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Zephaniah 1:10-11

Economic Disaster

Zephaniah calls the Nation to repent of its evil ways, especially for having embraced the Baal worship of Jezebel.  The only reason they have not faced God’s judgment so far is that God is patient. The prophet explained that God’s patience with their idolatry would not last forever, and He would soon act to bring justice to the poor and redeem those oppressed. Zephaniah knew that the hearts of the nation’s kings and priests had become hardened and would never turn back to God. Like Pharaoh in the Exodus, the hardened hearts of the leader will bring destruction to the whole population. That time is at hand, Zephaniah 1:10-11 explains, and the suffering will be great, “On that day, declares the Lord, a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate, a wail from the Second Quarter, and a loud crash from the hills. Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar! For all the traders are no more; all who weigh out silver are cut off.” What we see in this passage is a monetary collapse in Jerusalem, the New York City of the nation of Judah. Bentley says, “Zephaniah is obviously very familiar with the layout of the city. He knows the market district. The Fish Gate was situated in the most vulnerable part of the city; it was not surrounded by hills. The prophet is also familiar with the New Quarter. All of these places were centers of trade and industry. They were also likely to be the seat of much corruption and dishonesty, where, as always, the poor were the losers.”[1]

Just like today, much of the stability of a nation is dependent on its economy. We’ve had tough times in the history of our nation and know what this means. October 29, 1929, has become known as “Black Tuesday.” Black Tuesday is known for being the worst day in the U.S. stock market. Throughout the 1920’s stock prices reached new heights, more than quadrupling in value. But on Black Tuesday, the bubble burst, and by 1933 prices were down about 80% from the heights of the late ’20s. The great crash of 1929 plunged the U.S. into what is known as “The Great Depression.” Between 1930 and 1933, about 9,000 banks failed. Production in U.S. industry hit rock bottom and left millions of Americans out of work, and the rest, struggling to survive. A proud nation found itself filled with soup lines, hobos, and shanty towns.”[2] I have photos of my father standing in one of those soup lines.

Everything that builds and sustains a solid citizenry and stable living situation is connected to the moral fiber of the nation. The well-being of all its citizens is a responsibility of everyone to some extent. The early Christians, according to Luke, shared all things when things got tough, and this is still a principle we should live by today. Because of the great depression and other hard times, we sometimes want to withdraw from society and take care of ourselves, hiding in well-supplied bunkers. Some take warnings like this passage in Zephaniah, and others panic into unchristian behavior. Sailer rightly concludes, “To predict imminent economic ruin for a nation because of moral bankruptcy is to misrepresent God’s purposes in Christ. To encourage believers not to cling to the things of the world and share with those in need is consistent with the gospel. To frighten them into hoarding resources to survive the supposed impending economic collapse is without a biblical mandate or example.”[3] When such an attitude is embraced, only the poor will suffer.

[1] Bentley, Michael. 2008. Opening up Zephaniah. Opening Up Commentary. Leominster: Day One Publications.

[2] Benfield, Chris. 2015. “The Collapse of Babylon (Message #41) (Revelation 18:9–24).” In Pulpit Pages: New Testament Sermons, 1878. Mount Airy, NC: Chris Benfield.

[3] Sailer, William, J. Creighton Christman, David C. Greulich, Harold P. Scanlin, Stephen J. Lennox, and Phillip Guistwite. 2012. Religious and Theological Abstracts. Myerstown, PA: Religious and Theological Abstracts.

Habakkuk 1:5, Psalms 37:7-9

Fret Not!

In the course of everyday life, it often seems that God doesn’t care about the oppressed. He allows the wicked to have their way in the world. The prospering of the wicked is a frequently mentioned theme in the bible. A Bible thesaurus points this out in detail, “The wicked prosper (Ps. 10:5); I saw the prosperity of the wicked (Ps. 73:3); the wicked spend their days in prosperity (Job 21:13); robbers prosper (Job 12:6); her enemies prosper (Lam. 1:5); he will prosper until the time of wrath is completed (Dan. 11:36); he will succeed in what he does (Dan. 8:24); the horn prospered (Dan. 8:12); evildoers prosper (Mal. 3:15); why does the way of the wicked prosper? (Jer. 12:1); do not fret over him who prospers (Ps. 37:7).”[1] No one could identify with that better than the Northern Kingdom of Israel when they were conquered by the pagan Assyrian Nation. How can God allow such a thing? In Habakkuk 1:5, God assures his people that He is not inactive. He is behind the scenes even now working out justice against the oppressors. He says, Look among the nations and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.”

