When God Uses the Heathen As His "Whip!"
The terrorists' attacks on the USA on 01-09-11 sparked a lot of discussion and speculation about God's place in relation to the nation which has been making a claim as to being a "nation under God" for quite some time.
A few "high profile' religious leaders came under fire for remarks made relative to God and how He was involved or lacking in involvement when hundreds of lives were snuffed out as icons of American military and financial might were struck by airliners converted into missiles by hijacking terrorists.
Even in the Christian faith little has ever been said about God's methods of chastisement and judgment. In fact, there has been a heavy emphasis in recent decades upon the love and compassion of God to the neglect of the fundamental truth that God also employs some very negative methods in bringing chastisement and judgment upon those who claim to be His people.
Chastising actions are those employed by God to awaken His people as to the error of their ways and the need to repent and return to an obedient relationship with Him. So long as chastising is employed by a call to repent issued by God's prophets and/or a series of calamities in a nation's experiences, there is hope for healing for that nation.
Judgment, however, is God's final recourse when the chastising actions have failed, and the people have become so hardened and defiant that they absolutely refuse to repent. There is no hope when God resorts to judgment. Total destruction and dismantling of the targeted nation will take place.
Likewise, along with the unbalanced emphasis on God's love, there has been a stronger emphasis on giving attention to the New Testament and much less to the Old Testament, except possibly the Psalms.
However, if we are going to comprehend at least a little bit as to God's dealings with people collectively in terms of blessings as well as chastisements and judgments, then a large amount of time must be given to historical portions of the Old Testament, especially such books as Judges, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and the prophets. And don't go grabbing a book written by some commentator -- just take the Scriptures and with open heart, read prayerfully. Did not Jesus say that the Holy Spirit would guide us into the truth? And Who is better prepared to interpret and help us to understand the Scriptures than the very One Who authored them in the first place?
Here's what you quickly discover -- God has at times used even heathen people to chastise and judge those who claimed to be His people. The reason this state of affairs took place was that God's people had slowly but surely over time rejected many of God's laws and had lapsed into destructive idolatrous practices, including the killing of children in acts of perverted worship!
In the context of these happenings there are also certain statements God has made which can be very unsettling, if not extremely shocking. This in light of the present day unbalanced emphasis on God being a deity of "love and compassion" with a clear implication that God would never say or do anything that is unpleasant, nor would God intentionally cause us humans to have negative experiences!
So, let's look at two areas on the unpleasant subject of God saying and doing what huge numbers of people, including some laity and leaders within the ranks of professing Christianity, would consider to be unthinkable!
The following have been gleaned from some of the prophets. Remember, these are just a few of a rather large number, and such statements are found beyond the writings of the prophets as well!
Isaiah 14:22,23 --
"For I will rise up against them," says the LORD of hosts, "and cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, and offspring and posterity," says the LORD. "I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, and marshes of muddy water; I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," says the LORD of hosts.
Jeremiah 15:3,4,13,14 --
"And I will appoint over them four forms of destruction," says the LORD: "the sword to slay, the dogs to drag, the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. I will hand them over to trouble, to all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem…..Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder without price, because of all your sins, throughout your territories. And I will make you cross over with your enemies into a land which you do not know; for a fire is kindled in My anger, which shall burn upon you."
Jeremiah 16:17,18 --
"For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes. And first I will repay double for their iniquity and their sin, because they have defiled My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable idols."
Jeremiah 21:5,6,10 --
"I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger and fury and great wrath. I will strike the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they shall die of a great pestilence……For I have set My face against this city for adversity and not for good," says the LORD. "It shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire."
Ezekiel 7:3,4,8,9 --
"Now the end has come upon you, and I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations. My eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity; but I will repay your ways, and your abominations shall be in your midst; then you shall know that I am the LORD!….Now upon you I will soon pour out My fury, and spend My anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will repay you according to your ways, and your abominations will be in your midst. Then you will know that I am the LORD who strikes."
Amos 9:2-4 --
"Though they dig into hell, from there my hand shall take them; though they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down; and though they hide themselves on top of Carmel, from there I will search and take them; though they hide from My sight at the bottom of the sea, from there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them; though they go into captivity before their enemies, from there I will command the sword, and it shall slay them. I will set My eyes on them for harm and not for good."
God has at times used heathen peoples to chasten and/or bring judgment upon those who professed to be His people. The history of the ancient Israelites is replete with accounts of God's use of the heathen as His "whip."
Judges 2:10-15; 3:8,12; 4:1,2; 6:1,2 etc. --
All these have a common theme with the people lapsing into disobedience and then God bringing a heathen people upon them which always proved to be a most unpleasant experience for the Israelites until they fully repented and God then provided deliverance from the hardship and oppression.
2 Chronicles 36:11-21 --
"Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He also did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear an oath by God; but he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD God of Israel. Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the LORD which He had consecrated in Jerusalem. And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand. And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions. And those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years."
Isaiah 7:17-20 --
"The LORD will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father's house; days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah. And it shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will whistle for the fly that is in the farthest part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. They will come, and all of them will rest in the desolate valleys and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all thorns and in all pastures. In the same day the Lord will shave with a hired razor, with those from beyond the River, with the king of Assyria, the head and the hair of the legs, and will also remove the beard."
Isaiah 10:5,6 --
"Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, to seize the spoil, to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets."
Isaiah 13:17-22 --
"Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not regard silver; and as for gold, they will not delight in it. Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces, and they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye will not spare children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation; nor will the Arabian pitch tents there, nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there. But wild beasts of the desert will lie there, and their houses will be full of owls; ostriches will dwell there, And wild goats will caper there. The hyenas will howl in their citadels, and jackals in their pleasant palaces. Her time is near to come, and her days will not be prolonged."
Habakkuk 1:5-10 --
"Look among the nations and watch; be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you. For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation which marches through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful; Their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves. Their horses also are swifter than leopards, and more fierce than evening wolves. Their chargers charge ahead; their cavalry comes from afar; they fly as the eagle that hastens to eat. They all come for violence; Their faces are set like the east wind. They gather captives like sand. They scoff at kings, and princes are scorned by them. They deride every stronghold, for they heap up mounds of earth and seize it."
Now then -- in light of the foregoing, some questions to consider such as:
Is God still the same as He was in that Old Testament period of time? (Malachi 3:6)
Does God respond to the actions of nations by granting blessings or chastisement/judgment depending on moral and spiritual choices of the majority? (Psalm 2)
Does God claim authority to determine a nation's destiny and that by methods of His choosing? (Jeremiah 18:5-10)
Just how does the United States presently stand in relation to God? Are there moral and spiritual problems that demand widespread repentance?
Is the phrase, "God Bless America," which is displayed everywhere these days sufficient to influence favorable consideration from God as we engage in aggressive war against the sponsors of terrorism all over the world? On the other hand, upon hearing that oft repeated phrase concerning God showering blessing after blessing upon the USA, one could on solid grounds ask in reply, "Why should He?"
Is it possible that God may use the terrorist network as His "whip" of chastisement or judgement against a nation that has played the hypocrite and disgraced the name of the God it professes to trust much more than it ever has honored and respected Him?
Hey! Don't get mad at me for suggesting this -- just read the record, take a good honest look around, do some serious realistic thinking and comparing, and then see what your total is on the bottom line of your assessment sheet
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