By: Jim O'Brien
Walking through a museum in St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the U.S., I was intrigued by several books on the history of St. Augustine. It was established in 1565, long before Jamestown, Virginia or Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts. The writer used that otherwise ancillary fact to accuse Christians of stealing the gods of indigenous people.
Early settlers committed a lot of crimes—as do modern intellectuals—but the absurdity of this accusation is laughable. White people stole the "gods" of indigenous people? It demonstrates the lack of commitment by Christians to the God of the Bible—who gave us life. But it also raises a deeper question. What god has contributed more to civilization than the God of the Bible? Can a man be considered intelligent if he doesn’t understand this simple truth?
This isn’t a new sin. The history of the Children of God is the most important study of any culture that has ever existed. Maybe that is why God gave His people a written alphabet before any other culture had the printed word so that complex subjects could be condensed onto scrolls. It was important for man to have a written history so later generations could understand how God deals with man.
God made a solemn promise to Israel after He brought them out of slavery in Egypt. He pledged to make them the richest and greatest nation that existed—IF they would keep His commandments. God said that Israel would enter other lands and possess that land—land that had been given to other people (Deuteronomy 4:5). That’s an astounding promise, but it recognizes that that is what all nations do. Israel would do it better than the others. And, after all, God owns the earth and has the right to give the land to whomever He chooses. When a people sin, He has the right to take the land back from them.
But there was a much deeper purpose God had in mind. God promised to bless Israel so much that other nations would stand in envy of their system of justice. If Israel would obey His laws, they would be a shining example "of your wisdom and understanding to the nations," and other nations would say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people" (Deuteronomy 4:6). Other nations would be challenged to answer the question, "What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?" (verse 7).
The history of Israel is fairly simple and inexorably repetitive. They went in and out of slavery for the next several hundred years. The principle that we can learn from Israel’s history is this—the nation that obeys God will prosper. The nation that rejects God will descend into immorality, followed by political corruption which will lead to chaos that inevitably results in enslavement to stronger nations.
Reading the irrational statements pulled from books in the St. Augustine museum brought a chilling reminder of the insanity of a proposed addition to the curriculum in California schools. A recent headline on MSNBC stated, "Proposed California School Curriculum Will Have Students Worship Aztec Gods of Human Sacrifice and Cannibalism." Even MSNBC seems to recognize the absurdity of the proposal by California educators.
If Israel went into slavery for abandoning their God, can America escape the same fate?
One can make the legitimate argument that America is already in a sort of semi-slavery to China. Their economy is outpacing the U.S. economy and the dollar may soon be replaced as the world standard. The Chinese navy has recently surpassed the American navy, even while America is implementing an LBGTQ social engineering agenda. The family of the U.S. president is indebted to the Chinese government. Our leading universities are being bought by them. Is it possible that America is headed for enslavement to the Chinese?
As major cities burn, Americans should be concerned about slavery—the one that is at our doorstep that will not discriminate between economic classes, races, sexual orientation or political ideology. It will be the most non-discriminating, equal opportunity tyrant that Americans have ever seen.
Students of the Bible understand that God is our Father. Even among men, we recognize the right of the father to discipline his children. God chastises His children, but it is balanced with mercy. When Solomon dedicated the temple, God was so pleased that He promised, "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14).
Let the people who are called by God’s name look to God and rely on His mercy.
Until next time,
Pastor, Church of God Cincinnati
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