August 22, 2017

Will God – Spare America? (1)

By James L. Denison

What a momentous and serious question! A question that is of utmost importance to us all! A question that should seriously concern all Americans, as it drastically involves the future, the security, and the well-being of us and our nation.

Perhaps, it will help in considering this question to observe what the Bible says concerning how God deals with nations. Read Gen. 20:4; Ps. 33:12; Prov. 14:34; Dent. 9:4-5; Jer. 12:17; 18:7-10 and Ps. 9:7. From these scriptures we conclude the following principles:

1. God will not destroy a righteous nation.

2. God blesses and providentially protects a nation that basically serves Him.

3. God eventually brings about the destruction of 'nations that are basically wicked.

4. When a nation repents of its wickedness and turns to God, He will turn from the destruction which otherwise might be brought upon it.

5. He may use one wicked nation to punish another wicked nation.

These principles are exemplified over and over again in the Old Testament. Let us notice a few instances:

Sodom and Gomorrah

Read Genesis 18 and 19 chapters. These two cities were well blessed materially. In their day they were considered quite wealthy. They, perhaps, were like America of today the very essence and symbol of a rich, easy, and comfortable life. They existed in such a fertile and well-watered plain that, it resembled the Garden of Eden. (Gen. 13: 10). But the Bible says that these two wealthy and well-blessed cities were exceedingly "wicked" and "sinful"! (Gen. 13:13).

The word "wicked" is the translation of a word derived from the Hebrew Word "ra" meaning "to afflict, break in pieces, destroy, hurt, evil, calamitous and wretched."

"Sinners" is the translation of a word derived from the Hebrew word "chata" meaning "to misstep, offend, to do harm, to miss the mark."

To realize just how sinful, degenerate, and corrupt these people had become, remember that the term "sodomy" comes from the name of one of these cities-Sodom! "Sodomy" is a term used to describe homosexuality as well as the mating of humans with animals! Gen. 19: 1-9 indicates that these people attempted to practice sodomy upon the two angels of God, disguised as men, who visited Lot!

Thus, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah had reached such a state of depravity and degradation that they were evil from the very core of their being. They were a people whose every affection and passion was perverted, depraved, and out of order; who broke down the established order of things; who resisted all that was decent and right, seeking to destroy all distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, decency and lasciviousness, morality and obscenity! As a result, God destroyed them!

When God rained down fire upon these twin cities of iniquity, He so utterly destroyed them that no trace has been found of them even to this very day! Some authorities believe that the Dead Sea now covers, and was created out of, the area where Sodom and Gomorrah once stood; and that the Dead Sea thus came into existence shortly, if not immediately, after their overthrow (Gen. 19).

It is interesting to note that of the hundreds, maybe thousands, who resided in these twin cesspools of iniquity, not even ten righteous people (including Lot's family of four) were found! Just six other righteous those cities from total souls could have saved destruction!

Babylon

Babylon is one of the oldest and most famous cities of the Old Testament. Its origin extends so far into antiquity that the exact time of its founding is unknown. It was at least a thousand years old when Moses was born!

Babylon was a wealthy, well-blessed city. Two rivers periodically inundated the Babylonian plain, making it one of the most fertile plains of the ancient world. The beautiful hanging gardens of Babylon, its architecture, walls, and elevated paved streets are all part of the wonders of the ancient world. At one time Babylon had a wall which measured three hundred feet high and seventy-five feet wide, which in turn was surrounded by a broad and deep moat. Upon this wall were situated 250 towers! The walls of Babylon enclosed enough space to raise crops so that famine during a siege might be prevented. To be known as the "King of Babylon" was the most exalted, proudest, and most sought after title of ancient Western Asia. Truly, then, Babylon was "The glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' excellency" (Isa. 13:19).

But Babylon was a wicked and corrupt city! Babylon was famous for its worship of "Ishtar," also known as "Ashtoreth" and "Venus," whose male counterpart is known in the Bible as "Baal." This pagan religion legitimatized sexual indulgences, and eventually came to have temples with priestess-prostitutes. Its primary Purpose was to make sacred and deify sensuality. Babylon was also sacrilegious toward Jehovah and his worship. Read Daniel 5:1-4 especially verse four. Therefore, to God's people, the name of Babylon has come to stand synonymously for wickedness, sin, and false religion; and is so used by John in Revelation 18:2-4.

Because of Babylon's tremendous wickedness, God revealed its eventual overthrow through His prophets, Isaiah and Daniel (Isa. 13:17-22, Dan. 5:25-28). So utterly would be Babylon's final doom that it would be inhabited only by doleful creatures, and even the Arabian shepherd would not so much - -as pitch his tent there. These prophecies began to be fulfilled on the very night that Daniel spoke. Today, and centuries past, no town has stood on the ancient site of Babylon.

Nineveh

Nineveh was another wicked city that God determined to destroy. But he gave them "one more chance," and sent Jonah to preach to them. When they repented and turned to God at the preaching of Jonah, God withheld the destruction that He had previously determined for them. But the Ninevites eventually forgot and grew wicked again bring down God's wrath upon themselves. A prophecy of Nineveh's doom is found in Nahum 3:7 and Zephaniah 2:13. This prophecy was fulfilled about 606 to 612 B.C.

The Israelites

How often they sinned and turned away from the true God-the God who brought them out of Egypt, drove out their enemies, and blessed them richly- When as a nation they thus rejected God, He would permit one of their many enemies to overpower and capture them. Yet, when they repented and turned back to God, He would raise up a deliverer and help them throw off the yoke of bondage. Read judges 3:7-91 6:1 7:14, 1 Sam. 12:9-11, for instances.

Moses, in Deut. 28, warned them of the final destruction that would come upon them as a nation unless they served God faithfully. They did not; and even killed God's son the Messiah! Christ also spoke of the same final destruction of the Jewish nation in connection with his remarks on the overthrow of the temple and Jerusalem. Read Mt. 24, Lk. 19:41-44, and the 21st chapter.

These prophecies were fulfilled! Space will not permit a detailed discussion of their fulfillment. But suffice it to say, that when one reads these prophecies and then Josephus's history of the destruction of Judea and Jerusalem in the late A.D. 60's, he immediately recognizes the, striking resemblance between them.

Some of the things related by Josephus which show the terrible retribution visited upon the Jews because of their disobedience and rejection of God and His son, are:

1. City after city were laid waste.

2. Due to severe famine, women killed and ate their own children!

3. One hundred thousand were sold into slavery. In Jerusalem alone, one million and one hundred thousand died of various causes. In surrounding Jewish provinces an additional two hundred and fifty thousand. A total of 2,350,000 dead or sold into slavery!

4. Christ, in his prophecy, had said that "all flesh" would have been destroyed had not God shortened the days of tribulation for the sake of Christians! (Mt. 24:22).

Truly are the words of Mt. 21:44 and Heb. 10:31 hereby exemplified concerning those who forget God! Yes; how fearful it is to-fall into the hands of the living God while living in rebellion to his will!

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 45, pp. 9-11
September 23, 1971

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