Drought, Judgment and the Cycles of Time

"To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven." (Ecc.3:1) In the midst of our drought and economic hardship allow me to give you some counsel about judgment and cycles of life and time.

Calls have gone out locally and nationally for a time of special prayer for our nation as we endure the worst drought in many a decades and that compounded by a collapse of mineral prices causing a collapse of our currency.  Added to all our other problems one gets the feeling that the Lord must be judging our nation. 

I mention this also in reference to the many times we might feel that things are going so bad in our lives that the Lord must be judging us. I want to give you some revelation from Jesus own words to clarify this issue of divine judgment and hopefully help you understand the purposes of God both for our nation as well as for your life.

Now read this carefully:
"If any man hear my words and believes not, I judge him not, for I came not to judge the world but to save the world."  (John 12:47)

I bet that statement goes against a lot of sermons you have heard. You have sinned and the Lord is going to judge you! The nation has sinned and the Lord is judging us! But we know there is judgment for sin. But if Jesus says He is not the one to judge us then who or what is judging us?  I know the devil accuses us but that means nothing.  Its the judgment of God that matters and here Jesus says, Hey look if you do not believe in me I am not going to judge you!

Ok, now read the following very carefully to find out where your judgment comes from:

"He that rejects me and receives not my words has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken will judge him..." (John 12:48)

Now I am going to give you a new idea how to read that scripture. Up to now you have had that preached to you that every word that Jesus spoke in the gospels will judge you.  So you go through your red letter Bible and take special note of all that Jesus taught and we make sure we follow all that He said do that we are not judged by those words.  And I agree that is very important.

But how about this idea of the word that will judge you:

John 1 has the most wonderful opening of "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God...all things were made by Him (the Word) and without him was not anything made that was made."

So all of creation both the physical world and the heavenly worlds and all their powers and beings are a manifestation of the spoken Word of God!

Now catch this idea:  The spoken Word of God created all of reality in which we live both in this world and the world to come.  And inherent in the created reality in which you and I live are the blessings of God and the punishments of God.  It is that Word that judges you....reality!

Here is a very simple analogy:  You jump out of a high building.  It is not God who is going to kill you.  It is the reality of the world that His spoken word has created that will kill you....the law of gravity and a hard pavement below.

The Bible throughout acknowledges that this is a very tough world that God created and placed you in.  Throughout history basically all religions and that includes Christians feel that there is something wrong with how this world functions.  It is both cruel and wonderful. It is both full of abundance and yet you can so easily die from lack.  It seems a constant struggle. 

Every religion struggles with the dilemma of life:
Eastern mystics say it is all an illusion...just ignore it. Or meditate yourself into desiring nothing and you can then ignore the pain of desire unfulfilled.  Platonists say it is just a shadow on the wall. Stoics say make the best of it. Epicureans say have a ball and die.

We Christians struggle with it. We cannot understand why the wicked prosper. We blame our plight on Adam.  We long for paradise...a life of no struggle and constant abundance.

And yet my Bible tells me that when God finished making this world through His spoken word then He was very pleased and called it all good (Gen. 1:31). All the bugs, bacteria, viruses, thorns, rats, snakes, droughts, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, fires....all made by His Word and all declared to be very good!

Now lets get back the verse I quoted in the beginning from Ecclesiastes 3.  What a wonderful section of scripture. Please read it on your own. It goes through all the seasons of life and love and war and peace and all the struggles of man and all the blessings and then it asks this important question:

"What profit has he that works in that wherein he labours?"  (Eccl. 3:9)

What the scripture asks is what all people have asked through history. What is the point of my life and labour here on this earth with all its toils, with all its seasons, with all its joys and all its pains?

And then he answers his question in the next verse:

"I have seen the travail which God has given to the sons of men to be exercised in it but He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Eccl.3:10-11)

God has placed us in a world of travail...and a world of blessing and riches.  It is a world to exercise us  so that in His time if we follow in obedience to His word we will emerge beautiful in His time.

