Texas Drought and Calamities!

The current Texas Drought of Central Texas is just one example at the end
of a long list of calamities that God has sent the way of His people since
9/11 to get their attention.  If you have not noticed it, then perhaps your
head has been in the sand of West Texas or New Mexico instead of
paying attention to the status quo in Central Texas.  The real and broad
subject of this message/chapter is a continuation of “Bible Studies in
Jeremiah and Prophesy” with a focus this month and newsletter on “How
God Uses Calamities for Grace and Chastisement?”  Just the minimal
death effects of this intense series of calamities since 9/11 as compared
to those overseas like the typhoon in Malaysia, speaks of how the grace of
God is always at work, in calamities or otherwise.
Many of you from college days perhaps can remember the book “Uses of
the Past” which essentially answers the question, “What can we learn from
a study of past history?”  And HOW GOD USES CALAMITIES is a study
of history, especially of current history in the United States since 9/11.  
Like has been in the custom for generations in the study of American
history to separate into two course, one before the civil war and 1865, and
one after the civil war, from 1865 to present; we might consider the history
of God’s dealings with the US from before 9/11 and then from those after
9/11, and surely what we would find is a large decrease around 9/11, sort
of like another watershed of American history--that is of American history
as God deals with us--in righteousness of God’s people and churches with
an inevitable decrease in “effectual” and “fervent” prayer.  Jeremiah is well
established in history and in the Bible, as well as in the hearts and minds of
God’s people, as the way God deals with His people when they have gone
astray without even fully recognizing it.  What they consider as religious
and God pleasing {more the pleasing of the gods}, as really become bitter
in the sight of God.  It is like stated in the prophets long ago, “While sin is a
reproach to any people, righteousness exalts a nation”; and beyond that
what does God do when His own people no longer recognize or
acknowledge the difference between sin and righteousness.  
{This is
exactly what happened to God’s people in Jeremiah when they would
practice religious “abominations” all week, then come to the house of
God and say, “We are delivered to do all these abominations.”}
Actually in order to be more thorough about the Bible on this subject of
calamities, 3 ways must be mentioned, besides grace and chastisement
should be added immediate judgement for punishment on those either not
God’s people or those of God’s people who in Jeremiah 24 are called by
God Himself “bad figs”.  I know you have always wondered why our good
and gracious God often sends so many calamities, more recently since
9/11 why God has sent such a seemingly infinite series of calamities on the
United States, starting with the terrorists attack in New York at 9/11 and go
on and on with floods, fires, drought, hurricanes, earthquakes, and most
recently the economic crisis.  About the only thing that could be worse for
the citizens of America would be an attack by a foreign country like
happened to Israel and Judah in the book of Jeremiah on the part of
Assyria and Babylon, where most of the citizens were killed and the good
figs taken captive “for their own good” (Jeremiah 24:5); and it is by no
means being suggested that the Prophesy of Jeremiah and other Prophets
has predicted destruction and captivity for the US by a foreign invader like
Assyria or Babylon, it is being clearly stated, hopefully, that what we are
told about that calamity in Jeremiah 24 provides from God’s own Word
insight into the way God uses all calamities.

12-1:  Fundamental in Bible prophesy is that God sends and uses

While it is granted that this aspect of Bible prophesy is often overlook while
most Americans have created in their own mentalities and conscience, a
God who is all love and not judgment or punishment, the consistent record
of the Bible in the Old Testament and New Testament is that God sends
and uses “calamities” to achieve His purpose.  And one of the main
reasons we have trouble understanding why God doesn’t immediate strike
dead wicked individuals and groups is because we often fail to see that
God is at work through calamities, at work on His own people providing
grace during calamities, at work among His own people using the
calamities of “correction” and “chastisement”, and at work among all the
other peoples of the world providing immediate judgment and punishment
even more the end of the world when all unbelievers are cast into the lake
of fire and brimstone along with Satan and the fallen angels.
If you truly want to see God’s grace through calamities at work in human
history and always, just look at plane accidents like the recent one with the
Yemeni Airlines where one  baby was saved while all the other passengers,
approximately 153, were killed.  Once again while like any invader of the
United States in the future is not be suggested, like Israel by Assyria and
Judah by Babylon, it likewise is not suggested that God caused the
calamities of the Yemeni plane crash; however, it is suggested that in the
salvation of the baby only, a guardian angel of God was at work to show
the grace of God during the calamity of this plane crash.  And you could go
back over the history of calamities during your life time to recall many acts
of grace, like where a baby was thrown clear and unharmed during a
tornado, where certain people were miraculously saved during the typhoon
in Indonesia, and so on and on!  Where our faith is really taxed is that God
could know so much about human events, in particular calamities most
generally called “acts of God” for a good reason, that He can intervene
through angels to control for good and bad what happens to certain good
figs and what happens to certain bad figs.

