CHAPTER 21

WHERE HAVE ALL GODíS PEOPLE GONE?

When God was leading His people through the wilderness He promised them certain things if they would just obey. In Leviticus 26:3 we see those promises that God made to his people. " If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field its fruit. Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.

"I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.

"I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. You will still be eating last yearís harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people... BUT!"

What great promises God pledged to His people if they but follow His commands. Unfortunately, that BUT looms over our heads and if we fail to follow God, and the commands He sets forth, we will surely pay the price. Are we living in that BUTT (spelling is correct) time? Since I hate to be the bearer of bad news I will allow you to open your bibles to Leviticus 26:14 to find out what BUT means.

The United States of America is a nation founded on the Judaic Christian notion of following Godís commands, and we have been truly blessed by that loyalty. No other nation, or people, has progressed to world dominance as quickly as we. In approximately 159 years we went from a newfound nation to a world power. Pretty impressive, but the BUT is still out there, and we are beginning to see some of the curses foretold by God. In the last 51 years our country has seen such a dramatic change in direction that it would now be unrecognizable to our founding fathersí. The same laws that were developed to protect Godís people, the ones that allowed them to worship in a manner and tradition of their choosing, are now used against them. A country, which was founded upon the tolerance of religion expression, is now only tolerant to those who choose to voice their objection to anything that is religious in sight, sound or expression while Godís people sit idle by, allowing their freedoms to disappear one concession at a time. The thing I donít understand is, where is the holy outrage of all Godís people?

It appears to me that the same America that was the defender of life and rights is now allowing for the murder of its unborn and its very old and unhealthy members. The same America that believed in the responsibility of its actions now looks for someone to blame for all its woes. No longer is there any commitment or dedication to life, only to self. According to pop American Culture, it is self that is important. You know, the Army of One concept. As long as whatever impropriety doesnít affect me and mine, the average American doesnít seem to care. I fear no one will say anything about the sin(s) that are all around him or her, because we all, including me, have become so de-sensitized to it. It appears to me that only the horrendous acts of a few causes we Americans to raise our collective heads out of the sand and become incensed. A perfect example of this outraged behavior occurred against a mother of two boys, Susan Smith in South Carolina. Itís sad to me that no one said anything when the defendant had sexual relations with her father, or when the defendant and her husband had relationships outside of the marriage bed. Moreover, no one said anything about the planned divorce, and no one said anything about the lies upon lies that were heaped one upon the other. Only after the murder of her two small sons was anything said. Let me ask you, in Godís eyes which one of these transgressions was the worse, or is sin, Sin?

As I look back in history to the other great societies that once ruled this world, the Greeks, Romans, Turks, and Brits, one blaring coincident is apparent. There is a direct correlation between morals and power; and as morals declined, so too did the powers of these great societies. Eventually, a society that was built upon the hard work and unity of its people was destroyed by the pleasures that they earned for themselves. Could this be happening in this place we call home, America? Yes it could and is! You know things are getting bad when you canít speak of Godís commands in Church. That the words that you are speaking from scriptures are just an opinion and each person is entitled to his or her own thoughts. Do we really believe that our ways, our thoughts are equal to that of Godís? Is Godís Word a collection of nice feelings that should be followed? Finally, is it OK to depart from Godís ways when another philosophy comes around that makes us feel warm and fuzzy? You know, one that is somewhat more palatable for us to swallow.

There is an old cliché that spoke about the straw that broke the camelís back. It seems pretty impossible, straw is relatively light, and a camel is relatively strong; and itís hard to imagine something like straw causing a mighty beast to fall. But it can, and will!

Now lets play an association game. Each piece of straw is a transgression against God, and the Camel is our great country. I wonder which transgression it will be that breaks the back of this mighty nation. Better yet, after that particular transgression happens, the one that breaks this mighty nationís back, will we be able to identify it in the ruins that remain; or is each transgression that lies on the ground just as guilty as the other? When handled separately, each individual transgression is light and inconsequential, but when handled collectively it is a mighty force to be reckoned with.

When I was growing up there was a song that asked, "Where have all the children gone? Gone to graveyards everyone. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn! Let me ask the same question substituting Godís people for children. Where have all Godís people gone? Have we gone to the dry bones graveyard? Will we ever learn and when might that be?

I pray it isnít so. I pray that we are not those dry bones that Ezekiel prophesized over in chapter 37 of the book that bears his name. I pray that weíre not dead to sin or to God. I pray for a mighty revival to happen in this country, one that will sway us from the certain path of destruction we have embarked upon.

As Jonah was to the Ninevehites, let this call be the same to all Americans. America needs to repent of their transgressions, and as the King of Nineveh said, "Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we may not perish." I pray that the words spoken so long ago may find meaning once again, and that we as a nation turn from our evil ways and repent. If we donít I fear a great wickedness will befall us. I fear we will fall upon the ranks of the "has been" great societies that went before us. History is an amazing teacher, but if you fail to learn from those that traveled before you, you are bound to repeat their failures.

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