Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tread Cautiously

We are standing on holy ground.  For I know that there are angels all around.
 ~Lyrics by Bill Gaither

 Today on September 29th, the Western Christian calendar will note the day as “Michaelmas” also known as “The Feast of Angels”.  This Festival of Angels celebrates the angels of the Bible: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.  Here’s a piece of esoteric trivia:  Raphael is found only in the Book of Tobit, which just Catholics and Anglican Christians consider to be scriptural canon.  However, while all three are often venerated as “archangels”, Michael was really the only angel in the Bible actually described as such, or as “The Chief of Angels”.  Legend has it that when Satan had the audacity to suggest that he could be “like the Most High”, Michael spoke up and objected by saying “Who is like God?”—The correct answer?  No one.  Thus, he received his name:  Mi (who) Ke (as or like) El (God).  In artistic depictions Michael is depicted with his foot on Satan’s neck and the Sword (the Word of God) raised to defeat him. 

Today, angels are portrayed with a distorted Hollywood image.  They are either depicted “fairy-like” as a baby-faced cherub or somewhat like the kindly old gentleman in “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  Neither of these is an accurate Biblical portrayal.  Angels in the Bible were mighty, strong, large and terrifying.  The occasional times that they visited mankind throughout the Bible, they were a frightful vision.  “Fear Not” was almost always the first thing they needed to say to the trembling lump of humanity huddling on the floor.  Angels, as God’s holy messengers, evoked respect, reverence and awe.  Many Old Testament angel visitations are widely interpreted to have been Christ himself.  

Unfortunately, our current worldview seems completely lacking in reverence and awe of Almighty God.  According to modern urban-speak, we have T-shirts that now claim “Jesus is my Homeboy”.  The recent spectacle at the Democratic National Convention commenced with the “booing” of God three times.  In 1882, the German philosopher Nietzche, often associated with Nazism and nihilism, declared “God is Dead”.  Now with the advent of the emboldened “New Atheism”, they don’t even bother to say He has died—they deny is very existence altogether. Utter dismissal and disrespect.
Christians are not immune to this impertinence. Our presumptuous bumper stickers claim “God is my Co-Pilot”.  The truth is that we are not piloting our own ship with God sitting passively beside us.  God is the “Pilot-in-Command”.  We are more like a squished bug on the windshield holding on for dear life. 

When God appeared to Moses through the Burning bush, Moses was commanded to take off his shoes.

God called to him from within the bush, “Moses, Moses!” and Moses said “Here I am.”  “Do not come any closer”, God said.  “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground”.
~Exodus 3:4-5

Shoe removal was a sign of deep respect, similar to the removal of a hat that we see in cultures today.  Shoes off, hat in hand, head bowed we should gingerly approach the Great I AM. 

Remember the infamous shoe-throwing incident involving President Bush?  When he was at a 2008 press conference in Baghdad, one radical Islamic journalist stood up and threw both his shoes at the Presidents face.  Apparently, even today, shoes remain as a symbolic image of great disrespect to authority.  It is one of the highest insults in Islamic culture to wipe your shoes on something.  Thus we see the frenzied crowds stomping on top of the U.S. and Israeli flags almost daily in the news. 

We need to be in a time of serious reflection and soul searching as a nation.  Unfortunately, this usually only occurs after a major national tragedy.  When people called out to God after 9/11 there was a temporary boom in church attendance and mentions of God in public.  Who can forget the members of Congress singing “God Bless America” on the steps of the Capitol immediately following this national tragedy?  This quickly dissipated back to “business as usual” instead of resulting in the much needed wake up call to repentance.  God’s “wake up calls” tend to get louder and more significant with each passing event if repentance is not the net result.  The Hebrew root word meaning of repentance signifies “turning back” or “returning to God”.  We MUST turn around as a nation.

In Revelation, we see a pattern:  First there are major warnings (like 9/11) or also identified as  “Trumpet calls”,  then a brief period of Contemplation—signified by the symbolic half hour of silence in Revelation.  Perhaps, God is giving us a chance to think about it…then… Judgement.   

The trumpet calls in the Revelation seem to increase in intensity as the people continue to blindly stumble forward unrepentant.  This next scripture always shocks me. It is almost beyond comprehension that after the six horrific tragedies (trumpet calls) described in Revelation, the public would not repent. Yet isn’t this exactly what we are seeing today in America as we hurtle forward towards economic and moral collapse?

But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to turn from their evil deeds.
~Revelation 9:20   

I have some advice for America.  If we don’t want to get burned, we need to “take off our shoes” before they are forcibly removed from us.  Based on the stiff-necked response in the U.S. today, let’s pray that Yahweh does not have to use a “Scorched Earth” policy in order to achieve this objective. 

Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am--so much greater that I'm not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals.
~Mark 1:7

If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
~James Madison

Interested in National Repentance?
Go to the Congressional Prayer Caucus Website:

Annual National Day of Repentance:
2013 Date: Yom Kippur September 13th (Sunset) through September 14th (Nightfall)
Feel free to join any number of events calling for National Prayer and Repentance as we lead up to the November 6th elections.

  • America for Jesus - A National Solemn Assembly:  A solemn assembly in Philadelphia on September 28-29 where tens of thousands of Christians will be gathering in focused prayer and fasting for our nation.  
  • The Summons - A Solemn Assembly in Washington, D.C.: An event with hundreds of leaders and citizens in our nation's capital on October 3 -7. This is a moment in time for God's people to stand in the gap on behalf of all Americans.  This special prayer gathering will focus on all institutions of government within Washington, D.C. with prayer at the Capitol Building, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Pentagon and the Washington Monument.  
  • David's Tent Washington DC: (24/7 Worship of Jesus Christ on White House Ellipse)
Prayer Initiatives:

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