Nehemiah 9.24-28 – Apostacy and Judgment
Posted: 6 February 2012 in Nehemiah

So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards….. and delighted themselves in thy great goodness. Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations. Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. But after they had rest, they did evil again…..

From biblical times, right up until the presenet day, there seems to have been a recurrent pattern. When things are going well, and people feel prosperous, they soon start to worship their material prosperity, rather than their Creator. When the idol turns out to have feet of clay, as happened in the 2008 credit crunch, church attendance will briefly rise, but when the feared 1920’s style crash fails to materialise (as yet),church attendence soon falls back to what it was. The western world’s favourite idol may be in a poor state of health at the moment, but still people are confident (except possibly in Greece) that it will eventually be fully recovered.

In the Bible apostacy is always, and without exception, followed by judgment. It seems possible that on this occasion, the judgment will take the form of the world economy going into a tailspin; most likely following upon one or more governments defaulting on their debts. Punishment is never for its own sake, of course, and it is always designed to take away our idols; thereby making us once again aware of our dependence upon the one true God.

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