 But God’s people were suffering at the hands of the wicked at the moment! Just like God’s people today, we look around and see it all and wonder how God can allow this situation to continue. We have the exact instructions for us that Habakkuk gave to Israel. His key phrase in the whole book, which is often quoted in the new testament, is “the just shall live by faith.” We are to live our lives trusting God. He makes all things right in the end. It will come about in a way we probably would never imagine, but He has promised us that all things, both good and bad, will work out in the end for our good. We are called to trust God regardless of the situation in our own lives and the unjust situations we might see around us.

Psalm 37:7-9 contains one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible. I’m sure Jesus is thinking about this when he tells us not to worry. Paul was thinking of it when he said, “Be anxious for nothing.” It reads, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.” Butler comments on this verse, “The word translated ‘fret’ comes from the Hebrew word which involves a number of related attitudes. It can involve anger (we are angry with God for letting the wicked prosper), jealousy (we are jealous of the successes of the wicked), and even grief (the success of the wicked hurts). Fretting is easy to do. It comes naturally to most of us. We do not have to be taught to fret, for we seem to possess skills in fretting that need no teaching to improve them. It is not easy to see the wicked prosper and get ahead through their evil methods, but God has told us to ‘fret not.’[2]

 [1] Day, A. Colin. 2009. Collins Thesaurus of the Bible. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Butler, John G. 2014. Sermon Starters. Vol. 3. Clinton, IA: LBC Publications.

Nahum 1:8-9

A Longsuffering God

Nahum preaches God’s goodness to the nation of Assyria. He informs them that the one true God is loving and compassionate and ever-ready to forgive and welcome them home with loving arms. He doesn’t want any to perish. God’s judgment is an irresistible force against which there is no such thing as an unmovable object. Like the soldier in a foxhole, Nahum urges the sinners in Nineveh to see the imminent nature of God’s judgment and turn to God for forgiveness. It’s interesting to me to remember that with the preaching of Jonah, the nation did repent. But they did not repent after Nahum’s preaching and faced God’s judgment. When God doesn’t act immediately to bring judgment on sin, man has the tendency to think it won’t happen. They get their nerve back and think this judgment theme is just a bunch of religious jargon. Because God reversed His judgments on Pharaoh and stopped the plagues, Pharaoh hardened his heart. Those who harden their hearts against God will face the consequences. Nahum warned them, and us, in Nahum 1:8-9, But with an overflowing flood, he will make a complete end of the adversaries and will pursue his enemies into darkness. What do you plot against the Lord? He will make a complete end; trouble will not rise up a second time.” God brought the Persians against Assyria and utterly destroyed that nation. His destruction was so severe that there would be no need to repeat it. It was an overflowing flood that finally ended Pharaoh and his army. They all perished in the waters pursuing God’s people across the Red Sea.

Nahum confronts the Ninevites about their plans to conquer God’s people again. He asks them straight out, “What are your plans?” God knows what they are planning against His people, and He promises them that if they bring their army against His people, He will bring a complete end to them, and they will not rise again as they did between Jonah’s prophecy and Nahum’s prophecy. It will be over for Nineveh and the great Nation of Assyria. They will not have another chance. The old Bible commentator Horatio Bonar compared this prophecy of God’s judgment on Nineveh to a picture of God’s judgment on those today who reject Jesus. He writes, “It is not yet come, but it is coming. Judgment lingereth not, damnation slumbereth not. It will be a day of terror for the sinner when the pent-up wrath of God shall pour itself out, not in seven vials, or seventy times seven, but in an eternity of vials without number.”

