I watched an excellent video last night by my favorite author/teacher, Joel Richardson. My heart resonated with the way he likened our present condition in America to the time of Israel in the book of Habakkuk, Chapter 1. The prophet is greatly disturbed at the violence, wickedness and injustice in the nation and so he lifts this cry up to the Lord in prayer - a cry so similar to the one we have all been lifting in the past few months:
O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to you, "Violence!" and You will not save.
Why do You show me iniquity and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me;
there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth, for the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds. (Habakkuk 1:1-4) Yes we are lifting this same prayer to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and we are experiencing the same frustration as we see things looking more bleak and hopeless than ever. It DOES seem to us that the "law is powerless and justice never goes forth!"
But then, as Joel pointed out, the LORD replies to Habakkuk in verses 5-11 and I am sure this reply is most certainly NOT what the prophet expected! Instead of tender and encouraging words, God tells his prophet "I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you. For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation which marches through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful; their JUDGMENT and their dignity proceed from themselves."
It must have been a terrifying wake-up call for Habakkuk. And as I studied this first chapter, I felt in my spirit that the LORD must be getting ready to do the same thing with America. It seems to me that regardless of who we have in the Office of President, our Righteous Father is going to have to deal with the terrible sin in America. He has shown us such long-suffering for so many years, but neither this nation nor the Church has come to repentance. We are still killing millions of babies and now allowing children to choose what gender they want to be. There is a great apathy over the land and no passion in the Church to step up and fight to bring prayer back into schools, and sanctity back into marriage. A dear brother down in Arizona (Robert Ward) just wrote this:
"Yes, I believe President Trump lost this election greatly in part because of all this evil deceptive trickery, but still all in all mainly because of the blackened heart that has fallen upon America for decades now. Our Father, because of His Holiness and Purity cannot put up with unholiness that has spread across a once great and beloved country founded in the belief of a nation set aside for great freedom to worship Him without government, religious or kingly dictatorship interference."
And so what was Habakkuk's answer to the LORD when he heard about the terrible judgment coming through an invasion of fierce, dreadful people? Did he curse God or fall away from his faith? Did he turn a deaf ear and refuse to trust God? No. He replied to the LORD, "Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, You have appointed them for judgment; O Rock, You have marked them for correction. You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. "
Habakkuk got it. He realized that the sin of the nation had become too much for the Holy One and judgment must come in order to discipline, correct and call the people back to Him. Is this what God will do with China or Iran or Turkey? Will he allow a fierce invasion to come to our soil? Or will He allow this pandemic to bring people finally to their knees? I don't know what our Mighty God has planned but I know what Habakkuk knew: God is from everlasting. He is eternally good and His desire for America is that we would pray, humble ourselves, seek His face, AND TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS and THEN He will relent and turn and heal us and restore us to the blessings of Heaven and the greatness in the earth that we once knew.
This is a season to pray like never before, beloved. I am preaching to myself as well as to those who read this blog. We MUST fall on our knees and pray for the strength, endurance, and power of the Holy Spirit to move through the tough days ahead and the mercy of God to keep a man in the Oval Office who fears Him so that our Law would again be based on HIS Torah and Justice would go forth!
My last post was titled "Don't Leave Your Battle Post!" You might say that things have greatly changed since then, with Joe Biden self-proclaimed and hailed by the TV networks as our President-Elect. But my friends, I don't think anything has officially changed yet. And so the battle cry is still on and desperately needed. Don't leave your battle posts yet! Stay on your knees. As a little Facebook post I saw this week said, "WHEN YOU HAVE NEBUCHADNEZZAR AS YOUR KING, BE A DANIEL!"
That really struck a deep chord in me. So what does that mean? I searched the Scriptures to discover the answers. Daniel was a noble and wise man in Israel when he and three of his fellow wise men, who all deeply worshiped the God of Israel, were taken captive into Babylon and forced to come under the leadership of the wicked king. These four devout men of God did not take to the streets with clubs and spears. They did not round up fellow Jews for a violent protest or set the Babylonians' shops on fire! Instead, they stayed deeply focused on their God and followed carefully all His leading. They humbled themselves and prayed. Yet, they also drew clear boundaries when asked to participate in the evil practices of the king and his court. Daniel refused to eat the foods he was given as they were unclean according to the Torah. He told the kings' servants that he would eat vegetables for ten days and look as healthy as the ones feasting on the king's diet - and it was so! And then came the greatest test of faith for these men of God. "A herald loudly proclaimed, 'This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language! As soon as you hear the sound of the music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.'" You know the rest of this famous story; Daniel's friends, now known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were brought before the king and forced to bow down and worship the image, and their reply was stunning: "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT, we want you to know O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Daniel 3:4-6, 16-18).
The king went into a furious rage and threw them into the blazing furnace - but the Scripture reveals the miracle that when they peered into the furnace, expecting to see the charred ashes and bones of three men, one of the king's advisers exclaimed, "Look! I see four men walking around and unharmed and one of them looks like a son of the gods!" (Daniel 3:25). Of course we know it was THE Son of THE God, who had saved them, and this resulted in the turning of a wicked king and his nation to the One True God of Israel. It fulfilled the prophecy and promise in Isaiah: "When you walk through the fire you will not be burned: the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am YHVH your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:2-3.
Daniel and his friends were men of prayer. Daniel could be found praying three times a day at his open window facing Jerusalem, and giving thanks to God (Daniel 6:10). He gave thanks before the battle was won! In other words, he never left his battle post! And his humble, steadfast faith won over the wicked king. In Daniel 10:12, he sees a vision of Yeshua Himself, who touched Daniel and said to him, "Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them." Yet I note that his friends made the powerful statement that "Even if we are thrown into the fiery furnace we will not bow down!" These men drew boundaries so as not to compromise their faith and they trusted God for the outcome. God responds to prayer, humility and faith that endures even unto death. These are principles we must learn to adopt and follow all the way through the challenging days ahead.
The stories of Daniel and his friends speed by in the text, but we know that it actually covers many, many years, and Daniel is an old man by the end of the book. God does not always work as speedily as we think He should - and this calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints (Revelation 13:10). At this point, I must be clear that I am not saying that I think Joe Biden is the Antichrist! Please do not misunderstand. I am saying that Biden and his administration are promoting anti-Christ principles and now is a good time for us to learn how to respond!
So, while this election is being finally decided, we WAIT. We do not rush God. The disciples did not understand why Yeshua did not go directly to the home of Lazarus when they learned he had died. Why did he delay? In the Passion Translation, John 11:14-15 reads: "Then Jesus made it plain to them. 'Lazarus is dead. And for your sake, I'm glad I wasn't there, because now you have another opportunity to see who I am so that you will learn to trust in me.'" There is our answer, beloved! For all who are asking, "Why this delay in answer to our prayers for Trump to be re-elected? Why did our trusted prophets soundly prophesy that he would have another term and it appears that it hasn't come to pass?" I am believing that God's answer is, "...because now you have another opportunity to see who I AM so that you will learn to trust in Me."
It is a divine delay, Beloved. It is a chance to stretch your faith muscles and exercise endurance. Martha said to Yeshua, "My Lord, if only you had come sooner my brother wouldn't have died. But I know that if you were to ask God for anything, He would do it for you. Yeshua told her, "Your brother will RISE AND LIVE."
Kelly Ferrari Mills