search
top

Is Our World a Safe Place Anymore? (Genesis 11:1-9)

Photo by Marcus P. on Unsplash

Residents of Afghanistan are fleeing their war-torn country to escape a repressive Taliban rule. A recent earthquake decimated the population of Haiti. Unexpected forms of Covid-19 threaten to infect more Americans. Residents of US cities are at one another’s throats over issues like masks and vaccinations used to prevent the spread of Covid. Even churches divide over being compliant with government orders to close their doors to curtail potential virus contamination. Climate control remains a hot topic for those who believe our environment is crumbling due to human indifference and mismanagement of our resources.

No wonder people inquire whether we are teetering on the brink of Earth’s final days. Recently, someone asked me if we are experiencing the last of the birth pangs Yeshua mentioned as portents of His return (Matthew 24:7-8). Is this the end? Can we look at current events as guaranteed signs of the final moments of the last days?

In 2006, I delivered a message on the questions Christians raise when we face troubling situations. Surprisingly, the list of disturbing signs of the last days was not too different 15 years ago. Devastating earthquakes. Powerful hurricanes. The predicted economic collapse of the stock market. Ongoing, persistent poverty. Increasing wars and terrorism. Political upheaval. Lack of trust in our news sources. False teaching among evangelicals. The moral corruption of our trusted leaders. Continual skirmishes in Israel. Not much has changed.

Again, I raise the questions on everyone’s mind, “Are the events mentioned above indicators of the final days? Are we in alignment with the Scriptures, or are we interpreting the Word of God the way we want out of sheer panic?

I felt it would be timely to revisit this message and apply its relevance to 2021 as we rush towards the dawning of 2022.

Israel as the Centerpiece in the End Times

In his book, The Will to Live On, Herman Wouk tells the story of a meeting he had with Israel’s first president David Ben-Gurion.  Wouk writes in his book, “My wife Sarah and I visited Ben-Gurion’s house in the Negev desert.  And the next day we traveled to Sde Boker or “the fields of mourning” kibbutz, in a command car escorted by a jeep with a mounted machine gun.” Wouk writes, “For back in 1955 when this took place, this little country was being harassed by terrorists from Egypt and Gaza.”

“When we were leaving, Ben-Gurion came out with his straight Zionist line. “You must return here to live. This is the only place for Jews like you.  Here you will be free.”

And Herman Wouk said, “Free?  Free with enemy armies with their leaders threatening to wipe out the Zionist entity?  Free?”

And Ben-Gurion said, “I did not say ‘safe,’ I said ‘free.'”

In the light of recent rocket attacks on Israel (2006) launched by the terrorist group Hezbollah and hundreds of thousands of Muslims protesting against Israel in the streets of Baghdad, in Tehran and Libya, the Jewish nation is not in a safe situation.  

America’s support for Israel is bringing our country deeper into the crosshairs of Islamic terrorists. 

In 2006 Yemenite president Ali Abdullah Saleh said, “I hope all countries bordering Israel will join the war. Arab countries should allow the transfer of weapons and people to Lebanon and Palestine. Every Muslim has the individual duty to fight on this front.”  

Photo by Andrey Grushnikov from Pexels

Here is another disturbing quote that exposes radical Islam’s hatred of Israel, spoken 15 years ago by Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, “Everyone realizes the attack on Lebanon was a Zionist-American operation. It is the first step towards taking control over the Middle East and over the entire Muslim world. Bush and his American partners will be considered just as responsible and accountable for these events as the evil and depraved leaders of the Zionist regime.”

On the positive side, the Los Angeles Times took a poll on August 2, 2006. According to the census, most Americans—59%–consider Israel’s bombing campaign in Lebanon in self-defense justified.  Albeit, Americans are divided about how closely we should align ourselves with the Jewish state.  The time will come when we will have no other choice but to get involved.  And the question is: Will America stand by Israel, not if, but when the whole world turns against Israel?

After reading multiple blogs on ScriptureSolutions, the user is made aware of how important Israel is in understanding the timeline of the last days. Bible students who omit Israel as a primary focus before the return of Yeshua will experience frustration trying to stitch together the events of prophetic history.

