JUDGMENT AND REPENTANCE
“CALL ON ME AND I WILL ANSWER YOU, AND SHOW YOU GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS WHICH YOU DO NOT KNOW.” (Jeremiah 33:3).
..AS I WROTE EARLIER on this website, I felt strongly while praying during 2019 for Israel, the USA and their leaders and people that the Holy Spirit was indicating the upcoming year, 2020, would feature widespread social, economic and political chaos and massive upheaval, possibly focused in those two allied countries but also greatly affecting the entire world As I also shared, I first sensed that some sort of major calamity was coming while praying in September 2017, and that it would probably emanate from Asia. I suspected that if this indeed came to pass, it might be the result of some sort of nefarious military action, possibly a major cyber and/or EMP attack upon the two allied countries involving Iran and its main allies, North Korea, China and Russia. In the end, it was invisible germs from Asia that would bring the world to its knees...let’s hope literally and in fervent prayer.
..I WAS BLESSED to be invited to join a small group of Jewish Israeli brothers in a weekly Bible study in Jerusalem in 1985, led by Ruevan Ross, who later served as a pastor in the Lord’s special Land. He taught us to read at least two chapters of the sacred scriptures EVERY DAY--- which I’ve done chronologically ever since. For the past four weeks, my Hebrew Bible readings have been in the prophet Jeremiah. Today I moved into Lamentations.
..I HAVE BEEN STRUCK AFRESH all month (March Madness indeed!!) that the Lord not only requires holiness and obedience from His people, but will judge them---even severely--if they defiantly stray from His ways. Although He is always merciful, and gave the ancient Jewish people plenty of time to repent, they carried on with their idolatrous ways, which included heinous cult prostitution and slaying some of their children in ritual sacrifices---a thing Israel’s Sovereign Lord said never occurred to Him, let alone called for. As a result, Jeremiah records that the Judge of all the Earth allowed the Babylonians to attack and vandalize Jerusalem and all of Judah, and sent famines and wasting diseases upon His beloved rebellious people. As Jeremiah prophesied, some of them even resorted to killing and consuming their very own offspring while trying to stave off famine! Having to proclaim all of this death and destruction in advance, the “weeping prophet” said he wished he had never been born.
..THE GIST OF WHAT I FELT the Lord began showing me in late 2017 was this: National and personal sins had reached the point in America, Israel and much of the rest of the world that divine judgment was determined and pending. Of course, this does not mean that genuine repentance could not change that awful course---the prophet tried until the conquest and exile to make that point clear to the Jewish leaders and people. Not only has abortion been rampant in much of the world over the past four decades, but so has all kinds of sexual sins and perversions, divorce and adultery, hatred for others, violence, drug, child and spousal abuse, and the list goes on.
..AT PRESENT, THE WORLD is being rapidly engulfed in the new Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the planet. As I noted in my last post, the plague began in the country that has FORCED untold millions of abortions on its citizenry, beginning in 1979. That was one year after Italy legalized abortion, along with Israel, and six years after the USA did the same. Divorce and non-marital sexual activity has also been rampant in much of the earth since then, especially in the west (indeed many abortions follow illicit sexual encounters). Same sex marriage has been legalized, sometimes by court fiat as in the US, and gender confusion abounds.
..I FIND IT NOTEWORTHY that the new Coronavirus was brought under relatively rapid control in South Korea, where millions of people have come to the Lord in recent decades. In countries where church and synagogue attendance and professions of personal faith has sharply declined in the same period, like the States, Italy, France and Spain, it is still spiraling out of control. So far, it has barely affected the large continent of Africa, where the Christian faith has also been spreading like wildfire in recent decades. Although the new virus is also there and will certainly spread, the “dark continent” may avoid the worst of the crisis as resistance and treatments elsewhere hopefully grow over time.
..THE DEADLY VIRUS IS ALSO SPREADING fast in most Middle East Muslim countries, especially in Iran. Although many people have come to the Lord in recent times in Iran, the vast majority of people and the government remain faithful to the Shiite Muslim faith, which believes in a final world upheaval that will usher in the “Madhi” savior after Israel is destroyed. Iran’s leaders constantly vow to wipe out the divinely-restored Jewish State and retake Jerusalem for Allah---plenty of reason for the judgment of God to fall there.
..SOME CHRISTIANS AND JEWS protest that a loving God could not possibly allow “innocent people” to get sick and possibly die as a result of the sins of others. But Jeremiah and other Hebrew prophets revealed that the innocent sometimes suffer for the sins of the guilty, as repeated in the New Testament. In particular, children sometimes suffer as a result of their parent’s sins---just ask the offspring of drug and alcohol addicts and physically or sexually abusive adults. This is sadly the reality of life in this sin-soaked world.
.AS I WAS READING JEREMIAH over the past month, I noted that not only did the heavy-laden prophet repeatedly warn of the dire situation up ahead---culminating in the capture of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple and the exile of most of the people to Babylon--he also spoke, as almost all the prophets did, of the ultimate, much brighter future ahead. The chastised people would eventually return from exile and rebuild the temple. Even more importantly, they would come back in humility and then strive to serve the God of Israel with all of their hearts. A new covenant would also be unveiled, where God would write the law on their hearts (Jer 31). This would result in great comfort and joy for the restored people (JER 33). All of this indeed took place, as recorded in Ezra, Nehemiah and in the New Testament.
..IN A SIMILAR WAY, I sense that the current world crisis is not only about punishment for sin, it is to “shake whatever can be shaken” so that what remains is stronger and purer than before. Our gracious Heavenly Abba does not want to destroy America and the nations, at least not at this time, but to “shake and wake” up His people and bring many new sheep into his fold. So while the months ahead will be especially difficult for people all over the earth, it can also be a time of great harvest if we truly repent of our sins and intercede for our countries and people. How severe the pandemic becomes depends on our reactions to the crisis, I sense. If we cry out to Him for mercy to prevail, and take real action at this time, we can positively affect the outcome of this new medical and economic plague. In summary, I believe it is really up to us, His Body in the world.
WHAT ELSE CAN WE EXPECT as the Covid-19 virus spreads in the USA, Europe, Israel and elsewhere? What about the growing swarms of locusts currently sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East into Asia? I will comment on those viral topics in my next website post. Meanwhile watch, and especially pray!
DAVID DOLAN is an author and journalist who lived and worked in Israel for over three decades, beginning in 1980.
HOLY WAR FOR THE PROMISED LAND (Broadman & Holman), his latest book, is an overview of the history of the Israel and of the bitter Arab-Israeli conflict that rages there, plus some autobiographical details about the author’s experiences living in the land since 1980. It especially examines the important role that militant Islam plays in the conflict.
ISRAEL IN CRISIS: WHAT LIES AHEAD? (Baker/Revell), which examines the political and biblical prospects for a regional attack upon Israel, settlement in the disputed territories, and related topics, is also available for purchase, along with an updated edition of his popular end-time novel, THE END OF DAYS (21st Century Press).
You may order these books at a special discount price by visiting his web site at www.ddolan.com, or by phoning toll free 888-890-6938 in North America, or by e mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
DOLAN'S NEW DVD, "FOR ZION'S SAKE" is now available for purchase. Click the title under "BOOKSTORE" for more details.