And here we are, ready to take on the #2 SIGNIFICANT LIFE EVENT that (in retrospect) had a HUGE IMPACT on my listening-to-God education.
2. Something happened that gave me COMMON GROUND with individuals WORLDWIDE — September 11th, 2001. But it wasn’t until 2012 when the The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn was published that I began mentally assembling THE PUZZLE, which PROVED that I could ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that GOD WAS actually SPEAKING.
This one has to do with TIME TRAVEL. Not like getting in a time machine and choosing a date you wish to visit.
I’m talking about experiencing A TRAUMATIC EVENT, then having to wait more than a decade … WONDERING ABOUT IT … to find out WHAT GOD WAS SAYING and WHY HE ALLOWED IT!
Most people who were in America at the time of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City on 9/11/2001 can remember where they were when they heard about it. That event traumatized our nation, and people in other countries were shaken by what we were told had happened. (There will be more information coming out about this in the near future.)
As the day wore on, I began to think of the what if’s — What if they attack some place close to where I live, like Los Angeles, San Diego, Camp Pendleton Marine Base … or Disneyland? As months and years passed following the destruction, there were “conspiracy theories” that caught my interest. But the (maybe only) great thing that happened, in retrospect, was the feeling that EVERYONE had something in common that they could chat about.
It was like a huge PUZZLE, with many trying to figure out who did it, WHY, and what could be happening next as a result of that horrible, memorable, and for many, LIFE-CHANGING event. War ensued, more lives were lost, and prophecy nerds were trying their best to make connections between ancient mysteries and what we were seeing on the news.
I was still grappling with health challenges, and God was using those infirmities to teach me lessons on many things related to the ministry He had assigned me. It was obvious by mid-2012 that I was being prepared for something still to come. That was when HE GRABBED ME again with a book called THE HARBINGER by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn.
I had been researching God’s prophetic plan for Israel, collecting binders full of clipped news articles, magazine features, and maps. But it never occurred to me that there could be connections between God’s prophetic plan for ISRAEL and that of AMERICA.. The very prose-like examples from real life September 11th occurrences that Jonathan revealed (as they had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit) were obviously “of the Lord” — at least to those who were used to hearing and noticing things highlighted by the Spirit.
When I began connecting bits that stood out to me from Jonathan’s writings to things that I’d been pondering for what seemed like a very long time, I realized that I had things in common with the rabbi from New Jersey. Dates in common, for example, which seemed almost impossible when I became aware of them. His follow-up Bible study book is titled, THE HARBINGER DECODED, and I found it truly DIVINE!
I’m going to repeat what I did in my #2 post in this GOD IS SPEAKING series and stop here. But I will add excerpts from my e-book to fill you in on what followed, BEFORE I goto #3 on my list of LIFE CHANGING EVENTS.
If you read #1 in this series, you know that I can point to 3 SIGNIFICANT LIFE EVENTS in the past 25 YEARS that have brought me to THE POINT where I can better recognize WHEN GOD IS SPEAKING — not just to me! I can tell (within a reasonable doubt ) when He is TRYING TO GET THE ATTENTION OF America and countries around the globe.
1. God grabbed me at one of my LOWEST POINTS — I’m talking about HEALTH, loss of CONTROL in my relationships, and concern and FEAR about my FUTURE. MY HEAVENLY FATHER “suggested” that I notice HIS VERY SUBTLE HINTS … He wanted to be in control of my journey.
In this post I’m going to elaborate on the FIRST of those life events with the hope that YOU WILL BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND where I’m coming from …
I married when I was 18 — fresh out of high school with a Disney, fairy tale mentality. Not a good way to begin. I thought I would go to college and become an elementary school teacher. But that was not to be. (I’ll post some excerpts from my Kindle book to fill in details.)
In 1977, after my second child was born, I discovered that I was dealing with what doctors labeled as “severe clinical depression.” That in itself is a long, ongoing story, but what I’d like for you to know is that the Holy Spirit was with me throughout my suffering, my wondering, and my QUESTIONS about the faith that I had developed from infancy in the CHURCH of my childhood through young adult years, the things I thought I knew from personal Bible study and a multitude of sermons, and my personal experiences with the supernatural.