But the famous Bible preacher of over 150 years ago does not leave his readers with a hopeless prophecy. He looks instead at the grace of God in offering redemption. He quotes from 2 Peter 3:9, “He is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Bonar says, “Such is his goodness now. He is rich in mercy. His patience is beyond all conception or measure. And in his longsuffering, there is salvation—salvation to the uttermost. He pities, yearns, pleads, beseeches, spares, prolongs the day of grace, presents pardon, salvation, land ife to the ungodliest, free. Yes, freely to the last! Let this long-suffering goodness draw us, melt us, awaken confidence, and win us to love.”[1]

[1] Bonar, Horatius. 1873. Light and Truth: Or, Bible Thoughts and Themes, Old Testament. London: J. Nisbet & Co.

Micah 1:6-7, Various

Child Sacrifice and Abortion

Judah and Samaria, the capital cities of the southern and northern kingdoms of Israel, have rebelled against their God and his provisions for them and have adopted the sacrificial system of the pagans around them. Baal worship involved sexual immorality of all kinds. The result of such blatant immorality is often unwanted pregnancies. Those would be resolved by offering up unwanted children as sacrifices to the pagan deities. This is what Micah 1:6-7 says, “Therefore, I will make Samaria a heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards, and I will pour down her stones into the valley and uncover her foundations. All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces, all her wages shall be burned with fire, and all her idols I will lay waste, for from the fee of a prostitute she gathered them, and to the fee of a prostitute, they shall return.” The nation of Israel had picked up this practice from the pagan nations around them. We cannot help but notice the similarity with our own practice of elective abortions being practiced in America. Many commentators and preachers have noticed this similarity. Sailer writes, “There was a rite in ancient Israel which has parallels to the modern practice of abortion – the rite of child sacrifice, one of the detestable things the Lord hates.” Because of the present climate of reproductive rights, it is not popular to point out this comparison. Andrew White wrote a very profound and convincing article entitled “Abortion and the Ancient Practice of Child Sacrifice.” It was published in the Journal of Biblical Ethics in Medicine (1987, Volume 1 (2), pp:34-42. This article “examines the primarily neglected parallels between ancient child sacrifice and the modern practice of abortion.”

The Bible condemns this practice. Deuteronomy 12:31 says, “You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.” There are too many arguments against child sacrifice, thus abortion, to be mentioned here. But child sacrifice was the idolatrous practice of pagan nations (See Leviticus 20:2-5, Psalm 106:35-38, Jeremiah 32:35 and Hosea 13:2). Abortion defiles God’s people (See Ezekiel 20:26 and Exodus 20:31). It defiles God’s sanctuary (See Ezekiel 23:37, 39). It also incurs God’s anger in general (See Jeremiah 19:4-5, Ezekiel 16:20-21, and Hosea 13:2).[1]

Samaria, the capital city of the northern kingdom, had become totally assimilated into the pagan cultures around them. Baal became their pagan god of choice, followed by Molech, the god of their perennial enemies, the Ammonites. Micah tells the people of Samaria that they will face many severe consequences for this practice. Her building and paved streets, and other city structures will be destroyed, and it will be nothing be a field only good for planting crops. The idolatrous images she worshipped will be smashed to pieces. However, we understand this passage regarding the judgment on Samaria. We cannot miss the fact that God will judge such a horrible practice. I fully agree with the Got Questions website that addresses this issue. It makes the comparison between the child sacrifices of the Bible with the abortion of today. They practice infanticide because they do not have the technology to perform abortions like we have today. The article says, “There is also a correlation between child sacrifice and modern-day abortion. Unprecedented numbers of children have been ‘sacrificed’ at the hands of abortionists for the sake of convenience, immorality, or pride.” Could these be the modern-day Baals and Molechs? “Hundreds of thousands of babies have been killed so that their parents can maintain a certain lifestyle. God hates ‘hands that shed innocent blood’ (Proverbs 6:17), and we can be sure that God will judge this horrendous sin.”[2]

[1] Manser, Martin H. 2009. Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.

[2] Got Questions Ministries. 2002–2013. Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Jonah 1:6

No Atheists In Foxholes!

