What faithful students you are! Welcome back!
Today we’ll finish the summary of the live class I’m teaching at 11:00 am each Sunday morning at Calvary PHX in Phoenix AZ. If you like what you’re reading and are in the Phoenix area, come join the live class. We’re in Room 209 at the Central campus and there is a seat ready for you!
We are living in the calm before the storm. Indeed, Israel is as calm and peaceful as she has ever been since rebirth in 1948. (If you are wondering how I can say that when rockets fired from Gaza recently, see yesterday’s post.) We know, also, that there is a huge storm on the horizon. Ezekiel 38 describes that storm and we’ll spend some more time talking about it in the next live lesson.
So, why the calm…and why the storm? Does God really have a purpose in all this? Absolutely!
First, let’s talk about what happened in America. Understand, though, that America is NOT God’s timepiece. Israel is. But something significant happened in America over the past few years. From a spiritual perspective, many believe we were teetering on the brink of the abyss. For years, our country has been spiraling out of control morally. We have thrown God out of schools, government buildings and city parks. Abortions are killing over 600,000 babies a year. Religious freedom has been trampled while gay rights have sky rocketed to levels unimaginable. Marriage has taken on new definitions and the dignity of aging adults has been striped away.
But someone (LOTS of someones!) took 2 Chronicles 7:14 to heart:
…[if] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Christians began to pray and began to stand up for what is right…and miracles happened. (If you prayed, you had a part in the miracles!) One miracle (there were many) was the election of Donald Trump as President. Many (including myself) were skeptical that a man with such a sordid background would actually stand for things such as the sanctity of life, religious freedom…and Israel. Furthermore, he was not supposed to win! Behind in all the polls and lambasted by the liberal media, it took a miracle of God (despite skepticism!) to put Donald Trump in the White House. Praise God for that!
Our nation is far from perfect and still has the same issues it had before. But I truly believe God heard the faithful, effective prayers of the righteous (James 5:16), He honored them, and He gave America a short reprieve. American friends, this is our season! Time is short and the reprieve won’t last forever. We must NOT be complacent.
Now the whys.
Why the calm?
- God honored the prayers of the righteous!
- God is preparing the region for what comes next. Ezekiel 38 says Israel MUST be living in safety, security and prosperity. Meanwhile, Russia, Iran and Turkey are all struggling economically. That will bring about motivation for attack.
- God is establishing Jerusalem’s status. Jerusalem is to be the heavy stone that others will try to lift, only to be injured. Establishing Jerusalem as the capital, moving embassies there and destroying Iran’s presence on the Israeli border helps establish Jerusalem’s status!
Those things are happening right before our very eyes, and this is the calm before the storm! Also, as a side note: talk among Jews in Israel is turning to “days of Messiah!” They are looking for that someone who will bring lasting peace and allow them to rebuild the third temple! Interesting!
Why the coming storm?
- To expose the intentions of man’s heart, and that of the nations. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our hearts are desperately wicked, and 2 Timothy 3:1-5 provides a laundry list of wickedness that will characterize the last days. Joel 3:2 warns the nations that God will judge them according to how they treat Israel!
- To glorify God and destroy Satan’s plans. (Read Ezekiel 38. That’s your homework for next week!)
- Set the stage for the hour of trial. Though believers will be saved from it (Revelation 3:10 and many places in 1 Thessalonians), the Jews will face the hour of trial after God defeats the enemies of Ezekiel 38-39. They will look for their Messiah, only to find he is the Antichrist.
Despite their own blindness, Israel is the flagship that leads the world to salvation. So, why does Israel matter? Because Israel is our insurance policy! If God is not faithful to the Jewish people, why would we expect Him to be faithful to us?
As we close out this week, why not pray for the eyes of Jewish people to be open to see and recognize the One True Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Some are seeing…let’s pray for a larger harvest!
Thanks for following this week, and I look forward to sharing more in Week 2, as we get into Signs of the Times: Storm Clouds Rising.