I managed to make it successfully through raising my daughter and son from infancy through elementary school, middle school, and my daughter’s high school graduation in 1992. After she left for college, my son still had three years of high school to go. He was saved by grace and the outstanding choir / drama teacher who nurtured him for three years. (I will tell you more about that in subfiles.)
Things were FUN and CHALLENGING and MOTIVATING despite my horrible bouts of depression, and I was loving every moment. Then in January 1994, I began feeling sick in ways I hard trouble describing. … After 18 months of numerous specialists and test of many kinds, I was diagnosed with FIBROMYALGIA SYNDROME, which very few people knew about — not even most specialists!
So in January 1995, the middle of Jon’s senior year, I was still trying hard to stay in the game as a lead volunteer at the high school, but I was experiencing extreme all-over “tender spots” and fatigue, plus other unmentionable symptoms. I stayed in bed late into the mornings most days. AND I FELT SORRY FOR MYSELF big time!
For Christmas 1994, Jon had given me a gift certificate to a local Christian store. So several weeks after that, I decided to drag myself out of the house and go shopping. I was actually too weak to stay long, so my plan was to grab a couple of things that caught my attention and head back home. When I got there NOTHING STOOD OUT TO ME — not books, not decorative items, simply NOTHING. That was highly unusual.
I was discouraged and ready to leave, thinking I’d have to come back another rime. Then something totally unexpected GRABBED ME. I literally turned around in my tracks and walked over to the book shelf that seemed to be calling out to me. It held books about PROPHECY — something I’d decided years earlier that I had ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST IN. I was of the opinion that Revelation was a bunch of jibberish that I was not meant to waste time on. But that was all about to change.
I don’t want any of my posts to be wearisome, so I’m going to stop here and give you the opportunity to read some of the devotions in my book that will take you down the road to LIFE CHANGING EVENT #2. You’ll find them listed underneath main file heading, God is speaking … are you listening.
May 24, 2019 …
Have you ever felt FRUSTRATED, because it seems that you CAN’T FIGURE OUT when God is saying SOMETHING that deserves your attention?
Do you ever feel like YOUR PRAYERS are “hitting the ceiling”?
Well, you can read any number of BOOKS about prayer. I’m sure there are many GOOD ONES out there that you may find HELPFUL. You can find SERMONS online about PRAYER and get MANY PERSPECTIVES on what works for certain individuals.
I’ve BEEN THERE. I understand those feelings. I’ve done ALL OF THOSE THINGS … and I’ve felt like GIVING UP. Crying helps sometimes. Getting CLOSE TO NATURE helps … sometimes.
Going through TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS can motivate me to PRAY MORE and listen HARDER. But I’ve always had trouble with SUCCESS when it comes consistency and FAITHFULNESS. Always.
Can you relate?
If your ANSWER is YES, then please bear with me for a bit while I SHARE with you WHAT HAPPENED in my life that GRABBED HOLD of something inside me, which caused AN IRREVERSIBLE CHANGE in my confidence regarding HOW GOD SPEAKS and WHEN we should know TO PAY ATTENTION.
I can point to 3 SIGNIFICANT EVENTS in the past 25 YEARS that have brought me to THIS POINT:
1. God grabbed me at one of my LOWEST POINTS — I’m talking about HEALTH, loss of CONTROL in my relationships, and concern and FEAR about my FUTURE. And MY HEAVENLY FATHER “suggested” that I notice HIS VERY SUBTLE HINTS that He wanted to be in control of my journey.
2. Something happened that gave me COMMON GROUND with individuals WORLDWIDE — September 11th, 2001. But it wasn’t until 2012 when the The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn was published that I began mentally assembling THE PUZZLE, which PROVED that I could ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that GOD WAS actually SPEAKING.
