 'UNITED' States. Divide and conquer . . . a very successful formula since the beginning of time. “
The hard truth is that the balance of sin has been getting fuller and fuller and fuller. And like Belshazzar of old, we have been found wanting, meaning the scales require payment to be leveled. That payment is judgment.
Do we really think we can get away with all the wickedness that we have been and not pay for it?
- Corrupt Courts
- Eminent Domain
- Unjust Money: Fiat Money Exponentially Expanded by graft and fraud namely securitization
- Abolition of the Family through corrupt legislation
- Abolition of Private Property
- Corrupt Unions
The laundry list goes on and on. Do you think we can just walk away unscathed?
God is being merciful by just sending us a famine. We need to be up and doing, up and teaching, rebuilding the walls.
As I asked my boys in the devotional the other night as we studied the following passage:
Psa 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
I asked the question and they looked at me puzzled. Because the next verse doesn’t answer the question, but the answer does need to be met.
If the foundations be destroyed what do we do?
- Walk away?
- Throw up our hands?
- Say Judgment is upon us, too bad, God has spoken!
- Do we say, Christ is coming he will take care of it?
- Do we say “Come quickly Lord Jesus rapture me out of this mess?”
- Do we wish we were just dead, that we could be in eternal bliss?
Actually the verses afterwards do tell us what to do.
Psa 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
Psa 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous….
The trying of the righteous is the testing of God upon the people to take the land and hold onto it.
The foundations may be destroyed, but what did Nehemiah and Ezra do?
They rebuilt them. We need to take the mercy of this famine and get to work. We need to take the admonition of Paul the apostle which was “Redeem the days for they are evil.”
And on a last note, God will be glorified in the earth and he will spank his Church until she gets the message. Famine is but a picture that we don’t want His word, or as the Pharisees said “ We will not have this King rule over us!”