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SCRIPTURE –Neh 8:10                                                                                                   AUG, 2011

Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Last month, I gave you the formula for survival, so to speak, when facing life's problems. We saw a few biblical examples of men of God, facing the ultimate problem that any of us can face, and that is death, and carrying on, like nothing is happening. Then we looked at the response of those that don't know God, to the same situations, and they are in a state of panic, and despair.

I have mentioned this before, but it is always relevant, and that is, in both the cases presented, we are seeing the example of Godly, and ungodly. Saved, and unsaved. Light, and darkness. Total opposites of each other.

Here is what I didn't get in to in part 1, and that is, just how it is that we got in to the mess we are in today.

Using the context of the subject scripture, we will examine the circumstances which led up to it, and compare that, with what is happening today.

The context of the subject scripture, has to do with the fact that, over a period of time, God's people had slipped in to a state of rebellion against God. This was due, in large part, to the fact that the priests, themselves had, gotten away from God, and essentially, became nothing more than speakers at a community hall meeting. All of this, taking place in the temple [House of the Lord]. They got this way because the previous kings, had forbidden them from reading about, or otherwise, worshiping God. But rather, they, the kings had started worshiping idols, and involving themselves in things the heathen, those that didn't know God did.

This activity took place over 55 years, starting with King Manasseh, through his son Amon, and the first 18 years of King Josiah.

Josiah purposed in his heart, to do what was right in God's eyes. That meant, taking steps to get the people back to God. In order to do that, he decided one of the things that was needed, was to refurbish the temple. So he sent people to the priests, to find out what was needed to get things back in order, and in the process of doing this, they found the book of the Law.

The fact that they found it, meant they had completely forgotten about, or lost it.

When the king was notified of the find, he had it brought to him, and when it was read to him, the king, rent his clothes.

The king, realized that the nation, had gone so far off course, that it would take radical action, to get the people back to the ways of God. When the people were assembled later, after the temple was restored, this book was read to the people, and they began to weep, and wail, because they realized the condition they had fallen in to.

This is what happens when one realizes, after some time, of not being exposed to the word of God, because either they have chosen to ignore it, or, it has been kept from them.

If we look at this nation, and the condition we find ourselves in, we can draw a parallel with what we are going through, and what that nation had been experiencing. The people, lost in sin, suffering, and in total despair. Then, they are brought to realize it, and they just lose all strength [hope]. Listening to all of what God has to say about those that violate His Law, and the punishments that will follow, they were faced with a dire future.

In the midst of this, they cried to God, and that is where the subject scripture comes in.

One thing interesting, is the people, were willing to at least gather, and hear what God had to say.

Now, as to this nation, and the problems we are facing.

Today, like back then, the priests [preachers today], were responsible for delivering the Law[Word of God], to the people, and for some time, they followed, and enforced it, to the letter.

But, as time went on, the people, led by leaders of the city[Manasseh, the king, government, led by Democrats], began to embrace things that essentially, were a direct rebellion to God. And, over time, the priests [preachers], began to fall in line with this rebellion.

As time went on, God forgotten, and the nation began to slide in to all sorts of debauchery, much the way the old cities of Sodom and Gomorrah did.

As for the people, they figured that things were alright, because, the priests[the preachers], weren't saying anything different.

In case you haven't noticed, this nation, is going to hell in a hand basket. The more laws get enacted, that give the finger to God, the worse things get, for all of us.

And when it comes to who is responsible, the blame usually goes to the Republican party, George Bush, Rush Limbaugh, and the religious right[the ones that refuse to compromise on God's Word]. Of course, the ones blaming them, are the ones that are guilty, and that is, preachers.

What would possess preachers to do this?? Fear, and popularity.

As the people moved away from God, they viewed those that spoke against the things the people wanted to do, as the enemy, and were to be imprisoned, or otherwise punished. With their positions being in peril, decreases in the offering baskets, and in some cases, lawsuits, they began to change God's Word, to make it line up with what the people wanted.

As a result, the people, not being challenged to turn from their wickedness, only continued to get worse and worse. The end result being, God,, just let them pursue their own folly, until thy essentially destroyed themselves.

America, is headed for destruction, because too many preachers, refuse to stand up, and tell the politicians, that their ways are an offense to God.

These preachers, who the politicians would listen to, instead, invite them in to their churches to speak to the people, and hopefully reap more popularity with the people, so that they can translate that in to larger churches, and to possibly further political ambitions.

If we want to know who is responsible for the decline of America, and all that goes with it, the loss of jobs, the illiteracy rate, the crime, the financial conditions, the deaths from diseases that we can't find the cure for, the deaths of children due to violence, and neglect, and more, just look at the man, in the pulpit.

God gave us ample warning as to what will happen to any people, that, having known God, turned away from Him. Yet, these preachers, forsook that message, for one that endeared them with the public.

Ask many of them today, what their suggestions for getting America back on track to being what it used to be, back in the 80's, and I will guarantee you that they will give you all sorts of answers that, if you are carnally minded, will be just what you want to hear.

They will blame the aforementioned, Republicans, conservatives, and the religious right. The one thing they will not say, is that we need to get back to God. That, to them, has become, anathema.

Yet, there are people that are coming to realize, that there is something terribly wrong, with the way things are going, and are seeking answers.

Then, when they hear what is really at the core of their problems, they, at first, feel there is absolutely no hope, because they have gone too far, and done too much, for God, to have anything to do with them. Can you imagine, after hearing something like the uncompromised word of God, and looking at your life, as being everything that God hates, what you will feel like?? Having to face God, knowing, that prior to that, you didn't even believe there was a God. Or, if there was, He was some old fuddy-duddy with Alzheimer's, that had completely forgotten the rules. Then, maybe He had become politically correct, standing up for women's right to choose, and gay rights. Then, you come face to face with Jesus Christ, who, is not now, the Saviour, but your Judge, and He plays a record of your life, from the time you came out of your mother's womb, through your younger years, where you were taught about Him, and embraced His Truth's. But then, you began to change your direction, because you envied something, that others had, or were doing, and you began to ignore Him.

All seems to be lost. All Hope is gone. Then, you realize, it is not too late. There is still a chance to get things turned around, because in the midst of the despair that grips you, and this nation, Christ, is giving you one more chance to get it right. To change darkness, in to light.

God's Word, brings judgment, and condemnation, but, It also brings hope. Hope that we can still experience, what God says is His blessing for a people that will turn from their wickedness, just like those that, when faced with the Truth, committed to change their ways, and get back to the God, that they once knew, and had departed from.

Remember, God says this, 'If my people, who are called by my name[Christians], will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then, will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land [in this case, I am talking about America.] 2Chron 7:14

If America is going to be, what God, had designed it to be, then, Christians will have to be about doing what Christ called for them to be, and that is a peculiar people, that walk not after the flesh [things of this world, but after the Spirit [things of God].

When we are willing to do that, then there can be the optimism, for brighter days ahead, which can be spread to those, with no vision, who are perishing. It all begins with us.