3. Fast forward to MAY 6, 2018. I had become A SURVIVOR. I had been through 2 surgeries plus 30 days of radiation to remove CANCER from my body. I had been through an EMOTIONAL MELTDOWN that resulted in a much needed RELATIONSHIP RESET with my husband of 45 years. I had experienced NAVIGATIONAL RECALIBRATION, and I thought I had handled it well … enough. THEN I LEARNED about the existence of the QANON MOVEMENT. I became aware that GOD HAS A PLAN for America and the world, and my life has changed FOREVER.
The good news FOR YOU: I have learned enough about the MINISTRY THAT GOD ASSIGNED TO ME that I can walk you through the “basics” of HOW WE CAN KNOW WHAT GOD IS SAYING TO US and HOW IT IS RELEVANT to where you may be right now.
I will tell you more about #1 in my next article in this series, so please hang with me.
“Lord, save all the elect,
and then elect some more.”
— Charles H. Spurgeon
In his “man cave,” Chuck has a collection of items that he has accumulated over the years. He’s got model planes, toy trains, vintage candy machines, and antique this ‘n that. Our grandkids and grand-nieces & nephews love visiting that area of our house, especially at holiday time when we add plush teddy bears, Christmas collectibles, and talking toys that are okay to touch.
One item is especially favored by nearly everyone – including the adults. It’s the old “Jackpot Stampede” slot machine that has been set to “pay-off” more often than not. No money comes out, but when a winning combination appears in the three windows after pulling the handle, the noises it makes are raucous and delightful.
The ultimate goal is to attain the “Three Sevens” combo. I don’t know for sure if anyone has ever managed that in our household. The odds are very high of actually seeing the “777” appear when the spinning reels finally stop rolling. Of course, that’s what makes the game so exciting!
That’s also what makes the mystery of the “Shemitah” nearly impossible to believe. I knew nothing about it until I read Jonathan Cahn’s The Harbinger. Once again, he transports his readers into the ancient past of God’s chosen people, the Israelites, to help us understand why God has used the Shemitah — twice since the terrorist attacks on 9/11– as a wake-up call to America.
The Lord God repeatedly called the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (a.k.a. Israel) “a stiff-necked people.” They were argumentative and unruly, so the Lord God gave them some specific laws, through the prophet Moses, to keep order among the masses and to keep His loved ones safe. Most people are familiar with ten of those laws, known as “The Ten Commandments.” But few people know about the law of the Shemitah.
God wanted His people to understand and remember that they were utterly dependent on Him for provision and protection as a nation. One way He chose to do that was by implementing the number seven. He created their weekly calendar to revolve around the number seven – six days of work, and one day of rest. The seventh day of the week was called “the Sabbath” and was given for the purpose of invigorating their physical, mental, and spiritual good health.
But for busy-minded, control-freak human beings, that precious gift eventually became a burden. Because they took it upon themselves to attach more specific, man-made rules to the Sabbath day, which God did not originally proclaim.
In addition to the seventh day of rest and renewal, God commanded that the Israelites observe a seventh year rest. They were to count six years. Then during the year that followed, they were to refrain from plowing and planting and harvesting. The people and their livestock were to live off what the land produced on its own. They were given opportunity to experience God’s faithful provision for them.
During the seventh year, the land was also allowed to rest. That specific period of time was called the Shemitah. It was intended as a time of peace, but it’s also a sign of judgment, which specifically targets the economic and financial realms.
During the Shemitah year, the rich and the poor shared the land equally. Private ownership became meaningless. And on the last day of the last month of the seventh year of the Jewish civil calendar – the 29th day of Elul — all debts were cancelled. Anything owed was forgiven. The word shemitah can be literally translated “the fall” or “the letting fall.”
Bring that into the twenty-first century, and we find that Jews who still observe the laws given by Moses are bound to “let fall” any debts that are owed to them on that specific day, which the descendants of Jacob have kept careful track of since the law was set in place by the Lord their God following the Hebrews’ exodus from Egypt!