Jonah is sleeping inside the ship when God “hurls” the storm at it. The crew cries out to their gods for help. But there is no answer. They then begin to lighten the ship by tossing over their cargo. This is a “cargo” ship. Its purpose was to move cargo from one port to another. But they believed their lives were in danger and were willing to throw it all into the sea to lighten the ship with the hopes it would survive the storm and take them safely to land. The seaman not only threw out all their possessions on the ship but also their expected future profits.  Phillips observes, “The cargo represented long labor and fond hopes of future wealth. But with their lives at risk, the sailors did not hesitate to jettison their possessions to gain only a slightly increased chance of safety. This is no less true for those with great possessions than for those with few. England’s King Richard III cried out in the midst of his defeat in battle: ‘My kingdom for a horse!’ Likewise, any of us would give up any amount of money or possessions to save our lives.”[1] But the gods do not help them. Lightening the load does not help them. When things become hopeless people will often resort to something they have denied all their lives: the One true God! I’ve read many stories of foxhole conversions. They are not true conversions in most cases, but you see that when all the chips are in, people will try anything in hopes of salvation. That’s what the sailors on this ship do. The captain sends for Jonah and finds he’s sound asleep. Jonah 1:6 reports, “So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”

The captain of the ship expected Jonah to pray. Calling out to their little gods did not good, so now, as a last resort, they turn from crying out to their gods, from trying to manage the problem themselves, to seeking the one true God’s help. The only thing they wanted from God, it appears, is that they “not perish.” Boice talks about this kind of conversion in his commentary. He says, “We may imagine a situation in which a soldier is crouching in a foxhole looking down a hill against which an enemy is advancing. Naturally, he is afraid for his life. He begins to pray: ‘O God, if there is a God, don’t let me get killed! I don’t want to die! Save me! If you save me, I will do anything you want! I’ll even … yes, I’ll even become a missionary!’ Suddenly the soldiers turn off in another direction. The battle shifts, and he is saved. Does he remember his conversion? Not at all. He turns to his buddy and says, ‘Boy, we sure had a close call that time. Let’s celebrate when we get our next leave.’”[2]

It’s often been said that there are no atheists in foxholes. One’s academic arrogance, stubborn self-sufficiency, hardened pride of life, and the simple desire to live a life of moral abandonment all seem to slip away when one faces imminent mortality. According to the Wikipedia article, “Author James Marrow said: ‘That maxim, ‘There are no atheists in foxholes,’ is not an argument against atheism — it’s an argument against foxholes.’  In 2015, describing the phrase as a ‘tired, old, untrue cliché’, the Freedom From Religion Foundation erected a monument to ‘Atheists in Foxholes,’ commemorating American atheist, agnostic, freethinking, and skeptical US armed services veterans.”  Of course, Marrow says this from his safe academic position in university settings all over England with his Ph.D. There is no history of ever being in a foxhole himself. Safely housed in the upper class, protected from the horrors of war, and enjoying all the amenities modern civilization offers is not a great testimony to the knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God. But even if the religious outlook of people who find themselves in foxholes of various sorts has become more diverse, the crucible of the personal crisis remains a site of spiritual reckoning. Why would the sailors on Jonah’s ship turn to their gods and ultimately to the messenger of the one true God?

[1] Phillips, Richard D. 2010. Jonah & Micah. Edited by Richard D. Phillips, Philip Graham Ryken, and Iain M. Duguid. Reformed Expository Commentary. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[2] Boice, James Montgomery. 2002. The Minor Prophets: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Obadiah 1:8-9

God Curses Israel’s Enemies

Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, who became Israel, and from whom came the nation itself. Esau’s descendants became a primary enemy of Jacob’s descendants. They turned away from Jacob and Jacob’s God and joined with Israel’s enemies to destroy her. All the way back to Abraham, God had promised to bless those who bless Abraham’s descendants and to curse those who curse them. Edom, the descendants of Esau, joined with those who cursed Israel. Obadiah 1:8-9 tells us that God will not intervene to save Edom when all of her so-called allies betray her and refuse to help her in her hour of need. As Edom cursed Israel, God cursed Edom. God says, “Will I not on that day, declares the Lord, destroy the wise men out of Edom and understanding out of Mount Esau? And your mighty men shall be dismayed, O Teman, so that every man from Mount Esau will be cut off by slaughter.”

