Signs of the times
God warned His rebellious children, then comforted those who loved Him -- those who "tremble at His word":
“Just as they have chosen their own ways,
And their soul delights in their abominations,
So will I choose their delusions,
And bring their fears on them;
Because, when I called, no one answered,
When I spoke they did not hear;
But they did evil before My eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight.”
"Hear the word of the Lord,
You who tremble at His word:
“Your brethren who hated you,
Who cast you out for My name’s sake, said,
‘Let the Lord be glorified,
That we may see your joy.’
But they shall be ashamed.”
“For thus says the Lord God,
the Holy One of Israel:
'In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.'
But you would not...."
We need to learn from history. The condition described in this verse has corrupted nations and devastated people whenever and wherever God's people chose to conform to the world, which means rejecting -- willingly or in ignorance -- the wisdom of the only King who can bring genuine peace and triumph.
Ponder this excerpt from America's Spiritual Slide
End time events fit the same Biblical patterns demonstrated in Old Testament history. Then as now, those who turned from truth to “other gods,” faced devastating consequences. The book of Judges shows the oft-repeated cycle:
1. Peace and prosperity: God's gifts to the people He loved.
2. Apathy and compromise: They took His gifts for granted and forgot to thank Him.
3. Rebellion (humanism) and paganism: They traded God for other sources of strength. "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft." (1 Samuel 15:23)
4. Famine, war, plagues and slaver: Showing the people the inadequacy of their own resources, God would bring them back to Himself.
5. Confession and repentance: The people recognized their need for God.
6. God hears, saves and restores: He blesses His people with peace -- as long as they follow Him. When they turn to other gods, He stands back and waits.
This cycle applies not only to Old Testament times. God warned us that we could face similar destruction:
“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” (1 Cor. 10:6-10)
Yet, our times are different. The vast communication network for occult indoctrination, the proliferation of spiritual counterfeits, the acceleration of demonic activity, and today’s ignorance of occult dangers have set the stage for potential unprecedented evils. In light of Biblical prophecy, the above cycle could soon become a downward spiral leading to persecution and the cruel reign of the antichrist.
But those who know God need not be afraid. While we await His coming, our King offers spiritual protection and ultimate victory to all who trust and follow Him. So let us wear the whole Armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18), stand firm in Jesus Christ together, and “run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.…” (Hebrews 12:2-3) He has promised us,
"If God is for us, who can be against us? ... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
"... in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."