Fast forward to materialistic, 21st century America …
The attacks on the World Trade Center happened seven days before the 2000-2001 Shemitah – the last day of the last month of the seventh year on the Hebrew calendar. The New York Stock Exchange closed down for six days following the terrorist attacks. It reopened on the 29th day of Elul, as religious Jews were commemorating the releasing of debt, as required of them by God. On that day, America’s financial system imploded. The stock market suffered the greatest point loss ever in its history up to that moment in time. It was a huge “fall” and an aftershock of the 9/11 event that would forever change the nation that George Washington dedicated to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel.
The Lord God continued to warn America to wake-up and return to Him. But the nation’s leaders kept vowing to rebuild by their own strength and intelligence, just like the ancient leaders of the nation of Israel, back in the day of Isaiah’s 9:10 prophecy.
Then in September 2008, on the exact same day as the first crash, the 29th day of Elul, the stock market fell 7% — 777 points in one day – triggering a global economic crisis! The following day marked the beginning of a new seven-year shemitah cycle.
Another Shemitah occurred was commemorated on September 13, 2016 – the day before the Hebrew year 5777 began. That’s a lot of sevens.
“If my people, who are called by my name
will humble themselves and pray and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven
and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
— The Lord God (2 Chronicles 7:14)
A RUST REMOVER …
As you read through the Bible, remember that God’s promises are conditional. Some were made to certain individuals or groups of select people in specific situations and locations at pivotal moments in world history. But as we’ve seen, God intends for us to learn from the experiences of our fellow, flawed human beings. And often, in ways that we can’t comprehend, we become heirs to His promises.
“The real measure of our wealth is
how much we’d be worth
if we lost all our money.”
— John Henry Jowett
In spring of 2008, Chuck and his friend Roger were enjoying a new hobby. They both loved auctions, and there was a new auction house in our area that had their full attention. It was fun to see the occasional treasures that they came carrying in to show me. Then one day, Chuck told me about an “opportunity” that they had been made aware of – the estate of a former antique store owner in Anaheim Hills was being offered “at a really reasonable price.”
At that moment in time, lots of people in our area and across the nation had money to spend. For some there was a bundle to be made in the stock market. And many – including Chuck and myself – had benefited from the housing bubble, having sold their homes for the most ridiculous prices, and thinking that the houses they had bought with their earnings were good investments.
In the wake of 9/11, President Bush could often be seen on TV, continually reminding the country not to let the terrorists win. He encouraged us to spend, spend, and spend some more to show “the enemy” that Americans refused to live in fear or be deterred from continuing to enjoy life the American way!
Before Jonathan Cahn’s “Isaiah 9:10” revelations, few were aware that our nation’s problems are primarily spiritual and cannot be solved by throwing money at them or sending in our military men and women to kill off the perceived masterminds of terrorism. So in spring of 2008, it seemed that purchasing the antique owner’s estate would be smart, as well as a lot of fun! So Chuck and Roger handed over the bucks, packed up the deceased woman’s home, and filled two storage units with boxes full of mysterious items, hidden inside reams of bubble wrap and newsprint.
Roger’s wife, Debbie, and I dug in to help our husbands unwrap and take inventory of our joint venture. We had no idea what any of the stuff was worth, but as we looked up items on the Internet and browsed through antique books, it seemed like we were invested in a sure thing … traveling a road to financial freedom!
We placed our trust in the auctioneer whom the guys had “become friends with” over at the auction house. Clint had agreed to set up auctions for us and quickly move the merchandise. “All we had to do” was unwrap everything – O my gosh! – and be ready to count the money as it rolled in. So we worked long hours for several weeks unpacking and sorting through everything.
Periodically Chuck and Roger would ask Clint when he was going to set up our first auction, and Clint would assure them: “In a few weeks. Just let me get done with (fill in the blank) and then I’ll get back to you.”
Summer rolled around and Clint still had “not had time” to arranged the auctions. The four of us repacked everything and moved it all to another location so we wouldn’t have to pay the storage fees while we were waiting. Finally, in September, Clint’s crew began tagging our inventory. He reserved the local Elks’ Lodge as the venue, and our initial auction was set to happen the first weekend in October. Chuck, Roger, Debbie and I were tired, excited, and more than ready to start getting rid of our valuable “stuff”!
