PARADING SIN

…their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence. The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. —Isaiah 3:8-9

What used to be shameful and perverse is being accepted as normal today. It is not a big deal for people to be living together before marriage or a woman to have a child out of wedlock. Filthy language is common in public places and homosexual behavior raises few eyebrows. Perverseness is literally is on parade in our culture.

According to the verse above this is nothing new, but it will be nothing new as well when God brings judgment upon this nation for its practicing and parading of perverseness. The above verses in context are speaking about the coming judgment upon Jerusalem and Judah for their parading of perverseness. It would still be over 100 years before that prophesy would take place, but it did take place and the Lord God Almighty used the nation of Babylon to carry it out.

Let us take a look at the third chapter of Isaiah and see if there are not any parallels to our own time. Here are a few things the Lord said would be impacted:
• Supplies of food and water
• Spiritual leaders
• Military leaders & counselors
• Skilled craftsman
• Wise leaders replaced by youthful rulers
• Oppression of man against man and neighbor against neighbor
• The youth will rise up against the elderly
• The nobody will be honored
• The nobody will be a leader, but have no remedy
• The nation’s words and deeds will be against the Lord, defying His glorious presence
• They will parade their sin like Sodom and not hide it
• The wicked brings disaster upon themselves
• Youths become oppressors of the people
• Women become rulers of the people
• The poor are plundered
• The people are crushed
• The women are haughty, strutting about, flirty and focused on appearance

As you look at this list of what would be impacting in Jerusalem and Judah as judgment came upon them, do you see any similarities to our time? We are called to pray for our nation. I hope we are doing so because our nation is in a mess! Even when this is the case the Lord says to “Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds” (Isaiah 3:10). I am so grateful to know that whatever may happen to our nation or this world, the follower of Jesus is safe in His hand!

Dear Father, in a nation and world that is decaying rapidly, help me to shine for You and be about Your business. Please help me to discern what that is and to be faithful in serving You in the authority of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit’s power. May that be so!

THE IMPACT OF LEADERSHIP

He (Jehoahaz) did evil in the eyes of the Lord. —II Kings 13:2

He (Jehoash) did evil in the eyes of the Lord. —II Kings 13:11

As the Leadership of a nation is, so a nation will be. Look at history or
look at today. Leaders of nations are impacting their own nation and the
world. What do you think of when you think of Iran, China or North Korea?
How about Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan or Nigeria? Where are the nations that
champion liberty and justice for all? They are quickly
disappearing.including the U.S. Though we might be a nation which still
experiences great liberty at the moment, there are forces in high places
that are seeking to end that and when you have a nation of people that are
deliberately hiding, communicating falsely or ignorant of how this nation
was founded, then the history of tyranny will eventually repeat itself.

“You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the
religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people
than you are.”— George Washington— First President of the U.S.

“Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in
polite company: I mean hell.” —John Adams— Second President of the U.S.
“The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He
[God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that
they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in
the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be
found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.” —Thomas
Jefferson— Third President of the U.S.

“A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal
monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in
the Annals of Heaven.”— James Madison— Fourth President of the U.S.

“In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly
linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid
the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of
Christianity.” —John Quincy Adams— Sixth President of the U.S.
quotes from the founders–
http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=8755)

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people” (Proverbs
14:34). “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose
for his inheritance” (Psalm 33:12).

The verses above out of the Book of Kings declare the focus of the Kings of
Israel, the northern tribes of the Jewish nation. They were all evil and
they led the nation into judgment as the Lord God Almighty allowed Assyria
to scatter them and they were no more. Evil leaders only lead a nation
astray. As with Israel, there is a line that will be crossed and the Lord
will bring judgment. Have we crossed it? Is that why the nation’s freedoms
are ebbing away?

We are told to pray for those in authority (I Timothy 2:1-5). May we do
so!

Oh Lord God Almighty, may You be pleased to do something special as You have
before with this nation. Only by Your hand can we be saved by Jesus’
authority.

HATE & LOVE

Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.—Amos 5:15

He killed 4 people, hurt others seriously and only got probation. A teacher
raped a student and got a month probation and was still able to teach! Then
there are those who have stolen small items and have gotten years for doing
so. Justice in our court systems are not very consistent or just. Then of
course there are those activist judges who overturn the people’s vote on
homosexual marriage by calling it unconstitutional. Really? So, one judge
rules that what was constitutional all these years now just happens to be
unconstitutional because he thinks so. Watch for injustices to increase in
our court systems.

To be able to maintain justice in our court system is to hate evil and love
good. The trouble today is that evil is being seen as good and good is being
seen as evil. No wonder justice in our courts is so inconsistent.

Of course the whole reason behind this shift in our court system is a lack
of healthy respect for the Lord God Almighty (Proverbs 1:7). The fear of the
Lord is to hate evil. Romans 12:9 we are told to hate what is evil and to
cling to what is good.

May we followers of Jesus Christ seek to cling to what is good and to truly
hate what is evil. Oh, that we would shine in this world system of darkness
and pray for our courts that they would be just.

Dear Father, thank You for Your perfect justice. You do all things
perfectly. May You be please to raise up judges that will do what is right
because they hate what is evil.

FAMINE

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a
famine on the land- not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of
hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from
north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord, but
they shall not find it. —Amos 8:11-12

The United Nations has said it estimates 3.7 million people are in acute
need of food in South Sudan as a result of the civil conflict there–
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-26004268. So many times famines come
in times of violent conflict which is happening in the Sudan.

