The Judgement & Destiny of Nations!
Who Runs the World?
Friday, July 11, 2008
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Hello everyone: this is Paul Billington with a somewhat late edition of the Bible in the News for this week. We should present this on Thursdays, but circumstances hindered us this week, so here I am rather late on Friday July 11th seeking to fulfill my obligation for this week. Well, we began the day today--as we do most days--by reading a portion of Scripture. We follow a Bible reading scheme that covers the whole Bible in a year--reading through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice.
This morning we began reading the prophecy of Jeremiah. The first chapter was the alloted portion. It was interesting to note from verse 5 that Jeremiah was ordained "a prophet unto the nations." So what he has to say is relevant to a very wide audience! Verse 10 is worthy of notice as well. It reads:
"See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant."
So Jeremiah tells us of the future of nations and of kingdoms--of their rise and of their fall. This is enlarged upon later in Jeremiah's prophecy, for when we come to chapter 18:7-10 we read this:
"At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them."
This teaches us that the rise and fall of nations are not just chance happenings. National prosperity and power are directly linked to the behaviour of a nation, and to its response to the word of God. This is a principle that governs God's dealings with Gentile nations, and it is He who brings upon them what they deserve.
This can be seen again from the prophecy of Daniel, chapter 4, verse 17, where it is written:
"... the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."
It is important that we recognize the fact that this principle applies just as much today--in our modern democratic nations--just as much as it did in ancient times. Nations and people throughout history have been subject to the authority and judgement of God.
One writer to recognize the truth of this was the man who translated the Bible into English, William Tyndale. In a "Supplication to the King, Nobles, and Subjects of England," in about 1536 Tyndale wrote:
"Further, of all the subjects of England this I crave--that they repent; for the cause of evil rulers is the sin of the subjects, as testifieth the Scripture. And the cause of false preachers is, that the people have no love unto the truth, saith Paul, in 2 Thess. 2."
This is especially true in a democracy such as we have today. When people vote and put into power corrupt rulers, they get what they asked for. They get what they deserve.
Let us not forget that even Adolph Hitler was brought to power through the democratic process.
The corrupt leadership in modern Israel was brought to power through the same process. Olmert and the present Kadima Party in Israel are there because the voice of the people put them there.
So it is that in Jeremiah chapter one, we see how the nations would be brought to fulfill the word of the prophet. As the prophet beholds the vision before him he sees the word is to be hastened (verse 12), and he sees a boiling pot. And speaking of the corrupt nation of Israel in his day there follows a prophecy of coming judgement:
" Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah. And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands."
As we read on in this prophecy of Jeremiah we shall learn of the judgements that were brought upon the nation of Judah. It was a terrible time, for the nations did come against them, led by Babylon.
Well, today, we see the repeat of all this. Once again the nations and kingdoms are to be gathered against Jerusalem to battle (as Zechariah 14 and other prophecies tell us). In these latter days this will be Russia, Europe, Iran and others. "All the families of the kingdoms of the north" are to come against Jerusalem to take a spoil and to take a prey. The modern democratic state of Israel will be demolished. But that is not the end of the story.
As we read on in Jeremiah we learn that Babylon and those nations that demolished ancient Jerusalem, were themselves to be soon demolished. Babylon would become "heaps." So it will be again when "Babylon the Great" (Rev. 17) is judged.
So it is that Israel and the world today is approaching a time of trouble such as never was (Daniel 12:1; Luke 21:26 and so forth). It is approaching Armageddon.
But upon the ruins of this corrupt society the Lord Jesus will establish a kingdom of righteousness and holiness. The invitation of the Gospel is for us to join him in that kingdom, the restored kingdom of Israel. But we can only do that if we fit in. We ourselves must develop righteousness and holiness so that we can be "at home" as it were, in the kingdom of Christ.
As we see the day approaching let us prepare ourselves under the instruction of the Bible, and in the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that we may enter into the joy of our Lord.
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Printed: Friday, July 11, 2008
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