Then, on September 29th, America’s financial system suddenly began to implode. The stock market experienced the largest one-day percentage drop since the crash of 1987. People instantly stopped spending. And all the collectibles that should have netted us tens of thousands of dollars were suddenly close to worthless.
One month later, DesignFluids.com summed it up this way: “We can trace the roots of the crisis back to the 9/11 terror attacks… After 9/11 American people were encouraged to spend, spend, spend in the spirit of patriotism, to help restart the flailing economy…. To fuel that spending, in the extraordinary political and psychological climate of the time, U.S. policy makers actively encouraged levels of borrowing and lending that would never otherwise have been allowed.”
According to Rabbi Cahn’s “Isaiah 9:10 Effect” theory, God had given America a full seven years to recognize Him as the Source of blessing, to seek Him, and to ask that He would once again swaddle the nation with His divine protection. Many individuals had been doing that all along. But the “utterance” had to come from someone with the authority to represent the nation as a whole. And that was not forthcoming from the newly elected President Barack Obama in January 2009. Instead, in his first State of the Union address, he defiantly declared: “I want every American to know this – WE WILL REBUILD…. The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation.”
Our merry band of investors realized only a very small return on our “sure thing.” But we did learn a valuable lesson from that abrupt wake-up call.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
A RUST REMOVER …
What have you lost during your lifetime? Material possessions? Good health? Friendships? An adored loved one? Make time to get away and spend some quiet moments with the only One who truly matters. And meditate on the wisdom of Job 1:22 – “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with any wrongdoing.”
“God sends no one away empty
except those who are full of themselves.”
— Dwight L. Moody
“The bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with hewn stone”…
The Lord said to Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” And Pharaoh replied, “No!”
Who could really blame him? After all, the Israelites were the unpaid work force for his empire. They were excellent brick makers, and the Egyptian Pharaoh needed them.
To make his point, Pharaoh ordered that the brick makers produce their regular quota of bricks, but without the key ingredient that held them together! Obviously, when it came to defying the Israelites’ God. he just didn’t get it.
It wasn’t long before the king of Egypt got a taste of what can happen when you mess with the Lord God of the Israelites! (You can read all about that in Exodus 3-14.)
Fast forward about 700 years, to the aftermath of the Assyrian conquest. The Israelites who had miraculously remained in the Promised Land after the northern tribes were extracted, looked around at all the broken bricks that had been their capital city. They shook their fists in defiance and reasoned, “We will rebuild with gazit stone!” Gazit is the Hebrew term for hewn stone – quarried and chiseled out of mountain rock. It was much stronger than brick and less likely to crumble under the feet of future enemies.
Another 700+ years went by…. Jesus and His disciples were standing around looking at the second temple buildings – constructed from Gazit Stone. And out of the blue, Jesus remarked: “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2). Sure enough, a few decades after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, the disobedient Jews’ wall of protection was breached once again. This time by the Romans. Their military legions set the temple on fire. (I’m not sure why they were successful, since it was made primarily out of rock. Then they pried the massive stones apart to retrieve gold that had melted into open cracks.
At that point, God delivered on another curse detailed in Deuteronomy 28 – “You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God…. Then the Lord will scatter you among the nations, from one end of the earth to the other” (Deut. 28:62-64).
After the Roman onslaught in 70 A.D., the descendants of Israel were relocated over time into every country on earth. They remained scattered, with no homeland, until 1948, when the Jews were gathered again as a nation into the land promised to Abraham by the Lord God. Since then, they have dealt continually with open hostility from their extremely distant relatives, the descendants of Ishmael and Esau!
After 9/11, the Lord God was carefully watching over infant Israel, but He still had His eye on America. On July 4, 2004, another harbinger unexpectedly appeared in New York City. A massive, twenty-ton, rectangular Gazit Stone, quarried from the Adirondack Mountains – was moved to the corner of Ground Zero. It was later dedicated with great fanfare in a solemn ceremony. New York Governor George Pataki declared that the stone would “forever remain a symbolic cornerstone for the rebuilding of New York and America.” Governor Pataki added, “By laying this magnificent cornerstone of hope, we are sending a message to the people around the world.”
