For “Scripture Sunday”:
Is God Shaking Our Nations?
Don’t forget God is in charge of events we see happening in our world today.
Video at: https://youtu.be/QU55ynWhtlc
[Darris McNeely] “America has a new president and a new administration and so many people around the world are wondering exactly what that will mean for world affairs and America’s role in the world. I was reading an article the other day about what will face the new president when he comes into office – issues that are already boiling with changes among the nations that are taking place. Europe and Russia, for instance, and Russia’s incursions into the Crimea and the Ukraine and the Brexit issue that is unravelling the European Union and the potential for more. And we look at Asia, we see China and its rise in power and influence, and a realignment of many of the power structures and of course the Middle East is always in the news and a great deal of turmoil there. These are all issues that are going to be facing world leaders and especially the new American president.
It reminded me of a scripture that —I’ve been pondering over a couple of scriptures, actually, from the prophets Haggai and the prophet Habakkuk that we have been talking about in our Beyond Today live appearances, “America: The Time is Now”, and in Bible studies here that we have also taped for Beyond Today . And the role that God has – and He says that He has among the nations and as we look at turmoil among the nations, realignment of various power blocks in today’s world, we shouldn’t be surprised and we should be actually instructed because of what God says from His holy word about His hand in world affairs.
In the book of Haggai, the prophet Haggai makes a statement in a very interesting prophecy that is given to the Jews in the years when they returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Haggai chapter 2 and verse 7 – God says, “’I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I’ll fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:7). And again, in verse 20 and 21 and 22, God says, “I will shake heaven and earth. I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms” (Haggai 2:21-22). That’s the book of Haggai, chapter 2. A very interesting prophecy that God makes there about His role in the world – that he can actually shake the nations. Doesn’t something like that sound about like what we read today in our headlines, as we look at today’s world scene?
The earlier statement that God made about that, it’s from the prophet Habakkuk where, in chapter 1 and verse 5 of Habakkuk, God said to the prophet, “Look among the nations and watch and be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you” (Habakkuk 1:5). God works in the nations. He did then and ever so much more now. In fact, the apostle Paul gave us a very, very interesting bit of information to help us put this all in perspective in Acts chapter 17, where he says of God that “He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth”, and about the nations he says, “He has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17:26).
This is encouraging and it’s also very enlightening but comforting to help us understand that God is in charge of history, that even turmoil among nations, like we are seeing in our world today, need not cause us to be so overly fearful or concerned, but to understand that there is a God who is in control of history. He determines when nations rise and fall. He determines when they will be powerful and not so powerful. There’s larger hands, there are larger issues working today. And as we look around at our world and we try to figure it all out, don’t forget the unseen hand from history that is the hand of God upon the world, as we find evidence here from these two prophets and the apostle Paul.” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/is-god-shaking-our-nations
An Amazing Fact: “The leafy seadragon is a marine fish in the same family as seahorses and is found along the southern and western coasts of Australia. It gets its name from its interesting appearance. This sea creature has the ultimate camouflage outfit! It has long, leaf-like appendages growing out all over its body. These protrusions don’t help it to swim but are simply for helping it hide from predators. The leafy seadragon does have pectoral fins on its neck and a dorsal fin near the end of its tail, but these fins are transparent and difficult to see. As it slowly moves about, it has the appearance of floating like seaweed. This illusion helps it blend in to its environment. It can even change its color to match its surroundings.
The name for this fish comes from its resemblance to the mythical dragon. Seadragons grow to be about 8 to 10 inches long and mostly eat plankton and small crustaceans. They have long, pipe-like snouts like the seahorse, through which they suck up small bits of food. Unlike the seahorse, seadragons do not have curled tails that can hang on to objects. They actually don’t move very much and have been observed staying in one place for up to 68 hours.
The greatest threat to these beautiful creatures is man. Some people catch them to use in alternative medicine. Others simply are fascinated by them and capture them to put in aquariums, though they are difficult to maintain. Pollution has negatively hurt these little fish, and they are now officially protected by the government of Australia.
In fact, the leafy seadragon is the official marine emblem of the state of South Australia.
The Bible speaks of another dragon that is a master of camouflage. Satan does not directly reveal himself but uses a variety of means to hide and deceive. From Eve in the Garden of Eden to our day, the devil is seeking to lead us astray through trickery. Jesus warns us, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders
to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand” (Matthew 24:24, 25). As the coming of Jesus moves closer, look carefully at the claims of Christians. Not everything you see is truth.”
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Genesis 3:13
This week we have mostly been working on the attic floor, and the kitchen cabinets. The attic carpet is back down and everything is back in it’s place. The cabinets were a bit more complicated. I had bought the 12 feet of Formica back when we were just going to redo the kitchen where it was. Now that the kitchen had to be moved, the Formica will have to be cut, and used around the corner of two walls instead of one straight wall. We wanted to make sure that the longest piece was cut exactly to fit, so we have put down the plywood base for the front wall countertop. Then what Formica is left over will be for the side cabinet that holds the cook top. Hopefully we will get that done this week.
Roni, the crazy lady from down the street has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and is still in the hospital. So now I have her two cats here and will take care of them until she comes home, which probably won’t happen. The cats will be spayed and I will foster them until they are adopted.
A great big pot of spaghetti with a really meaty sauce was my contribution for the church potluck, and I steamed some chunked new potatoes then roasted them in olive oil. We also had a big pot of chicken and dumplings, as well as many other dishes, so we were all well fed physically, and then spiritually. Even the gal who will only eat organic and the vegan girl were well catered for.
The Bible readings were Exo. 1:1-6:1, Isa. 27:6-28,29:22-23, Matt. 23:31-39 and the Teaching was about Divine Ownership.
The weather has been warm again, very un-winter-like, but before Spring gets here it will probably freeze again for a couple of days.