AMERICA NEEDS A SPIRITUAL BAILOUT
Coach Dave Daubenmire
January 29, 2009
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With all of the talk of a financial bailout in America I thought it might be appropriate to broach the subject that perhaps America is in greater need of a Spiritual bailout. With such thievery emanating from Washington DC, Wall Street, et al, perhaps it is time for God’s people to get serious. America’s problems are Spiritual folks, not financial. The obedience of God’s people holds the key to our nation’s future.
Jesus already bailed us out once by paying our sin debt upon the cross. His death was the only way to reconcile God’s books because “the wages of sin is death. Christ picked up my “sin tab”, the fee required by God for my disobedience. Even though I am secure about my life beyond this world I sure wish He would do something about this mess we call America.
He could, you know. God is still in control and the Bible teaches that He is a loving, compassionate, forgiving Creator. But He is first and foremost “just.” He must do what He says He will do because He is bound by His Word. He puts his Word above His name. If His Word is no good, His name is no good.
Is He still gracious enough to offer us another “Spiritual bailout?” His Word says He is. Remember, He is bound by His Word. Here is His promise “If My People…”
But will America turn back to Jesus? Would God spare His Wrath towards America if we did? If a true spirit of repentance would hit the churches of this land would God hold back our much deserved spanking? He has done it before.
Michele and I were reading Lamentations 4 and 5 for our morning devotions. As we were reading it I saw a picture of modern-day America and was reminded of what Solomon had said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” It seems as if God’s people have been here before. Is it too late for us to learn from history?
I love the Word of God, especially in the rhythm and Truth of the King James Version. But this morning, after reading from the King James, I checked out Lamentations from “The Message Bible”, which is NOT a valid interpretation of the Word of God. But I feel that the descriptions written below paint a vivid picture of what the judgment of God looks like when it befalls a nation.
With a world in turmoil and teetering on the precipice of financial collapse is it possible that what the Spirit of the Lord wrote through the Prophet Jeremiah in 586 BC regarding the destruction of Jerusalem is a warning to us today of what happens when a nation forgets God? We think God loves us more because we are “Christians.”
How gold is treated like dirt, the finest gold thrown out with the garbage, priceless jewels scattered all over, jewels loose in the gutters. And the people of Zion, once prized, far surpassing their weight in gold, are now treated like cheap pottery, like everyday pots and bowls, mass-produced by a potter.
Even wild jackals nurture their babies; give them their breasts to suckle. But my people have turned cruel to their babies, like an ostrich in the wilderness. Babies have nothing to drink. Their tongues stick to the roofs of their mouths. Little children ask for bread but no one gives them so much as a crust.
People used to the finest cuisine forage for food in the streets. People used to the latest in fashions pick through the trash for something to wear. The evil guilt of my dear people was worse than the sin of Sodom—The city was destroyed in a flash, and no one around to help.
The splendid and sacred nobles once glowed with health. Their bodies were robust and ruddy, their beards like carved stone. But now they are smeared with soot, unrecognizable in the street, their bones sticking out, their skin dried out like old leather. Better to have been killed in battle than killed by starvation. Better to have died of battle wounds than to slowly starve to death.
and kindly women boiled their own children for supper. This was the
only food in town when my dear people were broken. God let all his anger
loose, held nothing back.
He poured out his raging wrath. He set a fire in Zion that burned it to the ground.
The kings of the earth couldn't believe it. World rulers were in shock, watching old enemies march in big as you please, right through Jerusalem's gates. Because of the sins of her prophets and the evil of her priests, who exploited good and trusting people, robbing them of their lives,
These prophets and priests blindly grope their way through the streets, grimy and stained from their dirty lives, wasted by their wasted lives, shuffling from fatigue, dressed in rags.
People yell at them, "Get out of here, dirty old men! Get lost, don't touch us, don't infect us!" They have to leave town. They wander off. Nobody wants them to stay here. Everyone knows, wherever they wander, that they've been kicked out of their own hometown. God himself scattered them. No longer does he look out for them. He has nothing to do with the priests; He cares nothing for the elders.
We watched and watched, wore our eyes out looking for help. And nothing. We mounted our lookouts and looked for the help that never showed up. They tracked us down, those hunters. It wasn't safe to go out in the street. Our end was near, our days numbered. We were doomed.
They came after us faster than eagles in flight, pressed us hard in the mountains, ambushed us in the desert. Our king, our life's breath, the anointed of God, was caught in their traps—Our king under whose protection we always said we'd live.
Celebrate while you can, O Edom! Live it up in Uz! For it won't be long before you drink this cup, too. You'll find out what it's like to drink God's wrath, get drunk on God's wrath and wake up with nothing, stripped naked. And that's it for you, Zion. The punishment's complete. You won't have to go through this exile again. But Edom, your time is coming: He'll punish your evil life, put all your sins on display.
"Remember, God, all we've been through. Study our plight, the black mark we've made in history. Our precious land has been given to outsiders, our homes to strangers. Orphans we are, not a father in sight, and our mothers no better than widows. We have to pay to drink our own water. Even our firewood comes at a price. We're nothing but slaves, bullied and bowed, worn out and without any rest. We sold ourselves to Assyria and Egypt just to get something to eat.
Our parents sinned and are no more, and now we're paying for the wrongs they did.
Slaves rule over us; there's no escape from their grip. We risk our lives to gather food in the bandit-infested desert. Our skin has turned black as an oven, dried out like old leather from the famine. Our wives were raped in the streets in Zion, and our virgins in the cities of Judah. They hanged our princes by their hands, dishonored our elders.
young men were put to women's work, mere boys forced to do men's work.
The city gate is empty of wise elders. Music from the young is heard no more.
All the joy is gone from our hearts. Our dances have turned into dirges. The crown of glory has toppled from our head.
Woe! Woe! Would that we'd never sinned! Because of all this we're heartsick; we can't see through the tears. On Mount Zion, wrecked and ruined, jackals pace and prowl.
And yet, God, you're sovereign still, your throne intact and eternal.
So why do you keep forgetting us? Why dump us and leave us like this?
Bring us back to you, God—we're ready to come back. Give us a fresh start. As it is, you've cruelly disowned us. You've been so very angry with us."
It starts in the pulpits my friends. The only thing that can save us from the wrath to come is a Church heart-broken over her sin-sick condition. We must put away all of the church-growth gimmicks, and seeker-sensitive slop, and cry for mercy to the only one who can stem the tide.
What if the churches in America called for a solemn fast? What if every Christian in America went a week without food…appealing to a merciful God? Perhaps if we fast and pray now, we will be able to eat in the future.
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The thought of “nice and kindly” mothers eating their babies is unthinkable. So was abortion fifty years ago.
If God’s Grace is amazing, what must His wrath look like? I don’t think I want to know.
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