… to get our attention.
“The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord… The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble… the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16: 1, 4 & 9 (ESV)
Many now believe western countries, including the US are under God’s judgement.
We can see evidence from the insanity of society which turns the most basics of knowledge, much of which is scientifically proven, as if it no longer exists. But that’s not all. National borders are suddenly non-existent, rising inflation, increasing crime, drug addiction and suicides, and astonishingly weak leadership.
We are following in the footsteps of ancient Israel when God judged her time and again when she chose to turn from God to worship other gods, and gave in to their sinful nature and desires.
And all of it can be traced back to the actions of Man himself.
God can surely use the natural world to punish his wayward children such as droughts, floods, volcanoes, famines, pestilence, and earthquakes. And yes, even eclipses and other signs in the sky.
Yet I’ve discovered he often seems to prefer (or at least start with) guiding Man’s steps, to harden his heart (such as Pharaoh during the time of Moses) into acting in ways contrary to logic, compassion, and intelligence.
Hence why I started this entry with those particular verses (and I also recommend reading the entire thing. It gives not only a warning to those who turn from God, but a hope for those who do turn back).
The most important verses, however, are the ones that show God’s sovereignty, even in the midst of so much fear, uncertainty, and evil.
Does that mean God is committing evil acts? Not at all!
Those more versed in scripture may know more and possibly disagree with this next statement (and they are more than welcome to), but someone once told me that when God “hardens one’s heart,” it means he’s strengthening it. The one thus hardened is less inclined to be influenced by others, no matter how reasonable.
It’s important to note that, regardless of what “hardening” means, the one hardened still made a choice and is therefore responsible for how he/she acts. God’s not interested in turning people into puppets. Only Man tries to do that.
Paul continued to warn us against turning from God in Romans 1:22-25 (ESV): “Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in their lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed Forever! Amen.”
While Paul is speaking of Rome in particular, the parallels get even more stark by—again—reading the entire chapter.
Does that mean we are headed toward destruction like Israel faced multiple times, and we are as such without hope? As a society and a country, maybe. Yet I also think we are not too far gone so we are unable to turn things around (see what happened to Nineveh in the book of Jonah).
Still, even if we can’t turn around as a nation, we as individuals can always turn to God and thus be assured that our eternal future is secure.
Because God is sovereign, he can be trusted to protect our immortal soul from eternal harm on this temporary earth.