As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. –Matthew 24:37-39.
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. –Matthew 24:36-37.
Question: Has God removed His restraining hand from the United States?
We have always had natural disasters. Think Columbus Day Storm 1962. This was the only hurricane to strike the state of Oregon, but it tore up much of the state.
In my hometown of Junction City, it caused a fire that burned Farmer’s Warehouse to the ground and almost destroyed the entire city. Rain came just in time to spare it. Thank God for His restraining hand! A tower on one of the buildings on the campus of Oregon College of Education (today, Western Oregon University) in Monmouth was ripped off. The picture of it was on the front page of almost every newspaper in the country—and out. Nobody was injured. Thank God for His restraining hand.
I saw it the next day as the lead story in “The Stars & Stripes” newspaper in Darmstadt, Germany.
There have always been massive tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, such as Mt. St. Helens in 1980. But recently there has been one catastrophic event after another.
Hurricane Florence came through the Carolinas flooding more than the good people in that area had ever seen. Right behind it was Hurricane Michael tearing whole cities out, almost beyond restoration, and before that, the Big Island of Hawaii, had a volcanic eruption that burned out forests, houses and destroyed major highways.
I could go on and on, but it does seem that God has removed his restraining hand from this great nation.
It is far from the first time God has removed His hand of protection.
Think Pharaoh and his chariots as they plunged in between the waters piled up on either side of them as they began to cross the Red Sea. God’s hand had literally restrained the water, both sides, as the Israelites went across on dry land.
But once Pharaoh and his troops were halfway through, God removed his hand and the waters poured over them destroying them.
Time and again, in ancient Israel, God protected the people from harm. In one instance though, their grumbling and complaining got so bad that the hand that had protected them in the wilderness from poisonous snakes removed it. People were being bitten and dying. It was so bad Moses asked God to stop this plague.
Sometimes it seems as though we are living the way people did in the days of Noah. Even the church is not immune to the decadence of modern society. Recent exposure of the enormity of sexual sin has brought it all to the big screen of our minds. Protestants can be hard on the Roman Catholics over the scandal that is plaguing them; but there’s been plenty of sexual misconduct and deception within the Protestant churches as well. To quote the Apostle, “Brethren, these things should not be!”
In far too many churches, the issue is often as it was in Pleasanttown Community Church in the book, The Perils and Parables of Pastor Preechet. It was a matter of “Who’s in control here?”
As you read the book, you might want to ask yourself, “Who is in control?” in some of the situations posed, or at the very least, “Who thinks he/she is in control?”
I’m not trying to stir up doom and gloom here. I’m looking for solutions to the issues I’ve addressed thus far, and we don’t have to look any further than God’s message to King Solomon in II Chronicles 7:14. It starts with God’s people.
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, (then) I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.
The answer is clear and straightforward. Our part of this equation is to humbly bow before God and pray. This is not a one-minute “now I lay me down to sleep” sort of prayer. This is pouring our hearts out to God in repentance as we plead with Him, and wrestle with truly getting to know Him intimately with a willingness to turn from our sin. It is giving up our compulsions, our cravings, our pleasures, our idleness, and taking in all the love and joy and peace and goodness He so freely gives to bring healing to the troubled souls all around us.
Will you join me as together, we relinquish our determination to be the masters of our fate and the captains of our souls?