Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On a Proverbial soapbox

Most conservatives will agree that America is in decline and has been for some time.  A complete change out of Washington, DC will not fix our ailments but it may buy enough time for individuals to repent and right their own ship before the impending destruction hits.  And if you don’t think Washington will change any time soon, you have even less time to anchor your soul.
My pastor (12Stone Church) and a good friend and relative (Ginger Burgess) have challenged me to read a chapter of Proverbs each day.  I was amazed at how the integrity of a nation’s leadership controls its destiny. 
Check out these passages clipped from Proverbs 28 and 29 in the Holman Christian Standard version: (Which headlines come to mind as you read through each one?)

Proverbs 28:2-28 (HCSB)
2 When a land is in rebellion, it has many rulers, but with a discerning and knowledgeable person, it endures.
3 A destitute leader who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no food.
4 Those who reject the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law battle against them.
5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand everything.
6 Better a poor man who lives with integrity than a rich man who distorts right and wrong.
9 Anyone who turns his ear away from hearing the law— even his prayer is detestable.
10 The one who leads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will inherit what is good.
11 A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him.
12 When the righteous triumph, there is great rejoicing, but when the wicked come to power, people hide themselves.
13 The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.
14 Happy is the one who is always reverent, but one who hardens his heart falls into trouble.
15 A wicked ruler over a helpless people is like a roaring lion or a charging bear.
16 A leader who lacks understanding is very oppressive, but one who hates dishonest profit prolongs his life.
18 The one who lives with integrity will be helped, but one who distorts right and wrong will suddenly fall.
21 It is not good to show partiality— yet a man may sin for a piece of bread.
25 A greedy person provokes conflict, but whoever trusts in the LORD will prosper.
26 The one who trusts in himself is a fool, but one who walks in wisdom will be safe.
27 The one who gives to the poor will not be in need, but one who turns his eyes away will receive many curses.
28 When the wicked come to power, people hide, but when they are destroyed, the righteous flourish.

Proverbs 29:1-27 (HCSB)
1 One who becomes stiff-necked, after many reprimands will be shattered instantly— beyond recovery.
2 When the righteous flourish, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, people groan. 
4 By justice a king brings stability to a land, but a man who demands “contributions” demolishes it. 
6 An evil man is caught by sin, but the righteous one sings and rejoices.
7 The righteous person knows the rights of the poor, but the wicked one does not understand these concerns.
8 Mockers inflame a city, but the wise turn away anger.
9 If a wise man goes to court with a fool, there will be ranting and raving but no resolution.
10 Bloodthirsty men hate an honest person, but the upright care about him.
12 If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials will be wicked.
14 A king who judges the poor with fairness— his throne will be established forever.
16 When the wicked increase, rebellion increases, but the righteous will see their downfall.
18 Without revelation people run wild, but one who listens to instruction will be happy.
20 Do you see a man who speaks too soon? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
21 A slave pampered from his youth will become arrogant later on.
22 An angry man stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered man increases rebellion.
23 A person’s pride will humble him, but a humble spirit will gain honor.
24 To be a thief’s partner is to hate oneself; he hears the curse but will not testify.
25 The fear of man is a snare, but the one who trusts in the LORD is protected.
26 Many seek a ruler’s favor, but a man receives justice from the LORD.
27 An unjust man is detestable to the righteous, and one whose way is upright is detestable to the wicked.

Judgment begins with the household of God so we must repent individually if we expect God to intervene. 

2 Chronicles 7:13-15 (HCSB)
13 If I close the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on My people,
14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
15 My eyes will now be open and My ears attentive to prayer from this place.
These words were given to Solomon who penned the above Proverbs.  Unfortunately, he failed to heed his own advice and the nation of Israel split under his rule.  Both the Northern Israel and the Southern Judah were eventually overrun and dragged into captivity into foreign lands.  These actions were specific punishments for Israel’s disobedience.  Do you think America deserves any less?  Islam stands like a roaring lion ready to devour the whole earth and no one  really seems interested in stopping it.  Even our own government has aided every revolt in the Middle East so that fundamentalists can come to power.  A consolidation of that power will be the next phase and then it will be hell on earth.   REPENT!