While preparing to revise this article, my morning devotion took me to 1 Kings 20 one day.
1. And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and [there were] thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.
I worked my way into the chapter finding mostly familiar material. I had not planned on reading in that part of the bible anyway so I was ready to skip over to proverbs, when I came to verse 13.
13 And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD.
At this point the Lord showed me that here was an example of God giving a victory to a wicked nation. Israel under king Ahab was backslidden, wicked and far from God's favor. Yet he gave the victory so "Thou shalt know that I am the LORD!"
21 And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.
This example is written for us, I realized. Our 'miracle victory' in the Gulf War can in no way be seen as a sign of God's favor or approval. (It can certainly be seen as a sign that God had a hand in it.)
Later that day I meditated on the comparison to the Gulf War. The US as Israel, and Iraq as Syria was the analogy clearly established in my mind. As I considered how to incorporate this into my article, I got a second revelation that shook me to the core. I remembered what happened in the rest of the Chapter! And the word of Judgment pronounced against Israel and King Ahab in the end!
28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD [is] God of the hills, but he [is] not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.
Here the Lord gave Israel a victory not because they called on him but because of the Syrians actions. The Syrians made the war a contest between their gods and the God if Israel! Now recall that Saddam Hussein made a great public show, on world wide television, of prayer to Allah! That he called for Jihad, or Holy War, and counted on Allah for victory!
President Bush had Billy Graham come into the White House to pray. And he issued a proclamation of prayer after the manner of Abraham Lincoln.
Once again the war was a contest between the God of Israel and false religion. And once again God gave the victory to a wicked, backslidden nation: America.
29 And they pitched one over against the other seven days. And [so] it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day.
But Benhadad of Syria escaped from the battle and pled for mercy.
32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me live
34 ... Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away. (Our leadership in the Gulf War allowed the Iraqi army to slip from the trap and still permits Hussein to remain in power.) But the Lord was angry and sent the prophet again.
38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face. 42 And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of [thy] hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.
And this is another word of judgment for us as well. AMERICA REDUCED
America's fall from being a world power in implied in yet another prophecy from many years back.
(This is taken from an article called "As I See It" by Lance Lambert which appeared in Christ for the Nations Vol 43 nr 2, May 1990.
...There was a prophecy given in 1911 that shortly an evil would take Russia, and wherever this evil would go, rivers of blood would flow. It was not the Russian soul; it was not an ideology or a philosophy, but a spirit from hell. In the last days, the prophecy went on to say, Germany would be divided; Italy would be judged by natural disasters; France would be nothing much; Britain would lose her empire and come almost to ruin, but would be saved by praying women; the U. S. would feed the world and be the greatest power, but would finally be reduced. In the end Russia would be free and believers would go forth from Russia and China taking the Good News to all the earth before the antichrist.
But there is good news here too. While America is declining as a world power there is a move of reformation, restoration and revival coming to pass. One turning point was the summer of 1988 when Operation Rescue began to act as the Church is supposed to and became doers of the word and not hearers only.
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