Like so many symbols that are expected to remain relevant forever, the “Freedom Stone,” as it was christened, was removed from its place of honor in 2006 and given back to the company that had provided it. Turned out, it didn’t fit into the revised plans for the Freedom Tower.
And it’s been sitting in the backyard of the company’s headquarters ever since.
“The Lord foils the plans of nations;
He thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of His heart through all generations.”
A RUST REMOVER …
How often do you ask the Lord about your plans and purposes? Set aside fifteen minutes within the next 24 hours to seek Him, listen for His voice interjected into your thoughts, and then move forward with assurance. I’m praying the Lord will reveal Himself to you in an extraordinary way.
“We make our decisions,
and then our decisions turn around and make us.”
— F. W. Boreham
“I won’t let this happen to my church!”
I remember uttering those words of defiance back when I believed that my “home church” was under attack. I wasn’t sure who was behind the sudden dysfunction, but I was determined to find out and FIX the problem…. I’ve since learned that my assertive passion – no matter how well meaning – was simple-minded and doomed to fail.
Israel’s response following the Assyrian attack on their nation was also one of defiance. In essence, they shook their fists and vowed to rebuild what had been destroyed. They pledged to come back even stronger than before. But in doing that, they disrespected the One who had allowed the Assyrians to breach the wall of His protection. That act also proved simple-minded.
So the Lord God once again sent warnings through His prophets to try and wake up His naïve chosen people and make them understand why their enemies had managed to attack them so unexpectedly. But the Israelites would only believe what they could see with their eyes – devastation, collapsed buildings and fallen, faulty handmade bricks.
An obscure verse in Isaiah gives us a window into Israel’s reaction to what happened. With pride and arrogance of heart they replied: “The bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars” (Isaiah 9:10).
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn states in his book, The Harbinger, that according to Jewish law, an official response to a national calamity can only be recognized when given by a leader with authority to speak publicly on the nation’s behalf.
In 1865, toward the end of the Civil War (a catastrophic event similar to when the Assyrians breached the Israelites’ wall of protection), President Abraham Lincoln responded appropriately, by humbly laying the whole bloody mess at the feet of Almighty God. In his Second Inaugural Address, President Lincoln stood on the East Portico of America’s capital and proclaimed: “The Almighty has His own purposes.… Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away…. Yet … it must be said, that the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
Contrary to Lincoln’s example, America’s response to the attacks of 9/11 was not humble, but defiant – more like that of the ancient Israelites. That response was pronounced on September 12, 2001 by the Senate majority leader, Tom Daschel. Out of over 30,000 verses in the Bible, Senator Daschel independently chose to read Isaiah 9:10! And after he had finished proclaiming the ancient vow, he added his own words: “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stones; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars. That is what we will do.”
Tom Daschel was oblivious to the prophetic role he was playing in the grand scheme of world history. And he wasn’t the only one used by God to pronounce judgment on America. In autumn of 2004, Senator John Edwards, who at that time was campaigning for the office of U. S. Vice President, was invited to speak in the nation’s capital on the third anniversary of 9/11. He started his speech with these words: “Good morning. Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord’s word to get us through: ‘The bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with dressed stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place.’”
President Barack Obama unknowingly reiterated the call for defiance, as well. During his first State of the Union address, given before Congress and the nation in 2009, President Obama said: “I know that for many Americans watching right now, the state of our economy is a concern that rises above all others. But while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: WE WILL REBUILD…. The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation.” And later in his address he added one more declaration: “We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”
Though his intent was to inspire the nation, President Obama actually voiced the central declaration of Isaiah 9:10! Amazing? Yes, but there’s more.
In June of 2012, Obama set politics aside and visited the sleek glass and steel building under construction, which would replace the Twin Towers at Ground Zero in New York City. The structure has been named “Freedom Tower” and when it’s completed, it will be the tallest building in the country at 1776 feet. (The Declaration of Independence was signed in the year 1776.)