The Edomites were wise in their own eyes only. Eliphaz, the misguided counselor of Job, was from Teman.  Eliphaz thought he knew the answer to all of Job’s problems. He was dead wrong. The pride and arrogance of the Edomites prevented them from seeing the truth. Although we have some wise sayings from ancient civilizations, we have none from Edom. Jeremiah made a similar charge against Edom. He writes in Jeremiah 49:7, “Concerning Edom. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Is wisdom no more in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished?” Jeremiah’s assumed answer is “No,” there is no more wisdom in Edom. And “Yes,” their wisdom has vanished. Isaiah 5:21 speaks the truth when he says, “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!” Woe might even be too mild of a word for the Edomites who turned against their Israel kin. God says they will be destroyed, dismayed, and cut off.

Whatever Obadiah means by the three different phrases, we can see by the inclusion of the phrase “by slaughter” the conclusive nature of the destruction. Raabe recognized this and said the phrase “by slaughter” means “every Edomite will be killed and thus eliminated from the land. The clause furthermore seems to imply the eradication of the Edomites’ remnant and memory. Two passages in Ezekiel’s oracles against Edom provide close parallels.”[1] One of the passages in Ezekiel that Raabe is referring to is Ezekiel 25:13, “Therefore thus says the Lord God, I will stretch out my hand against Edom and cut off from it man and beast. And I will make it desolate; from Teman even to Dedan, they shall fall by the sword.” Raabe even refers to a commentator who suggested that the phrase could include denial of the afterlife.  God promised Abraham that all those that blessed his descendants would be blessed. Those that cursed them will be cursed. I’m always glad to see American support the new nation of Israel.

[1] Raabe, Paul R. 2008. Obadiah: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 24D. Anchor Yale Bible. New Haven; London: Yale University Press.

Amos 1:6-7

The Bible And Slavery

One of the major headlines covering Ukraine’s war with Russia says, “Up to 40,000 Ukrainians snatched from besieged cities have been forced into ‘slave labor’ in Russia.”[1] The history of the world regarding making slaves out of conquered enemies is full of atrocities. We see it in the Bible as well. “Thus says the Lord,” In Amos 1:6-7, “For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they carried into exile a whole people to deliver them up to Edom. So I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza, and it shall devour her strongholds.” 

Gaza was one of the main cities of the Philistines, the perennial enemies of Israel and Judah. Hoyt observes, “After the time of Amos (during the reign of King Ahaz), Philistia invaded southern Judah.”[2] They defeated the Israelites and delivered them to another perennial enemy, Edom, as slaves. The Philistines are sometimes identified with the Palestinians of today, but there is much debate over that connection. Yet, when I speak with friends in Israel, they argue that the current Palestinians have dedicated themselves to the complete extinction of the Jewish nation. That’s one reason there is constant war in the Mid-East. Whether the current Palestinians are the ancient Philistines is not as important as the fact that they both had the same intentions for the Israelites. They would settle for nothing less than the entire nihilation of the Nation. The phrase “whole people” has caught the attention of many commentators. One argues that this phrase in this context means “That full populations or communities were taken as exiles. Typically when one nation conquered another, the victors would exile people; however, usually, it was only the previous leaders, rulers, and higher-ranking people most likely to lead a revolt. Here, though, by exiling entire populations, Gaza has gone far beyond what was standard. They did not just uproot those who led the fight against them but everyone, even those who had no part in the battle.”[3] God will not condone the misuse of one human for the gratification of another.

There is a tendency to look at slavery as something of the past. But it is estimated that there are today over 27 million people in the world who are subject to slavery: forced labor, sex trade, inheritable property, etc. God does not condone this kind of slavery. He saved Israel from it at the hands of the Egyptians, and he will repay Edom and Philistia for this kind of slavery. As Jeremias observed, “Amos 1:6 is most likely referring to the greed of the Edomites, who needed slaves for the expansion of their extensive copper industry.”[4] The Egyptians used the slave labor of the Israelites to build their cities. Now the Edomites received the descendants of the Egyptian slaves to do similar hard labor for them. God disapproves of slavery. The laws handed down to Israel at Sinai contain restrictions on slavery which make biblical slavery more like employment. It even allowed the Israelites to hire themselves out accordingly. The laws of Exodus “gave some basic rights to slaves and curtailed the actions of masters in a historically unprecedented way. In the ancient world outside of Israel, slaves had no rights. But God’s Law extended to slaves the right to keep a wife, the right not to be sold to foreigners, the right to be adopted into a family by marriage, and the right to food and clothing.”[5]