The passage above speaks about a famine as well, but it is not a famine
from lack of food or water, it is a famine from the lack of the Word of
God— a spiritual famine. How fortunate we are here in America— a
country that was founded on the Word of God. This can be seen by quotes
from the “founding fathers” and in the Constitution and Declaration of
Independence. Every state constitution directly mentions God in them or
alludes to Him. It is only by ignorance, denial or deception that these
truths are being lost in our culture today. As mentioned before, look at
quotations from founders:

“You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the
religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people
than you are.”— George Washington— First President of the U.S.

“Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in
polite company: I mean hell.” —John Adams— Second President of the U.S.
“The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He
[God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that
they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in
the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be
found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.” —Thomas
Jefferson— Third President of the U.S.

“A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal
monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in
the Annals of Heaven.”— James Madison— Fourth President of the U.S.

“In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly
linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid
the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of
Christianity.” —John Quincy Adams— Sixth President of the U.S.

(quotes from the founders–
http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=8755)

Famines which include lack of water and food occur so many times because of
military conflict. There is a spiritual conflict of great proportion
occurring in our culture today. God’s Word needs to be proclaimed boldly
now. There may come a time in the not so distant future where there will be
a famine of His Word. Proclaim now!

Dear Father, please put it on the hearts of Your people to be sharing Your
Word while we have the freedom to do so. May we be obedient in proclaiming
the Good News.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!

“What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from
the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. —Jonah 1:10

The boy was asked to do his chores before he did anything else that day,
but he left with his friends to go to the beach. He was quite surprised to
run into his parents there. He did not want to be seen by them, but was.
They asked how he could be at the beach so quickly when he had chores to do
first. Of course if came out that he had not done them and his parents told
him to return home to do them and that there would be consequences for his
disobedience.

Jonah fled in disobedience to the Lord. This reminds me of Adam and Eve
when they disobeyed the Lord’s command. They also did not want to be in the
presence of the Lord when they had been disobedient. How about you and I?
Is there something the Lord has commanded us to do and we are in
disobedience to Him? This can really be seen by our desire not to be in his
“presence.” We will not want to be in His Word and speaking with Him until
we repent or if we are it will only be going through the motions.

The sin of Jonah affected many others on the ship he was fleeing on. His
disobedience brought the consequence of a storm that put the lives of all
those on board in jeopardy. The situation was so dire that even the cargo
was thrown overboard in a desperate attempt to stay afloat. Man and
merchandise were impacted by Jonah’s disobedience.

“What is this you have done!” The men were in amazement that Jonah who had
said “I fear the Lord” was not being obedient to Him. Jonah acknowledged
that the storm was upon them because of him. But, after being thrown into
the sea and swallowed by a giant fish, Jonah came to the point of repentance
and the Lord gave him another opportunity to obey.

Jonah’s disobedience impacted many, but on the other hand, when Jonah
obeyed thousands turned to the Lord (Jonah 3:6-10). Just as our
disobedience can impact many in a negative way, so also as we obey the Lord
many can be impacted in a positive way.

So, are you or I “fleeing from the presence of the Lord” in disobedience?
May we stop, repent and be obedient to what He is calling us to do. May
this be so!

Dear Father, help me to obey those things You desire of me. Oh, in areas
where I am disobedient I repent and desire to honor You in the authority of
Your Son, Jesus.

WAR!

He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. —Isaiah 2:4

War is a scourge of this fallen world. Americans who have died in war total 1,357,854. That is a lot of pain, sorrow and tears experienced. That is just Americans who have died in the short existence of this country. Millions upon millions have died all over this world since the time of Adam and Eve. It was their sons who had the first conflict that ended in Cain killing Abel. War is one of the greatest indications that man is sinful and has brought so much sorrow and grief to the mankind.

James 4:2 tells us where war comes from— “You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.” Instead of man seeking out the Lord God Almighty for what they need, they covet, wanting what others have and will quarrel and fight over it. It is a very dark and evil world we live in.

Yet there coming a time when there will be no more war and the focus will be on agriculture. The Prince of Peace will reign and only peace will be known. War will no longer be learned or taught. Nations will not be at odds with each other and the King of Kings will decide disputes. What joy will be known in that time on this planet!

The Lord God Almighty is allowing us to see the result of man’s sinful choices. Since the time of that first conflict with Cain killing Abel the sad consequences have greatly mushroomed. But instead of the majority of men calling on the Lord Jesus for salvation to one day live in that perfect place of peace with Him, they continue in their conflicts whether on a national or personal level.

People are in a greater war than any physical war can be. It is a spiritual war and there are dire consequences or wonderful benefits depending on people’s choices. The dire consequences are an eternity in hell. I don’t understand how that can be, but that is what God says in His Word. The wonderful benefit is to be in heaven with Jesus forever and I cannot understand much of that either, only what is written in His Word.

Oh, that we would be at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1) so we can have the peace of God (Philippians 4:6-7) while we live in this world full of conflict knowing that we are not of this world. For those who have trust Jesus our home is not here. It is in heaven where there will never again be any conflict. I want to be there!

Dear Father, help me to be faithful in what You desire of me while I am living on this planet. Thank You for the hope of heaven and all the joy that will be there. Thank You know for the joy of knowing Jesus and of knowing Who is ultimately in control.