After his tour of the intended monument, the President of the United States signed one of the construction beams with a red marker. He wrote: “We remember, we rebuild, we come back stronger!” And he signed his name.
Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, many American figures of authority seemed beyond confident that they were capable of bringing about a new beginning for the nation blessed by God. But could the former glory of the United States be literally restored without returning to Him and asking for reinstatement of His divine protection?
“But the people have not returned to Him who struck them,
nor have they sought the Lord Almighty …”
A RUST REMOVER …
Is there anything wrong in your life that could be made right by simply giving God credit for the blessings which He has generously rained down upon you? Are there perhaps generational curses that could be removed if you would humble yourself today and submit to His sovereign plan for your life? Do you feel like you’re at a dead end in your job or maybe a relationship? Think about what the Lord said through the prophet Jeremiah before He allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed by the Babylonians: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).
“God is preparing His heroes;
and when the opportunity comes,
He can fit them into their places in a moment,
and the world will wonder where they came from.”.
— A. B. Simpson
If you’ve ever watched children at play, you’ve probably witnessed the scenario of one child very carefully building a block tower … and another gleefully (or maliciously) knocking it down. That’s the nature of children.
I read an article that claimed there are summer camps in the Islamic world created to teach kids how to become martyrs for the glory of Allah, and to encourage hatred, primarily toward the descendants of Jacob.
Did you know that hatred for those who are now called Israelis originated with one man – Abram – who, like Eve, made one decision that has affected the entire human race. He listened to his impatient wife rather than waiting for God’s perfect timing concerning the conception of a promised child.
You see, when “the word of the Lord” came to Abram one day in a vision, God promised something that seemed utterly impossible. Abram was an old man, and his wife Sarai was barren. Yet God told them: “A son coming from your own body will be your heir. Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them…. So shall your offspring be” (Genesis 15:4-5). Scripture tells us, “Abram believed the Lord, and that act of faith was “credited to him as righteousness.”
But Abram’s beloved Sarai thought her husband must have misunderstood the message. She reasoned that since she had not been able to have a child — and she was nearing 90 years old — there must be some mistake. So she took control of the situation and convinced Abram to have intercourse with her Egyptian maidservant, Hagar.
Naturally, after Hagar became pregnant, Sarai became ragingly jealous of her husband’s baby mama. She mistreated Hagar, so the woman fled into the desert. There the angel of the Lord appeared and instructed Hagar to go back and submit to her mistress Sarai, because the Lord God had a plan. He promised: “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count. You will have a son and name him Ishmael, because the Lord has heard of your misery” (Genesis 16:9-11).
The next verse is astoundingly prophetic: “He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him. He will live in hostility toward [also translated “to the east of”] all his brothers” (Genesis 16:12).
So Hagar obeyed, returned to Sarai and Abram, gave birth to a son and named him Ishmael. Then, God showed up again. He made it clear that what He had promised some time ago was still going to happen. As if to underscore that fact, the Lord gave Abram and Sarai new names – Abraham and Sarah. And He told them the name of the son whom Sarah had conceived. He would be called Isaac.
I encourage you to read the entire account in Genesis of these historical events, since I can’t recount them all here. For this purpose, I’ll just establish the fact that the descendants of Ishmael have indeed “lived in hostility toward” their relatives – Isaac’s descendants – for centuries, and a majority of them still nurture that hatred!
Toss into the mix the descendants of Isaac’s son Esau – who foolishly gave his birthright to his twin brother, Jacob, in exchange for a bowl of stew, and then got really mad about it – and you have a basic overview of the enemies of “Israel” (Jacob’s God-given, new name).
If we could trace the family tree of Ishmael, we would likely find that the ancient people group known as the Assyrians was connected in some way. According to revelations in The Harbinger, the Assyrians were among the most brutal people who ever lived. At the peak of their power they ruled most of the ancient Middle East, and they perfected the art of terrorism. They spoke a language called Akkadian … which today is called Arabic – the tongue of Al Qaeda.