That is why Paul said "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Rom.8:18

The Lord has great compassion for us in this struggle of life. That is why He who made this difficult world by His own spoken word laid aside His power and glory and took upon Himself our human frailties and showed us he way:
"For it became him for whom are all things and by whom are all things in brining many sons unto glory, to male the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (Heb. 2:10)

Now with this in mind let me give you some Godly counsel:

There are many laws imbedded within the reality of the world in which we find ourselves.  You must get to grips with these laws of life to avoid unnecessary hardship.

A good place to start is to meditate on His word day and night as Psalm 1 tells you "and then shall your way be made prosperous".

God longs for your blessing and prosperity. He longs to crown you with glory and honour. But you must do it His way. It's His reality. He created it, you must be obedient to His rules.

One of those laws is the law of the cycle of times.  There is a time for everything.  We are born into a world of time limitations and therefore you must carefully watch your times.  You do not have unlimited time here on earth.

We are now as a nation going into a time of food crises because our government and farmers ignored the cycles of time.  Two years ago we had record harvest and also last year a good surplus of maize.  Our country exported huge surpluses at a loss into world markets where grain prices were low.  We also knew two years ago that an El Nino weather pattern was coming. That has always meant lack of rain.  That is also part of the cycles of time.

Is God judging the nation? No. Our ignoring the reality of the spoken Word of God that created a world with time cycles and water and drought cycles... that is judging us. Government will not work with the farming community to support our farmers.  They should have bought up the surplus and stored it for the dry times coming.  That is the reality of the world that God has created.

So here is another reality of the world that the spoken Word of God created that will lead to prosperity instead of judgment of lack and poverty:

You get more done when you cooperate with others to achieve ends.  But the Word warns us "where there is strife there is every evil work".  Our land is filled with strife and so we are spiralling into poverty as a nation.  When everyone is out for themselves and their own benefit, everyone eventually suffers. Is it God's judgment that is taking our nation down financially? No.  It is the reality of God's creation of how to live and function in His world.

Where has the most prosperity come from in the last 100 years of massive economic growth?  By nations and corporations obeying the principles of God's Word:

- You grow your company by serving the needs of consumers.  Let this mind be in you which was in Christ....who made himself a servant.
- You get market share from your competitors by quality and service, making better products at lower prices.  Give and it shall be given unto you.
- You need as a corporation do what the book of Proverbs tells you to do...seek after knowledge, seek after understanding. That means a big R&D budget of research and discovery.
- You need to be a visionary and see things that others have not dreamed about. You can create new products and new services.

I can give you many more examples.  But you can see what I am getting at. God has so made the world of reality through His spoken Word that if you are obedient to God and His Word then reality will bless you. If you think you can get ahead by breaking His laws,  it might seem easy pickings for a while...but reality will catch up on you.

I see this ignoring of the cycles of time in so many Christians lives:
- women who ignore the biological clock and strive for career at a time they should have children....and then time catches them.
- young men who waste their young years in useless partying, games, womanizing and life passes them by and they wake up to a reality of work with no skills for the market place  because they do not take studies seriously when they should have. Others pass them by in life who made the sacrifices needed for success.
- I see people who live lives of no financial budgets, no savings and no preparation for old age and time catches them...and they face a desperate old age of dependence on others.
- I see the economic cycles of debt now coming to fruition in the world economy. God warned in His word to place limitations on debt. But the world banking system and political systems ignore the word of God.  Now hear me on this...the world is heading for the greatest economic depression as the unpayable mountains of debt around the world cascade into a rubble of financial destruction...its happening now with world deflation as a symptom and currency wars as desperate measures to create non-existent markets for goods that will remain unsold.

There are cycles of times in weather, nations, economies and in your life.  All of the laws of reality that God created this world by have one end conclusion...the way gets narrower and narrower as time progresses until there is only one workable reality...the Kingdom of God is destined to prevail over all the earth. In the world's economies, in the laws of nations and in the lives of people.

The end point of this great exercise of life that God has created is that only that which obeys His laws of reality will remain in the earth....all else will fail eventually and end up in the dust bin of history.

Build your life and your family and your business on the rock of His word and take your stand on that Word.  It will without fail carry you through the trying times of judgment coming on our nation.

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