[2] Hoyt, JoAnna M. 2018. Amos, Jonah, & Micah. Edited by H. Wayne House and William D. Barrick. Evangelical Exegetical Commentary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Jeremias, Jörg. 1998. The Book of Amos: A Commentary. Translated by Douglas W. Stott. First American edition. The Old Testament Library. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.

[5] Got Questions Ministries. 2002–2013. Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Joel 1:8-9

When Will We Learn?

The Israelites are told to prepare for the devastating invasion of the Assyrian armies. Their children will be taken as slaves, the temple will be destroyed, and the civilization that they had built under Solomon will be destroyed. Joel 1:8-9 says, “Lament like a virgin wearing sackcloth for the bridegroom of her youth.  The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off from the house of the Lord. The priests mourn, the ministers of the Lord.” During the invasion, the young men of Israel will be killed in the battle or taken away as prisoners into a foreign land. Pete Seger wrote a song back in the early 60s that was covered by many during that era. He asks, “Where have all the flowers gone?” He answers his own question, “The girls have picked everyone.” He then asks, “Where have all the young girls gone?” He answers that “They’ve taken husbands, everyone” The next question is, “Where have all the young men gone?” His answer: “Gone to Soldiers, everyone.” The frequent refrain in the song is “When will they ever learn.”

The grain offerings and drink offerings were the symbols of great celebrations for the Jewish people. They were offered at their communal gatherings. Part of their offerings were given to the priests and Levites. The rest was consumed by the family in a banquet-type setting. This served as one of the main livelihood sources for the religious leaders in Israel. Just a few verses earlier, Joel condemned the priests for their gluttony and drunkenness. They now will mourn because there will be no more offerings for them to abuse. The offerings were a picture of prosperity, celebration, and happiness in the land. That would all come to an end. Israel’s defeat by Assyria brought the good times to an end for Israel. But the grievous part of their destruction was the people themselves.

You would think that such events would teach us something, and we would learn how to live on the planet in peace. But that has never been the case. We can’t even get along with each other. One source reports that “The American Civil War created an unprecedented number of young white widows, many married for a short amount of time, like Hetty Cary. Between 1861 and 1865, approximately three million husbands, fathers, sons, uncles, and brothers left for war. Approximately 750,000 American families would never see their loved one’s faces again as the men died, often far from home. As a result, some 200,000 white women became widows within these four years.”[1] The women are all in mourning for their lost mates. Busenitz says, “The young woman has exchanged the silky fabric of a wedding dress for the scratchy, coarse clothing of goat’s hair! She has traded the music and gaiety of the wedding feast for the reverberating cry of the funeral dirge! In the ancient world, the donning of sackcloth was a customary rite used to visibly express one’s state of mourning.”[2]

The moral foundation of the nation had collapsed. They had turned to the habits and practices of the people around them and had rejected the morals and values instituted by God for people to live healthy, happy, and purposeful lives. The deterioration of moral values signals the end of any society, as history has taught us. Like Israel, America has had its dramatic origin. It was called from the slavery of an unjust rule to make a long journey to an unknown land to start again. Being one nation under God, we have established the greatest nation on earth. I hope we know enough to learn from the history of Israel. But, I’m afraid we’ve lost our bearing. The question Peter Seger asked, “When will we ever learn?” pointed at the uselessness of war and was a protest song primarily against the Vietnam War. I would say that the real question we need to ask is when we will learn that without God and the moral foundation the Judeo-Christian ethic provides, we are doomed to the same fate as Israel.

[1] Civil War Widows – Essential Civil War Curriculum

[2] Busenitz, Irvin A. 2003. Commentary on Joel and Obadiah. Mentor Commentaries. Geanies House, Fearn, Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor.

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