Turning Back and Tempting God
This evening in church, the preacher talked about Psalm 78. While this is not typically a prophetic passage, it does illustrate how the Nation of Israel, particularly that of the tribe of Ephraim, acted. We can learn from them today. This chapter talks about how, even though God delivered the Israelites from the hand of the Egyptians, "they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel" (v. 40). Haven't people in the United States done this? God miraculously delivered them from the hands of the British, and although the majority followed God for a long time, to one degree or another, today, many people reject Him. Out of those that do claim to be God's, many only think about him on Sundays, and forget to pray the rest of the week. Even those that are the best of Christians often watch movies and read books that God hates.
I can think of one family in particular, that once attended a church that I attended. At church, you would think that they were the best of Christians. They seemed so pious; if the church held a vote for deacon, a lot of people would think that the dad of the family deserved that position. While they seemed nice enough, at home they liked to play violent video games, were unforgiving towards family members, and were not the perfect Christians that you would think that they were. I know that a lot of us are probably that way, but if even those that we think are the "very best" of Christians behave this way, what about the rest of us?
As a whole, we are not the Christians that we should be, and we have turned against God. Why should we expect God to continue blessing us, when we can't even follow his commandments? Yes, I know that there are still people who put God first. We may have come to that point in history where the people that do put God first are outnumbered by the people that don't, and will have to wait until they reach the heavenly realms before they receive many of the blessings that God wants to give them. Let's not forget that those of us that are Christians are not living for the current day, but are living for the day that we see eternity.
Suicides Plague the EU as the Financial Doldrums Continue
In the introduction to Amity Shlaes' book The Forgotten Man, a 13 year old boy commits suicide. Evidently, he was in despair over his family's economic situation. This was not in 1929, as many people think of when they think of the hardship of the Great Depression; this occurred in 1937. The boy would have been about 5 at the time of the great stock market collapse, and probably remembered nothing except hard times. Today, in the European Union, suicides are on the rise as people have trouble affording the very basic things in life, like food on the table and a place to live.
The problem is being seen in both Spain and Greece. We don't seem to be hitting bottom just yet. Things are likely to get worse before they get better.
Earthquakes in Diverse Places
One of the signs that Jesus came that his return was near was "earthquakes in diverse places" (Matthew 24:7). We saw quite a few earthquakes in diverse places recently:
- 6.8 Magnitude quake in Burma; 12 believed dead
- 6 Magnitude quake in Peru
- 4.3 Magnitude quake in Kentucky
All earthquakes were on three different continents.
No Peace in Israel
The Bible tells us that in the last days, people from all over the world will be against Israel. At the moment, that seems to be true. Israel and Palestine are not the best of friends; of course. Israel said that if Palestine continues to pursue statehood, then Israel will stop collecting taxes for them. Palestine shot several rockets at Israel, and they vow to retaliate. There was a meeting about nuclear weapons in the Middle East that was called off after Israel declined to attend.
Officials Want the Military to Help Restore Power in New York
It's been 12 days after Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to a multitude of people living in New York and New Jersey, and as of Friday, 150,000 were still without power. Some people are wishing that the Army Corps of Engineers would come and help restore power, citing that the Army can restore power in war-torn cities like Iraq; why can't they restore power in the United States. Of course, these same people have turned away workers that wanted to help, but weren't unionized.
People need help and are suffering. The best solution would be to open up help to the people from other states that want to help, but might not be union. Asking the military to help is opening up a can of worms that is best left shut.
Obama's Election Leads to a Run on Guns
This is one of the least surprising reactions to the election of the year. That, and the tons of layoffs and cuts in hours to 29 or less in order to avoid paying for health care for employees. In addition to an increase of sales in guns, gun stocks have been rising in value as well.
Vatican Sticks to Their Beliefs after Gay Marriage Votes
God does not change. God's word says one thing about gay marriage, and that doesn't change, no matter how much we would or would not like it to change. Some people have rewritten passages in the Bible to better suit their tastes, but if you change the words of God, then they are no longer the Words of God. Revelation 22:18-19 tells us that if we add to to the words of the prophecy of this book, then God will add the plagues of the book to you; if you take away the words of the book, then God will take away your part out of the book of life. The words of the Lord are not to be messed with.
The Vatican is still sticking to the Biblical definition of marriage, despite what other people might want it to be. They are not the only church that refuses to change, of course; my own church (which is independent of any hierarchy), will not change that definition either.
The church may suffer a bit of persecution in the upcoming days, because their beliefs don't align with those that don't really believe in the Bible. We'll have to see how things turn out.