Quickly we will review a short history of calamities in the Bible!

1.  Job, The oldest book in the history of the Bible, and one we know as so
full of prophesy of the Redeemer Lord Jesus Christ, speaks of the
calamities that came into his life in Job 30:13, “they promote my calamity”
as he observes how the “rabble” takes advantage of him, men who
previously he even disdained to put with the dogs of his flock, while God is
allowing Satan to test his faith with calamities of health loss, family loses,
and property and status.
2.  In Numbers 11 with the historical record of the departure of the people
of God from Mount Sinai and at “Taberah”  (11:3)
{named such by Moses
because the fire of God immediately burned among them not waiting
for the eternal fires of hell}
where some of the complaining people were
“consumed with the “fire of the LORD” in the outskirts of the camp.}
3.  Always with God as in the details given with the Ten Commandments to
God’s original people at Mount Sinai, either the blessings of a blessing of
the calamities of a curse has by God been taken very seriously as in
Exodus 23:20:21.  In that portion of God’s Word, which by the way is
about just one guardian angel over the people of God, called “An Angel”
(23:20), God makes it clear how intricately involved He is with His own
people and through angels as messengers.

“Behold, I send An Angel before you to keep you in the way and to
bring you into the place which I have prepared
{obviously the
promised land of Palestine}
.  Beware of Him {you see that language
only warns of possible curses and calamities from this guardian angel
of the nation as well as the primary subject of the blessings of help
and guidance}
and obey His voice {obedience to God through an
angel or His Word in the Bible has always been, and continues to be,
an absolute condition from God of either blessings of the curse of
; do not provoke Him {these decisions on the part of God
are daily and yearly decisions as God monitors His own people for
good or bad, these angels be much closer than any realize}
, for He will
not pardon your transgressions
{God never overlooks
; for My name is in Him." {the name of God implies the
righteousness, holiness, and even justice of God.}
 (Exodus 23:20,21)

4.  When in Deuteronomy Moses reviewed in the hearing of God’s people
all that happened at Mount Sinai, starting with a review in Deuteronomy 5
of the ten commandments
{the very foundation of the covenant
between God’s people and Himself has always been the conditions of
these commandments}
, there were many specifics of cautions about
both a curse of calamities and a blessing of blessings:  (1) God told
Moses “Oh, that they had a heart in them that they would fear Me and
always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with
their children forever!”  (Deut. 5:29); (2) In 5:33 also from God, that the
people should walk in all the ways God commanded in order that they
might specifically receive the blessings of God for life, wellness, and long
life in the land God would give them;  (3) That in 6:2 that the days of them,
their children and their grandchildren might be prolonged in the land as they
(a) feared God and (b) kept all His commandments and statutes {you get
the picture that always and ever it has the covenant between God and His
people has been a two way street, blessings on God’s part or curses of
calamities, and continued obedience on the part of the people of God--and
by the way, it is the same today}; and (4) “Therefore” (6:3) listen people of
God and “be careful to observe” in order that (a) it will be “well with you”
{the is the only kind of prosperity that God every promises, a prosperity of
daily needs being supplied}, (b) that you may multiply greatly {another kind
of prosperity God’s promises}, and (c) the prosperity of a land flowing with
milk and honey to meet those daily needs.

12-2:  The Promised Blessings of God even included “large and
beautiful cities”, “houses full of good things”, wells already dug,
vineyards and trees which they did not plant.

“So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of
which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give
you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, house full of all
good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not
dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant--when you have
HOUSE OF BONDAGE.”  (Deut. 6:10-12)

By the time of Jeremiah, they did forget!  When they were saying during
their Temple worship and praise, “the temple of the LORD, the temple of
the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these”, and even as they were
talking about the buildings of the cities, the government, and the temple,
and what had once been, it was not longer so.  Furthermore, God then in
the days of Jeremiah called it “lying words” of praise and worship!
1.  They were to get the houses, cities, crops, and household goods of the
people of the land but not “the gods of the people who are all around you”
because:  (1) God is a jealous God of His own people; (2) God would
become angry (Deut. 6:14); (3) “destroy you from the face of the earth”;
and (4) not tempt God as they had previously done at Massah.

