Is Anyone in Control?
By David R. Barnhart
Volume 29 Winter 2014 Issue 6
“There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25).
“Not in my lifetime” is a phrase many Americans are using these days to describe their amazement at the number of crises that are unfolding around us. What seems like an unending stream of Islamic terrorism, economic woes, natural disasters, wars and epidemics has even card-carrying optimists shaking in their shoes.
Recently Barack Obama voiced his concern over world events that are spiraling out of control. During a speech at a DNC fundraising event in New York City, Obama spoke about the accumulative effect that one crisis after another is having on the American people. He said, “There are times where I think in this country we doubt ourselves, and there are times when we’re uncertain of all the changes that are taking place across the globe. And understandably, when you see the headlines every single day and you read about ISIS and Ebola and the Russian incursions into Ukraine, there’s a sense possibly that the whole world is spinning so fast and nobody is able to control it.”
However, in his speech Obama assured the audience that they should not be overly concerned, because his administration has things under control. The facts do not support either his contention or his optimism. As a nation we are not in trouble because we are “doubting ourselves,” we are in trouble because we are doubting God and no longer walking in His truth.
“HE WHO SITS IN THE HEAVENS LAUGHS, THE LORD SCOFFS AT THEM”
“Control” is hardly the operative word in Washington or in any national capital, especially when it comes to dealing with the catastrophic events that are plaguing the world. The plain truth is that Obama and other world leaders are stymied when it comes to dealing with the global chaos.
Yet in spite of their inability to deal with today’s events, it’s full-steam ahead when it comes to sanctioning every kind of evil under the sun. It is becoming increasing clear, for example, that same-sex marriage is about to become the law of the land in all fifty states. The consequence of this ill -conceived acceptance of perverted lifestyles is barely visible at this time, but many Christians have already discovered it comes with a very high price tag. Consider the six Christian judges in North Carolina who resigned their positions as magistrates, rather than perform same-sex marriages as part of their judicial duties.
Neither God nor His Word has any place in the thinking of our national leaders. Those in positions of authority seem to believe they are putting one over on God when they enact laws that are contrary to His revealed truth. However, what they fail to comprehend is this— there is no power on earth that can turn into good what God has declared to be evil. Truth does not change! Nor does truth cease to be truth simply because people in power decide to declare it otherwise. Individuals, governments and even courts may shake their fists in the face of God momentarily, but inevitably God will have the final word! One day all arrogant, self-willed and self-deceived people will find out who is in control and who it is who sets the unchangeable boundaries of truth and morality.
America crossed God’s red line a long time ago. Now we are beginning to reap what we have sown. From my observation of Scripture, the calamitous events presently unfolding in our nation and throughout the world are only a foretaste of the judgments that are yet to come. The full measure of God’s judgment has yet to be experienced. However, these present warnings should prompt everyone to be in earnest about turning back to God.
“WHY ARE THE NATIONS IN AN UPROAR AND THE PEOPLES DEVISING A VAIN THING?”
The Bible also makes clear that there is still a way out of this chaotic mess, if only we will heed the warning of those whom God has dispatched to show us the way! God’s message is crystal clear, and it centers on repentance. “Repent” was the first word of Christ’s first sermon when He walked this earth. As Christ appealed to the nation of Israel, so He appeals to the people of America today to turn back to the God of our founding fathers and walk in obedience to God’s revealed truth. Israel chose to ignore Christ’s call to repentance. As His ministry was drawing to a close, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem and wept, saying: “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes... because you did not know the day of your visitation” (Luke 19:42-44).
God wants us all to rightly interpret the times in which we live. Such an understanding is essential if we are to effectively communicate God’s truth. When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate immediately prior to His crucifixion, He told him: “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37).
As Jesus understood the reason for His birth, may we also understand that we were put upon this earth in this moment of history to bear witness to the truth. God help every Christian to shine the light of truth throughout this nation and throughout our very troubled world.