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426. “Give Us Barabbas”

“Give Us Barabbas”
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Never have I been drawn to a book of the Bible the way I was drawn to the book of Lamentations the day after the elections. Just as Jeremiah was lamenting over the fall of Jerusalem, I am in mourning over the fall of America. In case you think I’m overreacting, wait four more years and you can see for yourself. America as we know it is finished. Barring a miracle, Mr. Obama will pull out all the stops until he has brought America to her knees. I am stunned that a majority of Americans thought four more years of economic disaster, moral free fall, freedom erosion, sovereignty stripping, enemy embracing, and God mocking would be a good idea. God gave us an opportunity to change course and to win back His favor, but we choose otherwise. Americans have shouted, “Give us Barabbas.” I see no reason why God should not remove His hand of protection from us (as a nation) and judge us as our sins deserve.

I suggest you read through the book of Lamentations (It’s right after Jeremiah) substituting America for Israel, Judah, and Jacob. It’s a sobering exercise. Here’s a verse that stood out to me:

All your enemies have opened their mouths against you; they hiss and gnash their teeth. They say, “We have swallowed her up! Surely this is the day we have waited for; we have found it, we have seen it.” The LORD has done what He purposed; He has fulfilled His word which he commanded in days of old. He has thrown down and has not pitied, and He has caused your enemy to rejoice over you; He has exalted the horn of adversaries (Lam. 2:16-17).

Surely, the entire Muslim world is rejoicing over Barack Obama’s reelection.

My INBOX is already full of excuses-what Romney did wrong -what the Republicans did wrong- how the Democrats fraudulently stacked the election (which may be true)-and a host of other misdirected commentary. God is sovereign and He can achieve the results He wants whether there’s cheating or not and regardless of someone’s flawed strategy. The fact of the matter is that politics will never solve America’s problems. That is not to say that Christians should avoid politics. Far from it. John Jay, the first chief justice of the Supreme Court once said, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers and it is the duty as well as the privilege of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for its rulers.” We should be setting such a godly standard that people would want us as leaders. I’m afraid that hasn’t been the case. Politics is the vehicle through which a nation is represented and governed, but when a nation has turned against God, politics isn’t the answer. The answer lies with the Church.

AS I SEE IT
The Church is God’s chosen vehicle for influencing a hopelessly lost world, but it has been asleep at the wheel. I have feared that it would take a strong dose of persecution the wake the American Church out of its slumber. Throughout the world, persecution has forced the Church underground and has resulted in phenomenal growth. I read recently that the underground church in China has over 200 million members! There’s something about survival that forces you take stock of what you believe and how fervently you believe it. When you finally realize that your faith is the most important thing in your life, your life drastically changes. Your priorities change. Your values change. You become like the members of the Early Church who daily risked becoming lion food.

Christians across America can be sure that persecution in some form is coming. We are a threat to Barack Obama’s agenda. It won’t be long until sermons will be monitored and the Christian message will become hate speech. That’s the bad news, but it’s also the good news. If this is what it takes for the Church to finally wake up, then it’s actually a good thing. Jesus told Peter, “…I will build My church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). I believe what is in store is nothing less than the Lord Jesus taking the final steps to build His Church. He will be separating the wheat from the chaff. He will weed out those who are simply playing church. I believe He will greatly empower those who are serious about His business:
but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits (Dan. 11:32)
As disappointed as I am over the election, I believe we are in for some exciting times. God has placed us here at this point in time for a reason. It’s time to buckle up. For now, as Jeremiah ended his Book of Lamentations, we cry out on behalf of America:

“Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; renew our days as of old, unless you have utterly rejected us, and are very angry with us!”

*****

For some insight into what went wrong, check out this 1948 Cartoon. It appears that we haven’t learned anything since then.

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