Monday, September 29, 2008

Is the Time Ripe for Us?

Reading: Amos 8 – 9
This morning as I was reading this in my devotions, I could not help but wonder if this prophetic utterance given to Amos regarding Israel has application to America today.
This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. 2"What do you see, Amos?" he asked. "A basket of ripe fruit," I answered. Then the LORD said to me, "The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.  3"In that day," declares the Sovereign LORD, "the singers in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!"  4Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land...” (Amos 8:2-4)
What application could it possibly have? Let's answer that by asking two questions re: this text: Who and what? Vs. 4 says, “Hear this...” Who needs to hear this? What do they need to hear?
Who needs to hear this?
You who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land.”
Oppression of the poor and needy has taken various forms at various times in history. But, the powerful have always oppressed the helpless, the weak, the needy. In America today the greatest oppression, the most helpless and weakest needy are clearly seen in the abortion industry. While there were abortions done by individuals prior to 1973, since 1973 our nations has condoned, supported and stood behind what is approaching 50 million abortions. No oppression in history, as far as I am aware, even approaches this magnitude. And it continues today; right now.
And the abortion industry targets the needy and poor...doing away with the poor of the land. In Jeremiah 22:3 we read, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow. And do not shed innocent blood in this place.” Abortion targets the fatherless. And regardless of circumstance, abortion targets the helpless—those unable to defend themselves.
One can also see that it targets the poor and needy by the fact that it is designed to target minority babies—to eliminate or reduce the poor from among us. That may surprise you, but a simple study of the facts will reveal that it is true. African-American women, who make up 13% of the female population account for 36% of all abortions. Latino-American women make up another 13% of the female population, but account for 20% of all abortions. More African-American babies have been killed by abortion since 1973 than the total number of African-American deaths from AIDS, violent crimes, accidents, cancer, and heart disease combined.
Why? Because the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was an avowed racist with a desire for a pure, white race with much the same philosophical beliefs as Adolf Hitler. She envisioned birth-control and abortion to be a primary means of reducing the population of, inferior races that were human weeds and a menace to civilization.” She viewed charity to ethnic minorities as a “malignant, social disease” and desired to “create a race of thoroughbreds by encouraging more children from the fit and less from the unfit.” Thus, the Negro Project, launched in 1939 by Planned Parenthood, was designed to target, “the mass of Negroes in the South that still breed carelessly and disastrously so as to focus on that portion of the population least intelligent and fit.” Studies today show that many Planned Parenthood clinics are strategically placed in neighborhoods of the highest concentration of African-Americans.
Who needs to hear this message in Amos? Those who trample the needy and do away with the poor. And, since we as a nation condone, support and stand behind the abortion industry, we need to hear this message.
What do we need to hear?
The Lord showed Amos a basket of ripe fruit. Imagine you have a bowl of fruit at home. This is the one that has the black bananas, the soft apples... it is about ready for being tossed. Time is up for that fruit. It no longer has time to wait. So what did this mean for them? God's wrath was coming (Amos 8:2-3). The description is clear, “bodies flung everywhere!” “Silence” indicates a time of sheer shock and awe. The terror will be so great that those present will stand in stunned silence, unable to utter a word.
Have we reached this point as a nation? I don't really know, but we are definitely flirting with disaster every day that abortion continues being supported and condoned in our nation.
You may say, “This can't be applied to America, because God was speaking to Israel, His covenant people.” True enough that His original audience was Israel. However, the context makes clear that this isn't because of their status as the chosen people; we can't claim exemption either.
"Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?" declares the LORD. "Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?  8"Surely the eyes of the Sovereign LORD are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earth—yet I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob," declares the LORD. (Amos 9:7-8)
If Israel could not claim exemption from judgment because they were God's chosen nation, neither can America. We don't even have the same status. God will judge the sinful kingdom. And I don't think anyone can exclude America from that description. May God have mercy on us.
Is the time ripe for us as a nation? I hope not, but no doubt our decisions as a nation in the coming days will have an impact on this. Presently the Supreme Court and many of the federal courts are filled with judges who would stop abortion because it destroys innocent lives. Whatever else one might think of George Bush, thank God he has appointed pro-life judges who will outlast every other decision he made. If our next president does the same, this industry will be stopped. If the next president supports abortion, and appoints judges who also support it, then the wicked will rule, and the helpless will continue to be slaughtered. One of the candidates not only supports abortion, but supports the most horrific forms of abortion known. He even voted against a ban on partial birth abortion. He voted against reviving babies born alive, after a botched abortion...wanting them to be discarded as waste while still breathing. May God deliver us from such a wicked man. May he have mercy on our nation. Don't be caught up in a man, or discouraged by a man. Make decisions to save lives on election day.
Dr. Martin Luther King's Daughter's Dream
I want to close with words from Dr. Alveta King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., founder of King for America. She has a dream of her own.
We have been fueled by the fire of Women’s Rights so long that we have become deaf to the outcry of the real victims whose rights are being trampled upon – the babies and the mothers. Oh God, that Martin Luther King Jr., who dreamed of having his children judged by the content of their character… What would he do if he had lived to see the contents of thousands of children’s skulls emptied into the bottomless caverns of the abortionists’ pits? It is time for America, perhaps the most blessed nation on Earth, to lead the World in repentance and in restoration of life. Abortion is at the forefront of our destruction. The only healing and redemption is in the blood of Jesus – blood willingly shed so that we could stand today and cry for the blood of the unborn that is drenching the land of our children. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety’ How can the dream survive if we murder the children? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. If the dream of Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. is to live, our babies must live! Our mothers must choose life! If we refuse to answer the cry of mercy from the unborn and ignore the suffering of the mothers, then we are signing our own death warrants. I too, like Martin Luther King Jr., have a dream. I have a dream that the men and women and boys and girls of America will come to our senses and humble ourselves before God Almighty and pray for mercy and receive His healing grace. I pray that this is the day, the hour of our deliverance. May God have mercy on us all.
Love the Gospel, Live the Gospel, Advance the Gospel,

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