Living Under the Sword of Damocles – by Tim King – www.raptureready.com/soap/king3.html
A little story from the past: There is an ancient legend about a young man named Damocles who was a court flatterer to the forth century BC tyrant, Dionysius II of Syracuse in Greek Southern Italy. Daily, Damocles would flatter the king by telling him how lucky he was to have such a great position with all its complimentary wealth and sumptuous living. One day Dionysius turned to Damocles and commented, “If you think I’m so lucky, how would you like to try my life?” Damocles immediately accepted the opportunity to take the king’s position and once Dionysius had made all the preparations Damocles took the king’s place. It wasn’t long, however, before Damocles looked up and noticed a polished and sharpened sword dangling precariously over his head by a single long horse hair. Damocles quickly came to the conclusion that the king’s position was not so desirable after all and quickly returned to his former life.
Deaf ears: We have an interesting correlation here between Damocles’ predicament and the one we have here in the United States. Once Damocles had assessed his situation and noticed the peril he was in, he quickly returned to his former existence. Not so with America. Our leaders have failed to assess many things properly in God’s eyes and so our nation remains firmly seated in defiant rebellion against the One who raised us up for a time such as this. For many years God has sent a wide variety of remedial chastisements to our land in the form of hurricanes, tornado outbreaks and severe storms, destructive flood and fire events, terrorism and lately the financial crisis. All this, it seems, has fallen on deaf ears. Like beasts penned up for slaughter, the vast majority of us, both Christian and non-Christian alike, living here in United States have failed to notice the sword that is hanging so precariously over our heads. Our nation has been living in the shadow of the “Damocles Sword” of God’s judgment for a long time and our new presidential administration under the guidance of Barack Hussein Obama is working feverishly to carry us to a much deeper level of rebellion against our Creator.
A nation with a purpose: Not so long ago in the pages of our history, the founding fathers of our nation left the religiously oppressive climate in England to establish a government in a new land that would be free for all who chose to operate on God’s principles and under His direct leadership. We have not been perfect, we’ve certainly proved over time as many sad and deplorable acts against humanity have happened at the hands of our own citizens. But in many good ways we have served as a beacon of hope to countless millions who have sought to find a safer better place to raise their families and follow the desires of their heart. Our nation was built on the foundation of Biblical principles and because of our Christian heritage there has never been a nation in the history of the world that has been blessed with such a degree of prosperity for its citizens. In view of these things, there are some pressing questions that must be asked. Why did God bring forth a nation such as this? Why have we been so greatly blessed? Scripture demonstrates that God has a purpose and plan for all things and our nation has served Him in three basic but very important ways:
1. Missionary outreach: We have had the largest concentration of Bible believing Christians in the world who have worked hard to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth and help others less fortunate than themselves.
2. Safe haven for God’s “chosen people” the Jews. Many Jews at times in the past have migrated to America to escape religious and ethnic tyranny and have thrived to become prominent leaders and business people.
3. Israel’s guardian and watchman: Since 1948 our nation has served as a guardian and protector of the fledgling State of Israel. (ref: Genesis 12: 1-3)
Why does a nation forget God? It seems that when prosperity and material gain increase, dependence on and reverence for God decrease. This is what ancient Israel was guilty of before God. Their leaders loved money and praise and it lead them into all kinds of immorality. As they became prosperous and strong, they became self reliant and began to do their own thing like worshipping the idol gods of the nations that surrounded them. In spite of all the warning He gave to them through the prophets, they failed to give the one true God all the glory and praise deserving of His love and His great name. This of course resulted in God expelling His wrath upon them.
God broke the back of Egypt forcing them to release Israel. After Israel became free they sinned against God and He forced them to wander in the desert for 40 years until that generation was dead. Just prior to them entering the Holy Land, God warned Israel:
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery…. You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. (Deut 8: 10-14, 18-18)
So how does this apply to America? Have we been unfaithful to God and worshipped other gods of our own making? I would say so. Our nation worships money and free and unrestricted sex and we have sacrificed millions of our unborn children on the graven alter of immorality. Since the 1973 “Roe v. Wade” legislation, abortionists have murdered one sixth of our population, that’s about 50 Million babies struck down in abortion mills. One of the first things that the Obama administration did after coming into power was to reinstate the “Mexico City Act” which funded overseas abortion clinics with U.S. tax dollars. Then on March 9, 2009, President Obama also signed an order lifting restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. At the Whitehouse website (www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/women) under “Reproductive Choice” it states, “However he (President Obama) has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority in his Administration.”
