‘Not my king’ — ‘Not my president’

The Israelites probably said Sennacherib was “not my king.” The Judeans no doubt felt the same about Nebuchadnezzar. But the pagan armies of Assyria and Babylon overran both kingdoms, destroyed their cities, and dragged the people into exile.

“Flight of the Prisoners” by Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836-1902)

And God’s prophets were clear: The fall of the kingdoms was the fault of God’s people themselves. They repeatedly refused to live God’s way. They stubbornly insisted on living like their pagan neighbors. For their disobedience, God finally delivered his judgment and the kingdoms were destroyed.

The United States are anything but united. This election proves it once again. But the blame for division and hatred should not be laid on the pagans (of both parties) overrunning the country. The blame lies with God’s people, and their refusal to obey his commands, their insistence on blending in with their pagan neighbors instead of living “set apart” for God’s purposes.

We have chased the American Dream, instead of pursuing the Kingdom of God. We have preached a fragmentary Gospel in search of converts, instead of making disciples who make disciples. We have not loved our neighbor the way we love ourselves. We have not even loved each other the way Christ loved us. And when the Spirit of God left our temples, we cooked up circus experiences and told people their emotional highs were the work of God’s Spirit.

It does not matter who wins this election. The barbarians have conquered the country. Like the people of God carried off into exile, we worship money, power, and sex — just like our pagan neighbors. And the collapse of our religious institutions mirrors the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. When judgment begins, it begins with the people of God.

Perhaps you voted for Sennacherib. Maybe you cast your ballot for Nebuchadnezzar. It doesn’t matter. We have taken on the Lord’s name in vain. We have dishonored the Almighty by tolerating — even participating in — the slaughter of innocents, the indecency of promiscuity, the normalization of perversion, and the oppression of the poor. The barbarian conquest will proceed, and (once again) the righteous will be swept away with the wicked.

Destruction will be our reminder of the majesty, holiness, and power of the Almighty. Humility before him will be the fruit of our humiliation before the world.

Yet there is hope. God’s judgment must be completed, but a remnant (again) will survive. And the healing of the land will await the confession, repentance, and obedience of those who would be his people.

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Don’t cast your pearls before swine

“People who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 NLT)
Some of us elders have spent much of our careers trying to mobilize “church people” for the kingdom of God. We called for people to be “on mission with God” when most preferred pagan pastimes. We pled for donations to kingdom causes but most chose to spend money on themselves. We might as well have been working the cemetery.
Some of you younger ones are wasting precious time in the same way. Don’t cast your pearls before swine. Find those who are spiritual and teach them the Spirit’s truths. Search out the ones willing to deny themselves and make disciples. The Lord is preparing judgment that will begin with his people. Wheat will be separated from chaff and weeds uprooted. Pour yourself into those who have ears to hear. Night is coming.
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