Several years ago, I did a teaching called "Prophecies in the Book of Job." The basic premise was this: Job was spared many troubles as long as the hedge of protection, provided by the Creator, remained in place. As soon as it was removed, the Adversary was permitted to launch an all-out, three-pronged attack against this man who was considered the "greatest man in the east' (Job 1:3).
As the attack unfolds, one can clearly see the steal, kill and destroy tactics of Satan. He used foreign invaders to steal his property, natural disasters to kill his family and pestilence in an attempt to destroy Job. Let's go through that again: foreign invaders, natural disasters and disease all converged to take everything from Job with the exception of his life.
Thankfully, Job held fast to his integrity and, in the end, received back double what he had lost. My point, however, is to focus on the fact that, during this testing, the hedge God had placed around him was removed and all hell broke loose.
Now, consider the rise of ISIS and the bold and direct threats made against the United States, including a vow to fly the flag of the Caliphate atop the White House. Consider the very real possibility that Islamic extremists have been crossing our southern border for decades and are poised to carry out those threats. Then there is the lurking danger of home-grown terrorists and converts to Islam who sympathize with ISIS and who, like Alton Nolen of Moore OK, are motivated to murder and behead the American "infidels" in their own homeland, the heartland of America no less.
Step one: foreign invaders - check.
I don't think its necessary to expound upon the next one - natural disasters - because we've had many that have baffled and alarmed us, e.g. Hurricane Sandy (2012), the Western drought (ongoing).
Step two: check.
Then there is the threat of pestilence. In the past we've had brushes with potential epidemics and prolific disease (e.g. the bird flu) but never before do I recall such a sense of foreboding doom as we now grapple with the knowledge that the Ebola virus is in the U.S. Not since World War I and the outbreak of the Spanish Flu - which affected one in every ten homes - have we had to face the potential for a deadly pandemic. Perhaps and hopefully that scenario will not play out, however, I am very disturbed by the fact that there is no inclination, whatsoever, in the current administration to limit or ban travel to and from the affected regions of west Africa. Come to think of it, there is no inclination to protect the border either, leaving us wide open to infiltration by murderers, terrorists and disease. The potential for chaos in America has never been greater.
So - Pestilence: check.
Now, toss into the mix the fact that Nolen committed his dastardly and beastly deed on Thursday, September 25 and that Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national, first went to a Dallas hospital sometime Wednesday evening (Sept 24) with symptoms later determined to be the Ebola virus, meaning these two frightening events coincided with one of the most holy days on God's calendar - Yom Teruah, a day of blowing trumpets. This day is also referred to as Yom HaDin - Judgment Day!
Another thought that comes to mind is, though it happened a week before, for the first time in the modern era, a man was able to penetrate the protective barrier surrounding the White House (dare I say the hedge around the People's House) and enter the mansion, making it all the way to the East Room before being tackled. While no one was hurt and some might pass it off as "no big deal," to me it says, along with all the other events coinciding at this time of year, the hedge that has protected America has been or is being removed.
Friends, this is one time I genuinely hope and pray I am way off the mark but, what else can one deduce from the latest headlines?
Complicating this further is our leadership. The President and his team don't seem to share the same concerns you and I have. When it comes to the border - whether guarding it against would-be terrorists or deadly disease - they don't seem to think that there is a serious threat to America. The only thing they are concerned about is the political aspect of it. I'll concede that I really don't know what motivates their inaction where securing the country is concerned or their general incompetence in governance. Some seem to think its due to their devotion to political correctness; some say its apathy and indifference or - and I'm starting to wonder about this one - they actually orchestrate and welcome the insecurity and looming chaos. Whatever it is, the bottom line is, the country is in peril.
Here is something to contemplate. Earlier this year I, along with others, was shown a plastic coffin, one of thousands being manufactured and then stored by the U.S. government (the troubling thing about this particular one was its small size, obviously designed for a child). The comment was made, as I was being shown this, that the government is anticipating some type of disaster whereby tens-of-thousands would have to be buried quickly. There was no mention of what was expected beyond some type of disaster. My impression was that, in spite of conspiracies concerning death camps with guillotines and stacks of coffins, these were simply being stockpiled because the government knew something was coming and there was nothing they could do to stop it.
Again, I have no idea what they know but here is what I know: if ISIS is not dealt with, swiftly and decisively, they will make good on their threat and there will be no need for government guillotines. If the threat of pestilence -whether it be Ebola or something we've never heard of - is not taken seriously or is greeted by our leaders as a crisis that they can't let go to waste, they'll have plenty of opportunity to use up their stock pile of coffins.
Has the hedge come down? I don't know if any of us can be absolutely certain of that but, face it, things aren't looking promising in that regard. In fact, seeing these plastic coffins and hearing of their intended use reminded me of something very ominous in Scripture.
"So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead." - Exodus 12:30
Might it come to this for America if her hedge has been removed? I'm afraid so but, rather than being dismayed, we should be reminded that Job endured and was restored - being given twice what he had lost. We should also remember this Scripture.
"The Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. - Exodus 12:23
Though we, like Job, may have to endure a fiery trial, if we hold fast to our integrity, if we place our confidence in Him and trust in the blood of the Lamb then:
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling." - Psalm 91:3-10
P.S. Below are some links to some very interesting articles.