Friday, October 9, 2020

An Understanding of the Times

 "And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do..."  I Chronicles 12:32

I have been immensely enjoying reading Zach's Bible college Scripture requirements aloud with him, and oh, the conversations we have about our reading!  We both find it so interesting that we are reading so much of the minor prophets' writings while facing this upcoming presidential election, and I will tell you the truth.  There are times, I have to stop reading because my eyes are so full of tears, I can hardly see.  The burden that lays upon my heart continually is an echo of what I am reading, and I am astonished at the similarities between those Old Testament prophets' situations and what we are facing in America today.  My heart just breaks repeatedly, and I seem to get little relief when I pray.  I know we are supposed to lay our burdens at the feet of Jesus and leave them there, and believe me, I do try to do that.  Every.  Single.  Day.  But, after I leave my place of prayer, the heaviness seems to quickly return to my spirit, and I find myself in tears again crying out to God for mercy upon our nation.

You will know, if you've spent much time with me here over the past nine years (YES, Homespun Devotions just passed its nine-year anniversary on October 1st!) that I care deeply about our country.  The sadness I continually feel as I watch the moral decline and spiritual deterioration is something I cannot put into words.  The only way I can describe it is a deep spiritual anguish.  I am heartbroken to see all that is happening, and the rapid speed of the progression of evil.

Oh, the heaviness that envelops my spirit as I think of the blatant sins we have come to condone and even celebrate!  How have we drifted so far from our Judeo-Christian roots?  How have we lost our spiritual vision?  How has the enemy of our souls managed to desensitize us to the exceeding sinfulness of sin (Romans 7:13)?  

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"  Isaiah 5:20

"Her priests have violated My law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them."  Ezekiel 22:26

"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."  Proverbs 29:18

I fear that we have become so lackadaisical, even apathetic, that our spiritual vision has become blurred.  It is hard for us to see that sin is still sin.  The truth of the matter is, God's Word has not changed.  We will still be judged by the same measure of holiness when we stand before the Judgment seat of Christ, no matter how accepting of evil the world around us becomes.

Oh, may God wake us up and open the eyes of our spiritual understanding!

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:  the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints."  Ephesians 1:17-18

May we put forth the necessary effort to anoint our eyes with spiritual eye salve, so we can clearly discern and see what God is so desperately trying to reveal.

"I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."  Revelation 3:18

May God raise up "men and women of Issachar" who have understanding of the times, to know what America ought to do!

"which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do..." I Chronicles 12:32

As Zach and I have read, some of the most moving parts have been the fervent prayers prayed by the Old Testament prophets.  You can literally feel the intensity of the burden upon their anguished hearts.  Here is the prayer of Daniel, and I found it interesting that before he prayed, he mentioned that he "understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet..."  This was a man whose spiritual eyes were wide open, who had an understanding of the times, and who had familiarized himself with the Word of God that came through the prophet, Jeremiah.

"In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments; we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgments: neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets, which spake in Thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.  O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto Thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against Thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against Him; neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed Thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey Thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him. And He hath confirmed His words, which He spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Thy truth. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all His works which He doeth: for we obeyed not His voice. And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought Thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten Thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Lord, according to all Thy righteousness, I beseech Thee, let Thine anger and Thy fury be turned away from Thy city Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of Thy servant, and his supplications, and cause Thy face to shine upon Thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. O my God, incline Thine ear, and hear; open Thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by Thy name: for we do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousnesses, but for Thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for Thine own sake, O my God: for Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name."  Daniel 9:2-19

I wanted to share Daniel's prayer as a template for our own prayers in this time of much-needed repentance and revival.  It would behoove us to insert the word "America" in the place of "Judah," "Jerusalem," and "Israel" and pray this prayer of repentance.  

Never before has there been a more important presidential election.  I believe with all my heart that America is on the brink of complete spiritual, moral, and possibly economic collapse.  If we don't turn back to God and VOTE for the leader who is most God-fearing, most supportive of life, and most protective of our religious liberties, we will reap remorse and sad consequences for a long time to come.  God's Word is true.  He will not be mocked.  There are grave repercussions for rebellion against Him.

