Drawing upon the history of Israel, specifically the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (aka Ephraim) as representative of our current situation in the 21st century is complex subject and there is no way to present it as definitive truth. What I am doing with this series of articles is giving witness. I am portraying to the best of my ability an Old Testament picture and some mapping to the present.
- Introduction – Fall of Northern Kingdom
- Primer – God’s Communication “Tools”
- Context – Fall of the Northern Kingdom
- God’s Speaking to the Northern Kingdom
- The Assyrians – God’s Instrument of Judgment on the Northern Kingdom
If you have taken the time to read through all of these articles, you may still be wondering if there is a strong mapping to the present time. For me, this mapping is one that God led me to observe. I didn’t seek it out without being prompted to look in this direction.
What are the Parallels?
First of all, let me say that I am drawing parallels to the United States of America and christians in this country as this is the scope that I feel the Lord has set for me to present this information. There are other scopes in the present time which might be relevant, but I feel it is beyond what I am supposed give witness about.
At the core, there will always be two issues present. Reviewing how we operate (i.e. what is our modus operandi) in relation to these two things can help us to see our situation from God’s point of view and how strong the parallels are between the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the present time.
- Prosperity – economic success
- Peace / Security – living safe and secure
The core question what we do individually and as a larger group to attain or maintain our prosperity and peace / security. Stop and consider how commonly these two items are at the heart of most political discussion and issues. When any of these three items are challenged there is a rapid response from many in the nation calling for the government to do something to fix the problems and restore the overall sense by the majority of citizens that they can be economically successful and they are able to live in peace and safety.
In the United States of America there is one extra component which comes into play. It is our “pursuit of happiness” and the view of how it is our “right to be happy” expecting our government to work to ensure that we have as much opportunity to pursue and achieve happiness.
Are any of these bad? No. We all want prosperity, peace and even some measure of happiness. The real issue is who we relate to attain these things and how we go about attaining these things.
- Do we look to God first?
- Do we look to the United States Government first?
The Northern Kingdom was the same situation. The people looked to the leaders (i.e. government) and the government implemented solutions apart from God. We look the our leaders (i.e. government) and our government is always trying to implement solutions. I am not aware of any of our governmental solutions being sought from God.
God wanted each Israelite (kings, religious leaders, common people) to look to Him first and to receive from Him what He provided. They did many things other than that.
Reviewing the Symptoms
Using the study God led me to do in analyzing the speaking of the prophets to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, I came up with the following major symptoms.
- Enjoying Life While Others Are In Need and Justice is not available to the poor/needy
- Obvious and Upsetting Evidence of Total Moral Depravity
- Worshipping the Wrong God, the Wrong Way and/or in the Wrong Place
- This includes partaking of unhealthy spiritual food (For details, see Understanding Paul in 1 Timothy 4:1 – Part 2
These are generalizations. Are they true of 100% of the United States of America? No. Are they true enough from God’s point of view and has it gone on long enough without repentance to position us for judgment? You decide, but here are some key points.
Enjoying Life While Others Are In Need and Justice is Not Available to All
Is the middle class shrinking? Yes. Is the lower class growing? Yes. Is the upper class getting wealthier? Yes.
Obvious and Upsetting Evidence of Total Moral Depravity
I know God’s heart is one of love towards the entire world. This does not stop God from establishing standards of behavior that are acceptable versus ones that are unacceptable. Even with these standards in place, God still loves the whole world. I do not look at any repeated sin on my part as okay. Rather I am thankful for God’s forgiveness
Worshipping the Wrong God, the Wrong Way and/or in the Wrong Place