NOTE:  At Massah, Exodus 17:1,2 and following, the people
complained for water to drink, and went so far as to tempt God
Himself by saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”  (17:7)  And let
this be a lesson today for church members who would also contend
with God by way of contending with the ordained leadership of God.  
As Moses told them by contending with him over no water to drink,
they were contending with and tempting the LORD God Himself.  (17:2
and following).  So much for this false concept and practice of church
members that any decision they make against God’s leadership of a
church is right if it is backed by the democratic majority. No, wrong;
and a big fallacy of church government today that comes not from
anything in the Bible, but rather from the American democratic faith.

2.  Should not church members today be told like in Deuteronomy 6:18,
even as Jeremiah also told God’s people of His day of the righteous
demands of God, that “you shall do what is right and good in the sight of
the LORD”, THEN and ONLY THEN “it shall be well with you.  The
problem is today as the problem was in Jeremiah, that God’s own people
wanted the blessings without the stipulations, the wellness of life and in the
land without the “right and good in the sight of the LORD”.
How long has it been, if ever, that the people of your church, or even the
leaders, got together to discuss “what is right and good in the sight of the
LORD”.  No, never.  They will discuss how good they are in spite of human
sins; they will discuss that perfect righteousness is not possible; and they
will even discuss how better they are than people who do not attend
3.  What is the meaning of all these commandments from God:  of the
“testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments”?  (Deut 6:20)
(1).  When your son asked you the meaning while you are in the land, you
shall say:  (a) the LORD God brought us out of the land of Egypt with a
heavy hand when we were slaves {God directed intervened and in a
powerful way}; (b) God brought many calamities on the people and
government of Egypt to rescue His own people--sings and wonders, great
and severe (6:22).
(2).  God gave us after rescue all these statues in order that (Deut 6:
24,25):  (a) He would be respected and feared; (b) “for our good always”;
and (c) that He might preserve us alive as it is this day; (d) that the
observance would “be righteousness for us” {a concern ignored in
Jeremiah and often today in American churches}.

12-3:  Dedication of the Temple and Prayer About Calamities.

In the chapter, “When the Land Is not Healed” (II Chronicle 7:14) with an
extensive discussion of the intense series of calamities on the U.S. since
9/11, and from the book DEN OF THIEVES, you will find the following
quote from the dedication prayer of King Solomon.  {In order to read this
further and existing Bible research on “calamities” please go to
biblecombibleman.com/WhenLandNotHealed.html .}

From II Chronicles 6:26-28 this is a good preliminary list of what the Bible
considers as calamities that can and will come from God:  (1) famine, (2)
rain, (3) blight, (3) mildew, (4) locusts or grasshoppers, (5) plagues or
sickness, and (6) foreign invaders, (7) pestilence, and (8) blight.
You will notice in Jesus’ famous eschatological teachings in Matthew 24,
we have in “the beginning of sorrows”, in other words in the signs or
calamities from His day to the present, not to be confused with the end
time signs (24:8), a somewhat overlapping list in that Jesus also mentions
“famines” and “pestilences”, then adds to the calamities (9) earthquakes.  
{We should not include in this list the peculiar calamities at the very
end of this old earth and just before Christ comes again, those of
Matthew 24:29:  darkened sun, darkened moon, falling stars, shaking
of heaven and earth.}
The historical sequence of events from the Apostle Peter in Acts 2:14-21
as Peter quotes from Joel 2:28:32, that is (a) the Coming of the Holy Spirit
in great power and glory to take the place of Christ on earth, same as the
beginning of the last days that end with the second coming after the
disintegration of the old earth; (b) prophesy becomes more democratic as
young men, old men, males, females, educated and uneducated take the
previously specialized province of official Prophets in the Old Testament;
(c) the signs in the heavens above and the earth beneath-- (10) blood, (11)
fire, and (12) vapor of smoke {the context and sequence of which leads us
to the conclusion that these signs from the time of Christ and the Coming
of the Holy Spirit, alias the period of the last days, overlap what Christ
called “the beginning of sorrows” period, but also continue into the very end
time signs just before the Second Coming}; and (d) those same very end
time signs mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24:29, that always by the way
mark the last historical events of this old earth in the Old and New
Testaments, the “sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood
before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.”  (Acts 2:
21 and Joel 2:32)

NOTE:  By the way, you should realize the constant and oft repeated
doctrine of the Day of the LORD and Lord runs consistently through the
Old and New Testament.  For more on this subject please go to:
Day of
LORD and Lord.

