by Eugene Higgins
Clearing our minds – 10, 3. 2, 1
For ten’s sake … (Gen 18:32).
Though these three men … (Eze 14:14).
Though Moses and Samuel … (Jer 15:1).
He might gather together in One all things in Christ … (Eph 1:10).
Surely it ranks as one of the Old Testament’s most remarkable passages! As recorded in Genesis 18, God, having disclosed to Abraham His purposes for the cities of the plains, allows Himself to be addressed by that “friend of God.” Pleading with God on the basis of God’s own righteous character, conscious that he – Abraham – was nothing but “dust and ashes,” aware that he was addressing the Judge of all the Earth, Abraham pleads for sinners. Those who educe from this pericope that Abraham stopped asking before the Lord stopped giving must indeed be mighty prayer warriors themselves! My fear is that rather than continuing to pray beyond Abraham’s requests, we, or at least I, would never have started at all.
Tuesday, November 3, is election day in the United States. I happen to be in the same two locations I was 4 years ago (Connecticut on the day of, and Maine on the night of, the election). I recall thinking in 2016 that that election was monumentally important for the course of the nation. (It was.) But it seems as though the gravity of elections during these troublous times only deepens as we near the end of the age. Some non-Americans may read this and assume that I must feel that my country is somehow more important than others. But I am looking at my country, and this election, through the filter of Israel’s future and God’s prophetic plan. Please bear with me.
Whatever unhappiness some may feel about President Trump’s character, he has been unswervingly pro-Israel and has done for that nation what previous presidents – of both parties – merely promised to do but never did. God, in turn, has promised to bless those who bless Israel. And God always keeps His promises. Whether that blessing will take the form of four more years in office, (sadly with its blistering, unrelenting, public criticism from all sides) or whether that blessing will be in the form of some private, unseen blessing, I cannot tell. But God will assuredly keep His Word.
As to the election, do not be deceived – this is not a normal election any more than it has been a peaceful approach to the day itself. It presents us with questions that we can certainly ask. But they are questions the answers to which are known to God alone and are part of His “unsearchable judgments” and ways that are “past finding out.” Here are some of them:
- Are we that close to the coming of the Lord Jesus that God will need to wean Israel away from its dependence on the US, causing it to look elsewhere for protection and support, as it will, of course, in the first part of Daniel’s 70th week?
- Is the crippling of the United States of America, (something that may have been very difficult from an outside power but now seems like child’s play from within) necessary for the eventual rise of the 10-kingdom confederacy and the inevitable supremacy of the Beast, as it will in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week?
- Is the moral and societal decline in this country necessary for the ascendance of Europe militarily, financially, and politically so that it becomes, as the prophets foretold, the center of the vast financial empire of the Beast, enabling him through Satanic deception to gather all nations against Israel, as he will near the end of Daniel’s 70th week.?
- Are we still at a stage where for 10 righteous, the Lord will show mercy, or have we gone beyond that to where even men the caliber of Noah, Daniel, and Job could not avert the coming storm nor could the mighty prayers of men like Moses and Samuel?
Just where we are on God’s calendar of events for this world is, of course, known only to Himself. To us, as well, the Lord Jesus says, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power.”What does devolve on us is submission, prayerfulness, and a clarity as to our position as believers.
Submission: Believers should never be recalcitrant or rebellious. Resistance to “the powers that be” is only warranted when those authorities demand that we disobey God. Aware that they are “ordained by God,” we are called on to submit to every ordinance of man,” unless a point is reached where “we must obey God rather than men.”
Prayerfulness: We are called on to pray “for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.”
Clarity: Notice in Hebrews 11 that, rather than faith’s being “blind,” as many unconverted think, faith “sees” what the world does not. It gives evidence to “things not seen.” Noah saw the unseen storm. Abraham saw the unseen city. Moses saw the unseen Sovereign and had respect unto (“saw”) the recompense of the reward. The summation was that “these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” We need to maintain that character – strangers and pilgrims – and to always remember that we are merely passing through on the way to our heavenly home. That requires us, similarly, to have clear vision: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
We are rapidly nearing the end of this church age. Just as He moved the entire Roman world to prepare for the birth of the Lord at Bethlehem, so God is moving history toward the moment when His Son will receive honor in the very world that cast Him out and crucified Him. What ten righteous may not be able to do, what would be beyond the ability of three men like Noah, Daniel, and Job to accomplish, what even the prayers of two men like Moses and Samuel could not effect, God can and will do because of One, His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus. God has eternal purposes for that One Person. God will work for the honor of His Son, for the fulfilling of His promises to highly exalt Him, and to give Him universal and eternal dominion. “The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.” How eagerly we should look for the fulfilling of those purposes! How earnestly we should love His appearing! How sincerely we should repeat the words of John, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
“And all the people said, Amen” (1Ch 16:36).