Fifteen years ago, I studied the tower of Babel to gain insight into humanity’s aversion to God and His decision to make Israel His elect nation. It may come as a surprise to realize the events at the ancient tower of Babel connect to the biblical timeline of Israel’s history leading into the modern era.

The World’s Relationship with God in the End Times

Is the world safe anymore?  Where is all this conflict heading? What’s the bigger picture?  

Genesis chapter 11 is the story of the tower of Babel. This account provides us with a picture of a world bigger than Israel and the United States. At the tower of Babel, a spiritual energy emerged that changed the course of history. After the Flood of Noah, the remainder of the human race gathered together at the famed Tower of Babel. This remnant of humanity conglomerated in one place in defiance and arrogance against the Creator God.

The modern person must know this same spirit, according to prophecy, will be unleashed again in the last days.  As the world once attempted to evict God from His Creation symbolically at the tower of Babel, we will try again at the end of time.  

Yes, Israel is crucial to interpreting end times prophecy. Israel is the centerpiece of the prophetic stage before the return of Israel’s Messiah. With Israel, God’s focus is primarily national. However, His intention has always been to bless the global community through Israel. Yet, before the coming of the awaited Redeemer, the international scene will take once more turn for the worst as we see at Babel.

Of course, how the world either draws close to God or shuns Him will affect how the nations treat Israel. Before God blesses the planet Earth through Israel, the world community must first acknowledge the God of Israel. Sadly, this realization will become a lost commodity at the end times. The farther society runs from God and renounces Israel, the more unsafe the world becomes.

Any environment becomes unsafe when humanity wants nothing to do with the Creator. Signs exist today that the same spirit of detachment from God witnessed at the Tower of Babel makes its presence known once again.

What are the signs of a world where safety in God is missing? 

(more…)

Have You Been Scammed by Your Own Heart?

All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.
Proverbs 16:2 NIV

כָּֽל־דַּרְכֵי־אִ֭ישׁ זַ֣ךְ בְּעֵינָ֑יו וְתֹכֵ֖ן רוּח֣וֹת יְהוָֽה׃

A study from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism asked thousands of people what news was most important to them. International news beat out celebrity and “fun” news by a margin of two-to-one. Economic and political news finished even higher. But what happens when readers were asked not what’s important, but what they actually read?

Derek Thompson with The Atlantic claims most Americans lie about what they actually read. He explains: [On June 17, 2014], the most important story in the world, according to Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_gustavofrazao'>gustavofrazao / 123RF Stock Photo</a>every major American newspaper this morning, is the violent splintering of Iraq.

So what did we actually read on June 17, 2014? The top stories across the big media outlets focused on the World Cup, a YouTube game, gluten and postpartum depression, the Miss America Pageant, and the Video Music Awards. Thompson concludes, “Ask audiences what they want, and they’ll tell you vegetables. Watch them quietly, and they’ll mostly eat candy.”

If we are truthful about ourselves, we discover we are rather dishonest. Consequently, we wouldn’t par too well if we were asked to submit to a spiritual fitness test based on a thorough self-examination of our inner truthfulness. We tend to overestimate our goodness and underestimate how much we need to repent and grow.

In Proverbs 16:2 Solomon beckons us to sign up for an investigation of our inner lives lest we be scammed by a dishonest heart. (more…)




Planning for the Future With or Without God

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD (Proverbs 16:1 ESV)

לְאָדָ֥ם מַֽעַרְכֵי־לֵ֑ב וּ֝מֵיְהוָ֗ה מַעֲנֵ֥ה לָשֽׁוֹן

One of today’s most popular sports cheers was first chanted in 1999 during the fourth quarter of an Army-Navy football game. The six-word cheer—I believe that we will win!—has been called the “epitome of classic American optimism.” Yet in real life, this overly confident attitude tends to backfire.

For instance, a 2002 study found overly optimistic grad students have a tougher time finding jobs. Students in their last year of grad school were asked to rate how likely they thought they were to land a good job shortly after leaving school.

Two years laterCopyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_ismagilov'>ismagilov / 123RF Stock Photo</a>, those who had admitted to frequent positive fantasies about life after grad school were less likely to succeed in their job search. The daydreamers sent out fewer résumés, and earned less than students who had a more realistic take on their post-university lives.