12-4:  The Drought in Central Texas from San Antonio to Austin.

For those of us born and raised in Texas, there is a sentimental attached
to “deep in the heart of Texas”  Right now, where the deer and the antelope
range is know to be in DEEP trouble with the worst drought in Texas
history.  And far from boasting of all the rain we have had in this monsoon
season in the mountains of New Mexico, we sympathize with the land and
the people where this calamity has focused as part of the intense series of
calamities in the United States since 9/11.  We can bury our head in the
sand of west Texas and Eastern New Mexico, or we can face up to the
obvious Bible teachings that calamities come from God when there is not
enough righteousness among God’s people in the churches.

NOTE:  This is not just an academic study as we should be able to
nail down the conviction that God Uses Calamities for Grace,
Chastisement, Correction, and sometimes punishment.

Perhaps with all that prosperity in Texas for years before the hurricane
calamity hit Galveston and Houston, then the economic collapse spread to
all of Texas like in the nation, it was easy for church members to succumb
to the Gospel of Prosperity, thereby inevitably ignoring:  (1) righteousness
among church members, and (2) effectual fervent prayer based on this
Texans have in the past never been a people to shun an endurance to
hardship, and then make the necessary adjustments to righteousness and
effective prayer that is required by God in order to send the blessings of
rain.  Why now?  Well, here is a theory that you can try on for size and on
your own small congregation of the people of God:  this very large part of
the Bible belt having become enamored like the nation with the promises
and guarantees of the Gospel of Prosperity, then having been shocked by
into the realities from God of a devastating hurricane on Houston and
Galveston followed closely behind by the worst economic hardship since
the Great Depression of the 1920’s
{by the way, there was a dust bowl
then also, remember}
, the preachers and devotees of the Gospel of
Prosperity and things had momentarily lost their voice, still searching for
some one or more spiritual leaders with the right message.
Why not get back to what we know already is true from the Bible?  The
blessing of rain as a substitute for the curse of drought is dependent on the
churches, the churches are responsible for this drought in the eyes of God
and that should really be the perspective that most matters.  You know the
old story of the previously in the past quoted Scripture, “If my people...”  (II
Chronicles 7:14}.  It is a responsibility of THE PEOPLE of God for the
welfare of the land on which they live, and that means crudely that it is the
responsibility of the churches between San Antonio and Austin.  

12-5:  Faith Healing of the Land and the People.

Goodness know like the pastor of FBC Dallas recently said of his own
people, “there is no shortage of Bible”; and of God’s people in central
Texas it can equally be said that there is no shortage of faith healing
services.  Well, have you studied James 5:16-18 carefully enough to
realize that this passage about the “effectual fervent prayer” of Elijah deals
with healing of both the people and the land.

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another,
that you may be healed.  The effective fervent prayer of a righteous
man avails much.  Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he
prayer EARNESTLY that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the
land for three years and six months.  And he prayed again, and the
heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”  (James 5:16-18)

1.  You know and we all know, that this confession of sins in the churches
of Austin, San Antonio, or any place in America is outdated.
2.  Yet that is the first condition for the healing of the land and the people.  
We have shouldered all the responsibility for healing away from all the
people of God to one or two faith healers, and that is not God’s plan
according to these verses of the Word of God.
3.  Prayer like Bible is also something of abundance in the churches of
America, and especially in the Bible belt of central Texas; but the Word
requires a certain kind of prayer--(1) effectual, (2) fervent, and (3) and with
a prerequisite of righteousness.  {Righteousness among God’s people has
been assumed to be more given than worked out with fear and trembling.}
4.  Now, I suppose there is always the possibility that you have one man of
God in Central Texas like Elijah who is effectual, fervent, and righteous in
prayer; and that this one man has prayed that you may not have rain for 3
and 1/2 years.
5.  Well, pray again to the God who guarantees the blessings of rain or the
curse of drought and other calamities, that the land and the people might
be healed.  And we promise in the mountains of New Mexico that we will
not be like Jonah who pouted when God did not complete the punishment
of Nineveh, nor will be gloat over the calamities of others of God’s people.

For the over all, before and after, "Bible Studies in Jeremiah and
Prophesy" go to