A Note: I feel the growing compulsion to speak out about this, given the timing of events that are coming to pass now. In 2003 the Lord spoke to me about what would happen when One World Trade Center was rebuilt. You can read about it here.
Nothing Lasts Forever
Anyone who is a good student of history knows that no nation lasts forever.
It doesn’t take a prophet, a dream or a vision to foretell that America will not last. It will come to an end. Of this, I am 100% sure. Perhaps the Lord will not tarry much longer and it will end with the return of Jesus, but even then it will become the United States of Jesus.
Regardless of how America comes to its end, it will most definitely end. At least it will end how we think of it now.
Change is inevitable. What is interesting is just how bad we as humans are to adapting to it. One would think that we have ample practice adapting to change. There are four seasons a year, unless you live in Texas. We have two. Hot, and something other than hot, but I digress. We are used to change. Each new day we are older than the day before, but therein lies our problem.
Most of the change we experience is so gradual, we don’t notice it. I looked in the mirror this morning and I saw gray hair. I don’t know how it happened, because yesterday I looked and I swore I was 19.
We can deal with gradual change. The big changes are hard for us. New jobs, new towns, new friends, new babies, new spouses, new divorces: these are radical life changes and they each come with multi-billion dollar industries to help us cope with them.
Because we don’t cope well.
How many of you have moved to a new town with all the anticipation and hope that can bring, only to feel horribly lonely your first night in a new place. It is funny how unsettling some of life’s greatest opportunities can be, let alone those we have forced upon us.
Imagine, for a moment, what it must have been like to be the citizens of Jerusalem and Judah in the days after they were carried away to Babylon. This was not a change they chose for themselves. It was not a change anyone would have chosen, and it certainly wasn’t the gradual type.
Their nation had ended; their way of life forever altered. They never saw it coming, but they had no excuses.
Jeremiah wrote to them in chapter 29 of his prophecy. He told them this:
4This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.
10This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
That last part many of you probably know by heart, but this is its context. God was offering hope to those who had been forcibly and irrevocably removed from their beautiful home. But their home was no longer beautiful. Jerusalem was on fire as they left. Parents, children, aunts, uncles, friends and co-workers lay behind, burning in Jerusalem’s fire.
Now that I have painted the gravest of pictures for you, let me leave you in suspense on why it should matter to you today. I’ll talk more about that in part 2.