Did you notice that the stock market collapse on September 29, 2008, totaled 777 points and occurred on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year? From my viewpoint, it appears to be a judgment on our nation that has the fingerprints of God all over it.
Keep in mind that President George W. Bush was the first president to propose the establishment of a Palestinian state, and for the past month he has had his Secretary of State in the Middle East trying to force the Israelis to give up their heartland.
The Word of God warns that nations who try to divide Israel in the end times will pay a terrible price. In Joel 3:2 the Lord says that He will "enter into judgment" against those nations that "have divided up My land."
We have sold out Israel for Arab oil, and we are paying the price.
But our treatment of Israel is not the only reason for this remedial judgment. Our worship of money is the other reason.
In my book "America the Beautiful? The United States in Bible Prophecy" published in 2003, I presented several scenarios that could explain the absence of the United States in end time Bible prophecy. They included such things as an internal nuclear attack by terrorists, an external nuclear attack from another nation, and a societal collapse due to internal moral rot. The only positive scenario I could conceive was the destruction of our nation due to the Rapture of the Church.
The very first scenario I offered was an economic one. I put it first because it was the one I felt was most probable. Here's what I wrote:
"The first thing that comes to mind is an economic catastrophe that will result from our out of control debt situation. The official outstanding debt of the U.S. government is currently 6.2 trillion dollars. That amounts to $21,540 per person. This debt is increasing at the rate of 1.1 billion per day! Private debt is even more horrendous. At the beginning of the 21st Century, there was a staggering $25.6 trillion of credit market debt outstanding in the U.S. That total represents a doubling of the debt burden since 1990. America's total debt, public and private (including state and local government) stands at around $32 trillion dollars! That's $115,322 per man, woman, and child. Amazingly, 52% of this debt was accumulated in the 1990s, a decade driven primarily by debt instead of productivity.
There is no way to escape the conclusion that America has become a debt junkie. We are living on money we do not have and will never have, and sooner or later the weight of this debt is going to collapse our economy. One irony is that we have killed 50 million babies who could have been in the work force today contributing to our economic health by producing goods and services and paying taxes.
I believe an unprecedented economic collapse is highly likely because money is the real god of America, and the true God of this universe is a jealous One who does not tolerate idolatry. God, by His very nature, is going to be compelled to destroy our false god."
We are a nation driven by greed. The mortgage debacle which has caused the current crisis is due first of all to greedy people wanting to live in houses they could not afford. They were serviced by greedy banks who were willing to grant loans they knew the people could not pay because the banks intended to flip the loans quickly, making a fast profit. And all the while, greedy politicians were willing to look the other way while their campaigns received money from the greedy lenders who they were supposed to be regulating.
Republicans have run for office for years as fiscal conservatives, vowing to take good care of taxpayer's money. Yet, when they gained control of Congress, they fed at the money trough like ravenous hogs, and President Bush looked the other way, refusing to exercise his veto power. The result is that our national debt continued to skyrocket.
Greed motivates big business, big labor, big sports, and big religion. Every aspect of our society is infected with it. Relentless advertising encourages people to live beyond their means by relying on credit cards.
One sobering result of the current economic debacle is that it has made it almost impossible for John McCain to be elected, meaning that our nation is most likely going to receive the kind of leaders we deserve. We could well end up with the most liberal president in our history, one intent on expanding abortion to include infanticide, determined to retreat internationally from the threat and challenge of Islamic terrorism, and committed to packing our Supreme Court with ultra-liberals who will hold our Constitution in contempt.
The Bible teaches that when a nation rebels against God, He will first raise up prophetic voices to call the nation to repentance. The Lord did that years ago here in America when he began to call for national repentance through voices like Dave Wilkerson who also warned us in graphic language of the consequences if we refused to repent.
When prophetic voices are ignored, God always resorts next to remedial judgments, which increase in ferocity over time. We have experienced a whole series of such judgments, beginning with our loss of the Vietnam War. Other judgments have included such things as natural disasters, epidemics, crop failures, political corruption, crime, and immorality. According to Romans 1, what God does in times of national rebellion is lower the hedge of protection around the nation and allow evil to multiply.
The biggest wake-up call occurred with the attacks on 9/11. But like a sleepy person, we just rolled over, hit the snooze alarm, and went back to sleep.
The most disturbing thing about all this is that the Bible teaches that when a nation refuses to repent in response to prophetic voices and remedial judgments, a point will ultimately come when God will deliver the nation from judgment to destruction. Our nation currently appears to be on that threshold.
Let us pray for our nation as we have never prayed before. Let each of us pray prayers like the one Daniel prayed in Daniel chapter 9, where he took the sins of the nation upon himself and asked for forgiveness. After all, all of us are responsible to one degree or another for the sins of our nation, either due to our participation in them or our unwillingness to speak out against them. Let us pray for God to show us grace by not giving us the kind of leaders we deserve. And let's pray for a national revival that will sweep many people into the Lord's kingdom before it is too late.