The Lord God eventually made good on His Deuteronomy 28 promise to provide blessings and to allow curses to flow upon the descendants of Israel, depending on their attitude and behavior toward Him. When they continued to worship other gods and act out in deviant ways, He removed His blessings and the hedge of protection that the Lord had placed around the Israelites, because they chose (as a nation) to defiantly disobey the laws that He had put into place for their benefit. In 732 B.C. the Assyrians breached the wall and attacked the Israelites, drawing them into military conflict, war, and tragic national drama.
One of the specific curses listed in Deuteronomy 28 sounds chillingly familiar: “The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young” (verses 49-50).
On September 11, 2001, America’s hedge of protection was breached by a group of Semitic men. They were gathered from nations across the Middle East and communicated with each other using words and phrases which resembled the ancient Akkadian language. Their weapons of choice were jets that swooped down and took out the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, without respect for the old or pity for the young.
At that historic moment, the United States of America – “one nation under God” – was irretrievably drawn into military conflict, war, and tragic national drama. The world watched in horror as the carefully built towers came crumbling down.
“Carefully follow the terms of this covenant
so that you may prosper in everything you do.”
A RUST REMOVER …
Share this information with someone, as the Holy Spirit leads.
“The ship’s place is in the sea,
but God pity the ship
when the sea gets into it.”
— Author Unknown
Occasionally I dream that I am homeless. The dream seems so real when I’m virtually caught up in it that it has an eerie feel. Fearful. Uncertain. Unprotected. The odd thing – obviously, the whole dream thing is odd – is not that I’m without basic provisions, like food, a change of clothing, and no convenient place to go to the bathroom. It’s the absence of walls.
In the beginning, Adam and Eve had no need for walls because they had no enemies. It was unnecessary to encase themselves in a manmade box called a “house” because they were gifted with divine safety. They didn’t even have to be afraid of hungry animals, because the animals were all vegetarians!
Along with that sense of security, the couple enjoyed complete freedom. There was no need to worry about anything. They were free to make choices, and they had no psychotic tendencies that could turn their free will into willfully harmful behavior. They had a Protector who generously lavished them with prosperity … and with love.
But they took for granted all that they’d been given. They made a naïve choice to disrespect the Source of their blessings and go with a different security system that offered attractive “bells and whistles” not included in the original plan. Their supernatural retaining wall, which had kept evil out, was instantly punctured. The dyke sprang a leak. Suddenly there was a gap, an opening, a breach in the wall that had been invisibly protecting them.
Then they were on their own. The realization that there was now a need for walls was frightening … overwhelming. But the Source of everything they had known before was not absent. He was still present and available. And even though communication with Him was not as convenient as it had been before their disobedience, the Protector was absolutely capable of creating invisible barriers between His loved ones and their newly acquired enemies – “terrorists,” if you will.
Where did those enemies come from? As I scratch my rusty helmet, I have to say again, “I don’t know.” But after reading The Harbinger, I understand it is naïve to think that a supernatural wall of protection was not created around the tiny, fledgling nation that we call “America” on the day it was consecrated by its first official President. But, of course, we humans want proof of its existence. We assume that if we can’t see it or touch it then the security that we enjoy must be of our own making. As a country, we become cocky and arrogant and claim superiority among the nations of the world.
So, our Protector must send tangible warnings to show us – collectively – who is really in charge. Deuteronomy 28 – God’s “constitution” for His chosen people –detailed the blessings and the curses originally promised to the nation of Israel. Our Almighty Father is merciful beyond our comprehension, so rather than annihilating us, He patiently reminds us what can happen to an honored nation when a breach occurs in the invisible wall of His safekeeping.
There are currently only two nations that fall into that category: Israel … and America.
“I looked for a man among them who would build up a wall
and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land
so I would not have to destroy it,
but I found none.”
— The Word of the Lord (Ezekiel 22:30)
A RUST REMOVER …
Think about ways in which the walls around you can be breached – sometimes even without your knowledge. Turn to Ephesians 6:10-18 and carefully review the pieces of spiritual armor that are available to those who respect the Lord God and trust Him for their earthly and eternal protection.