Abortion is not the only way we have spurned God. Add to that violent crime, pornography, drug abuse, prostitution, the ever increasing likelihood that gay marriage will be legalized across the nation and it all adds up to great trouble for our nation. It seems that our prosperity has made us fat and lazy. We have allowed the wicked in our midst to turn our hearts far from God and we have been suffering remedial judgments from God for a number of years yet we haven’t learned anything from it. Again, this is what happened to ancient Israel. God gave Ezekiel this warning to pass onto the Children of Israel:
The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its men and their animals, even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD.
"Or if I send wild beasts through that country and they leave it childless and it becomes desolate so that no one can pass through it because of the beasts, as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved, but the land would be desolate.
"Or if I bring a sword against that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass throughout the land,’ and I kill its men and their animals, as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved.
"Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out my wrath upon it through bloodshed, killing its men and their animals, as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they could save neither son nor daughter. They would save only themselves by their righteousness. (Ezekiel 14: 13-20) This is chilling!!!!
Land for Peace: One of the fastest ways to get on the bad side of God is to place oneself against the nation and people of Israel. God is jealous for His people Israel and He has always had a very close personal relationship with them. This is the central theme of ancient scripture. God made a covenant with Abraham, their founding father, promising to make his descendents into a great nation and God gave them a certain land to dwell in as an eternal possession. Since the re-gathering of the Jews back to the land in 1948, the Land of Israel and the capitol city of Jerusalem have become fiercely coveted by the Muslim nations that surround Israel. They have promised to make the waters of the Mediterranean Sea red with the blood of the Jews as they cleanse the land of the Jewish presence. God promised to bless those who blessed Abraham’s offspring and to curse those who cursed his descendants through Isaac and Jacob. (ref: Genesis 12: 1-3)
Our nation has been engaging in an ongoing campaign with the United Nations, European Union and Russia to force Israel ever closer into accepting a “land for peace” deal with their sworn enemies. This began when the George H.W. Bush administration invited Israel to participate in the Madrid Conference in October 1991. Each successive administration has worked to achieve peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis by forcing Israel to make land concessions but failure is always the predicted outcome because there is only one partner interested in securing a lasting and real peace.
The current Obama administration doesn’t seem to be a strong supporter of the nation of Israel. They strongly support a two state solution which is in violation of God’s Word. What they ultimately do in the future remains to be seen. President Obama has been traveling around the world apologizing to our fascist enemies for actions that our nation has taken in the past to suppress their horrendous civil rights violations so it seems unlikely that he will take positive actions to protect Israel from attack by their aggressive neighbors.
America, the fading star: Our nation, a great leader and superpower of the free world, really doesn’t appear to have a significant role in the “end times” scenario as laid out in Scripture. When or how our fall from prominence will take place is uncertain. Will we see it or will it happen after the Rapture of the church? Will it be a gradual decline or a massive fall? These are all questions to be answered by the passage of time. For those of us who have placed our trust in the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus, we can rest with the assurance of eternal life in His glorious presence.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Rev. 21: 1-4)
But for the dwellers of this world and those who place their trust in man and swear allegiance to a nation no matter what path it chooses to follow, perhaps this is what awaits.
"Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief. And when they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every knee become as weak as water.’ It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign LORD." The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Lord says:
" ‘A sword, a sword, sharpened and polished – sharpened for the slaughter, polished, and flashing like lightning! " You my son have despised the rod and all advice. " ‘The sword is appointed to be polished, to be grasped with the hand, it is sharpened and polished, made ready for the hand of the slayer. (Ezekiel 21: 6-10)