Positive thinking has its place, but we can mistake daydreaming about achieving our objectives for actually attaining those goals. To make things worse Christians will pull God into our daydreams and assume He’s dreaming the same dreams right along with us.

In Proverbs 16:1 Solomon helps us examine the way we reach decisions for the future. However, the usual interpretation of this proverb is “the Lord will show us what to do and what direction to take without much human effort.”  Why think or plan if God has already done the designing for us?

Christians who fail to grasp the teachings of Solomon in this proverb can spend their lives walking in circles. This is not because they “missed God’s will”, but as the result of failing to follow the directions found in Proverbs 16:1 on how to properly plan for the future. (more…)




Ordering Off God’s Menu of Life’s Choices

Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.

Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred Proverbs 15:16-17 (NIV).

טוֹב־מְ֭עַט בְּיִרְאַ֣ת יְהוָ֑ה מֵאוֹצָ֥ר רָ֝֗ב וּמְה֥וּמָה בֽוֹ׃

ט֤וֹב אֲרֻחַ֣ת יָ֭רָק וְאַהֲבָה־שָׁ֑ם מִשּׁ֥וֹר אָ֝ב֗וּס וְשִׂנְאָה־בֽוֹ׃

Having lunch at Subway is an unusual experience.  I am in awe of how much time it takes to order a sandwich. My sandwiches are the same:  meat, lettuce, tomatoes and mustard . . . .  wrap it up.

Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_radub85'>radub85 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>Hungry people study the choices before them behind the glass case like they are on an archeological dig. We’ll take all the time we need to pick out exactly what we we want to make our gourmet Subway sandwich despite the growing line of impatient people behind us.

We enjoy having choices to make. I think God understands that part of human nature, which is why He lays out many selections regarding the way we can choose to l
ive. However, despite the variety of choices the Lord offers, this does not indicate all options are equal.

In Proverbs 15:16-17 Solomon spreads out two lifestyle  choices – wealth and simplicity – but one is better than the other.  In other words, not all choices have the same results.

Between the options of prosperity and a scaled down life, you would think a person needs to have his head examined to not choose plenty. Yet, we know life is not that simplistic.

Therefore, God sets up these two verses like several combination platters on a Chinese menu.  If you order one item, that option is accompanied by another food choice. Result?  What you assumed what was a blessing on the menu could be attended by a burden you never expected.

You are given an opportunity to pick which meal you want from each proverb.  But before you select, you need to ask the server, Solomon, what ingredients are used to make up these combination platters. (more…)




The Hunt for the White Whale of Anger

“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” (Proverbs 15:18 NIV)

אִ֣ישׁ חֵ֭מָה יְגָרֶ֣ה מָד֑וֹן וְאֶ֥רֶך אַ֝פַּ֗יִם יַשְׁקִ֥יט רִֽיב׃

Recently I completed reading Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. The novel tells a story of revenge and obsession. Captain Ahab, a whaler, loses a leg to a white sperm whale. A smoldering anger begins to grow in the one-legged captain.

Captain Ahab’s anger grows into a fixation on revenge against the sea monster. As his hatred grows, so does his lack of wisdom. On his final whale-hunting trip, the driving force in his soul begins to override good judgment, putting the man, the crew, and his ship into hazardous situations.

As the captain hurls Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_miro3d'>miro3d / 123RF Stock Photo</a>his ship, the Pequod, into the perilous seas of hate, his opportunity to take vengeance finally arrives. The white whale is within Ahab’s grasp.  His desire for revenge grows deeper, ignoring every danger. In the end, the ship is lost; the crew, is lost; and Ahab loses both his quest and his life. The white whale has won

In Proverbs 15:18 King Solomon once again acknowledges the power of unharnessed anger. In Proverbs 15:1 Solomon previously addressed the power of anger and response of the person on the receiving end,  “A gentle answer turns away wrath . . . ” (15:1).  However, in verse 18 his advice for removing the harpoon out of the hands of an angry person takes a different turn.

In response to my article on Proverbs 15:1, one reader commented the advice of Solomon is unworkable. A fair question. Face it, we all have tried to cool down a heated argument with a calm response,  but the flames rose higher regardless.  

Is there something we can do to convince an angry individual to drop his sharpened missile? (more…)




« Previous Entries

top

Bad Behavior has blocked 467 access attempts in the last 7 days.