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PASTOR'S NOTES
July 03, 2016
General Election - Year of Decision

The U.S.A. is unique from most of the other nations in the world in that it was established on a Biblical foundation.

Many of the countries in the western hemisphere were settled in search of gold while the U.S. was settled in search of God.

The Pilgrims came in search of a land where a country could be established shaped by Scriptural standards.

Israel of course is the greatest nation that was founded on Godly Principals and this country draws much of its historical values on Judean-Christian fundamentals.

A study of Jewish history would benefit us today on this the 240th Birthday of the U.S.A.

Let us take just a small segment of Jewish history and draw some parallels of our beloved country.

KING DAVID
(Reigned 40 years: 1010-970 BC)

When David comes to the throne, Israel is approximately 436 years old.

Her independence day was the day that the Israelites left Egypt, no longer to serve under Pharaoh as salves.

King David stands out in the oracles of time as the most outstanding king that Israel ever knew.

Under David, a relatively week nation, grew to the pinnacle of outstanding power ever known to the world.

  • David's greatest strength however, was not found in the fact that he was one of the world's greatest warriors and military strategist.

  • David's greatest strength was not found in the fact that he was one of the world's most outstanding statesmen that governed his country with shrewd power.

  • David's greatest strength was not found in the fact that he carried out one of the best planned programs of international diplomacy ever known to man, because he was at peace with all of his neighbors.

  • David's greatest strength was found in the fact that he was a man after God's own heart..

  • He is known for his great relationship with God.

Throughout all of his life, it was his passion to build the Temple of God.

David knew that a nation is prosperous when its central focus is God.

  • One Nation Under God

Because he was a man of blood, God told him, that his son would be the one to build the temple.

However, disappointing as this declaration from the LORD God may have been for David, he made sure that Worship was central in the country he ruled.

He recognized that the true king of Israel was the King of the Universe who reigned supreme.

As militarily strong as David was, he knew that only God could defend him.

Psalms 33:10-22
10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. 13 From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; 14 from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth 15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. 16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. 18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. 20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you. (NIV)

KING SOLOMON
(Reigned 40 years: 970-930 BC)

King Solomon is known as the wisest man that ever lived.

He loved wisdom, wealth and women.

He was endowed with great wisdom.

He was gifted intellectually.

His greatest weakness was his ethics.

He didn't start that way because as a young man (20 years of age), inheriting the throne of his father David, he was humbled by its responsibility and asked God to bestow on him wisdom to govern.

Under his rule, the Temple was built, from the plans and materials that his father, David, had left for him.

The kingdom grew rich and economically strong under his rule.

The success of his reign was due to the groundwork that his righteous father had laid.

After the 7 year building program of the Temple was completed, at its dedication ceremony, Solomon prayed an eloquent and anointed prayer of consecration wherewith God responded with the well-known verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14.

"if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (NKJV)

Under Solomon, Israel experienced its golden age.

Sadly, Israel also experienced the beginning of its downfall.

  1. Though Solomon started out good, he later turned to the idolatry of his wives.

    One of them would have been the mother of his successor, Rehoboam, an Ammonitess princess that brought her idolatry into the family.

    Solomon built a temple to her god and sanctioned it by going into it to worship.

  2. Though Solomon, took Israel to the summit of international prominence and wealth, it would turn out to be short-lived.

    He was a greedy and relentless autocrat that sucked his people dry with over taxation.

    What was once a government that under David served the people, it became a tyrant rulership that catapulted its subjects to a miserable state of enslavement under a king with ghastly extremes of wealth on one hand and the subjects living in poverty on the other; all due to run away spending.

    It was obvious that Jehovah had been replaced by the gods of success and wealth.

    The people that Solomon ruled became discouraged.

    It seems strange that he ever penned anything such as...
Proverbs 14:34
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." (NIV)

KING REHOBOAM
(Reigned 17 years: 930-913 BC)

Rehoboam was 41 years of age when he became king.

Like father like son, of course he followed in the extravagant habits and passions of his father.

At the beginning of his reign, the people came to him requesting some relief from the heavy taxation and slave-like conditions imposed under his father.

Headstrong and insolent Rehoboam rejected the plea of the people and also the mature counsel of the older advisors.

The kingdom rebelled and he was left with two of the 12 tribes of Israel under his rulership.

He should have read some of the things that his father had written.

Proverbs 1:7
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction." (NKJV)

Proverbs 15:1
"A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger." (NKJV)

It was Jeroboam, the head foreman that worked under his father that headed up the revolution of the Northern 10 Tribes of Israel.

Rehoboam mustered up 120,000 men to handle the revolting 10 tribes but warned of God by the prophet Shemaiah that told him that he should not fight against their brethren and that the revolt was of God; Rehoboam abandoned his campaign momentarily.

We read that there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. (1 Kings 14:30)

The first 3 years of his reign, was marked with a reluctant and haphazard following of the LORD.

During the remaining 14 years of his reign, the land became polluted with a flood of abominable sins and idolatry that their pagan neighbors practiced.

Wicked lifestyles became legalized.

Josephus: Speaking of the disposition of King Rehoboam said that he was a proud and foolish man, that he "despised the worship of God till the people themselves imitated his wicked actions."

We read that in the 5th year of his reign Rehoboam was punished for embracing of heathen abominations and immoralities.

Shishak, king of Egypt conquered him and plundered the palace and the Temple, taking with him treasures, including the well-known shields of gold (the mark of Israel's greatness and wealth).

Rehoboam replaced the shields of gold with shields of brass.

* Five years earlier it was the most powerful nation in the world.

He died at the age of 58 and Abijah his son became king.

KING ABIJAH
(Reigned 3 years: 913-910 BC)

In the short time that he was king we read that he followed in Rehoboam's footsteps.

His life is horribly summarized in...

1 Kings 15:3
"And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him; his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David." (NKJV)

Finally, a good king comes to the throne after many years of backsliding.

There must have been a lot of saints praying for a revival in the land.

KING ASA
(Reigned 41 years: 910-869 BC)

He was the godly son of a godless father just as Manasseh was a godless son of a godly father.

His heart was perfect with the Lord all his days.

He was determined to bring revival to a fallen and sinful nation, accustomed to 50 years of backslidden debauchery.

The first 10 years of his reign were spent in purging Judah of idolatry and to bring religious reforms.

In his purging, he respected no one that was involved in idol-worship, as seen in the deposing of his own grandmother as queen mother, because she had made an obscene image of Asherah, the goddess of fertility.

He crushed and burned the Asherah idol.

He served God with much zeal by breaking down every altar and image.

He cleared the land of those who practiced abominations.

2 Chronicles 15:1-8
1 Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Obed.

Today we need Spirit-filled Messengers.

The greatest need to any country is a company of Spirit-filled and directed men and women, not afraid to stand and declare God's word.

Our country needs prophets, mouth-pieces of God.

2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: "hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.

Verse 3 is the sad condition of barrenness.

3 For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; 4 but when in their trouble they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. 5 And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. 7 but you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!" 8 And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Obed the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim; and he restored the altar of the LORD that was before the vestibule of the LORD. (NKJV)

CONCLUSION:

Many years later, a great prophet penned in...

Isaiah 60:12
For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined. (NIV)

As we take communion, let us focus on what it represents as the hope of our land.

Let us restore the altar of the LORD God in our hearts and in our land.

Just as there was hope and revival in Asa's day, let us commit ourselves to bringing revival to our land.

God bless America.

 
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