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."  Galatians 6:7

We are facing spiritual warfare the likes of which we have not seen in our generation.  We are battling for the very heart and soul of America.  The damage appears to be irreversible, but if we repent and turn back to God, there is still hope!

"If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."  2 Chronicles 7:14

I was SO blessed and encouraged by watching the recent prayer march in Washington, D.C.  It is lengthy, but I hope you can take the time to watch it - it will truly inspire your hope to see so many who are diligently seeking God and humbling before Him in these troubled times.

Franklin Graham Prayer March 2020

I hope you will join me and so many others in a collective effort of humbling ourselves before His face as the upcoming election looms forebodingly over our heads.  God is our only hope.

In closing, here are a few songs that I hope will encourage your heart.

A Few Good Men - The Gaither Vocal Band

We Will Stand our Ground - The Kingdom Heirs

Just Preach Jesus - The Kingdom Heirs

Battle Cry - The Kingsmen

Battle Stand - The Old Paths

10 comments:

  1. I just want to say DITTO to your entire post. You put into words so well the anguish in my heart for our country, and indeed, the entire world. Satan is walking a victory march right now around this country of ours and it saddens my heart so much. But we know his victory is short-lived and he knows it too. OUR LORD AND KING REIGNS FOREVER! Satan cannot defeat Him. But oh my, the people who will go down to the depths with him grieves my spirit.
    Thank you for reminding us all once again and thank you so much for the links. I will listen to them all again.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Dear, sweet sister, your words of encouragement were such a blessing to me this morning. Knowing you are faithfully interceding on behalf of our country is such a comfort. May the Lord richly bless you for all you do.

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  2. I simply must echo Betsy's comment in saying my heart aches for this country, and I'm praying like never before for its preservation as the Judeo-Christian nation it was founded to be. And I will keep praying every single day, up to and through this coming election. I do believe that the Lord has given us President Trump for such a time as this, and I'm praying it's God's will that he is reelected.
    Blessings, Cheryl!

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    1. Your kind words and dedication to pray for President Trump and his re-election is such a comfort, sweet friend. I know without a doubt that God placed him here for such a time as this, too, and am pleading with Him to allow him to serve out four more years as our President. God bless you richly, my friend.

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  3. Thank you for conveying what a feel in my heart, also, Cheryl. I did watch some of that Prayer March on the day of it. I had a friend over today for lunch and we prayed for our country. I have also been doing a special 54 prayer crusade for the election. I think we are all trying to do our part for the welfare of our country. πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’™πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ❤️πŸ™πŸ»

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    1. That is so wonderful, Kitty. It is so encouraging to hear of so many who are carrying a burden for this election. God bless you, sweet friend.

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  4. Cheryl, I pray for our country...may all who follow Jesus be in prayer. Thank you for writing this post, so timely.

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    1. Yes, may we all be much in prayer. Thank you for your kind words and support, Pam. They truly mean so much to me.

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  5. Dear Cheryl, how I weep and pray with you for your nation, and I do for ours also. I think of that verse too “woe unto them that call evil good and good evil!!” And yes Jeremiah is not called the weeping prophet fir nothing, nor that quite from Daniel, it is one I pray also.
    I sent a text to my Christian friends only today asking them to pray for coming ejections and added yours on 3rd of Nov to list for prayer, praying for pro-life candidates especially.
    Sorry I’m so late getting around, since being so unwell with heart attack in June things are much slower but Lord knows.

    Thanks for Sharing, God bless and keep you safe, and all those you love, hugs Shaz in Oz.x

    {Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

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    1. Oh, sweet friend! I am SO sorry to hear of your heart attack. May God bless you and restore your health. I do hope you are feeling better. THANK YOU for your support, kind words of encouragement and most of all, your prayers for our nation. Sending much love and gratitude to you across the miles.

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