FallingIs it just me, or does it seem this world is on the edge of chaos? Financial markets across the globe have gone crazy the past few days, and investors are crying out for some kind of calm. What they are really wanting is to preserve their riches and see double digit returns again. The housing market in the US is in the toilets, and people keep hoping it is just a temporary thing. Just a year ago I read that home prices can’t really go down because the cost of labor and materials keep rising. Yet in the state of Florida as I well know, homes are going for $100 a square foot when just 18 months ago they were at $140 to $160 per square foot. And that doesn’t include the ocean front prices. Foreclosures will probably double this year, and the banks that made the loans are bracing for tremendous losses. Credit woes are not just isolated to home loans but extend to commercial and industrial concerns as well. There will be blood running in the streets before long.

CandidatesThe political scene appears to be just as chaotic. Americans have to choose between an old Vietnam Vet, a Mormon, a Southern Baptist Preacher, a Black with a funny name and a Woman with an infamous name. Already the fighting has captured headlines and political viewpoints are being obscured. This may be the most confusing and disappointing election America has had in modern history. A strong person capable of leading a nation out of chaos is nowhere to be found. We don’t need a politician, we need a Statesman, with a truly world view and Biblical view of the events that are about to unfold.

Jeremiah, the original Mudpreacher, was watching chaotic events unfold in his home town of Jerusalem. The King was Zedekiah, a totally selfish and inept leader. He was more interested in saving his own skin than leading his country. The city was under siege, starvation was rampant, people were resorting to cannibalism to stay alive, and the King refused to hear any Word from God. He kept listening to the stupid princes around him who kept saying ‘everything will be alright’. It’s like the Fed saying that “we will not have a recession”. It’s like Bush saying “we are winning in Iraq”.

We forget there is The God who still Reigns! He is not idle and powerless. His Plan is still moving forward.

Zedekiah means the righteousness of Jehovah. Funny, because righteous he wasn’t. God issued a scathing rebuke to Judah and her leaders:

“Samaria has not committed half your sins. You have committed more abominations than they, and have made your sisters appear righteous by all the abominations that you have committed. Bear your disgrace, you also, for you have intervened on behalf of your sisters. Because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they, they are more in the right than you. So be ashamed, you also, and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous. (Eze 16:51-52)

One of the sisters God referred to was Sodom. Sodom with her sinful sodomy and Samaria with her idol-worship was more righteous than Judah? What does that say about Judah and her inhabitants?

FallingI wonder what God is trying to tell our country, even this world. The last 10 years have seen more cataclysmic events than the previous 100! Our nation has been rocked by terrorist attacks, hurricanes, Katrina, natural disasters, drought, school and college shootings, family decay, mothers and fathers killing their own children and on and on. Surely God does not cover His eyes. Surely God’s Word is righteous and just! Surely God is crying out “You have committed more abominations than they!”.

The words of Amos still Ring with Truth and Clarity:

When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it? Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. The lion has roared– who will not fear? The Sovereign LORD has spoken– who can but prophesy? Amos 3:6-8 (NIV)

Weep before the altar

It is time for us to Proclaim the Name of God in our Prayers before the throne.

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’ (Jer 23:5-6)

As Jeremiah preached before the FAKE King of Righteousness (Zedekiah), we need to find refuge in Jehovah-Tsidkenu (Jehovah our righteousness). All of the combined wisdom and military might of this great nation will do nothing to delay the coming “Jehovah-Tsidkenu.”

The preachers and pastors of America need to heed the words of Joel and cry out before the altar:

Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ ” Joel 2:17 (ESV)

Wesley Preaching righteousness

Our only hope as a nation, as God’s people, is to proclaim the Name of God – Jehovah-Tsidkenu! We need to cry out for His righteousness. We need to declare our sins before Him, of not honoring Jehovah as our Righteous God!

Jehovah is a Tsadik–a righteous One, says the psalmist (129:4). As an El-Tsadik a righteous God, there is none to compare with Him, Says Isaiah (45:21 ). He is the Rock whose work is perfect, all of whose ways are justice. Tsadik–righteous and right is He (Dent. 32:4). His righteousness is an everlasting righteousness and His testimonies are righteous forever (Psalm 119:142, 144). Righteousness and justice are the very foundations of His throne (Psalm 89:14; 97:2). Therefore in all His dealings He is righteous.

In this “post-modernist” generation, we have abandoned absolutes. NarcissisticAnd as we watch a generation grow up in love with themselves and what they each consider right, our nation will move further and further away from the Righteousness of God. That which was shameful 50 years ago has and will continue to become accepted and even expected. The stench of our hearts will continue to burn before the nostrils of a Holy God. The church needs to declare as Daniel the Righteousness of God. We must never abandon Jehovah-Tsidkenu! May our shame become evident and repentance weigh heavy on our hearts:

To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. Daniel 9:7-8 (ESV)

We must never lose sight of our righteous God. We must see Him loving Righteousness and beholding the upright!

For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright. Psalms 11:7 (NKJV)

We must continue to preach Jesus Christ to this dying world. Jesus is indeed Jehovah-Tsidken! In his great sermon at Pentecost, Peter accuses his hearers of denying the Holy One and the Just or Righteous (Acts 3:14). Hebrews 1:8, 9 says of Him: But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

Jesus our righteousness

Jesus, in human nature, lived up to the perfect standard of the divine law, so that His righteousness was of the same complexion and character as the righteousness of God. Still more, as one with the Father, His righteousness was the perfect manifestation of the righteousness of God.

Jehovah-tsidkenu! Such a wonderful name! This name must be on our lips and in our hearts if this nation, even this world is to escape the coming chaos and shame. The Righteousness of our coming King is indeed the only method and the measure of our acceptance before Holy God; cleansed in the blood of the Lamb; clothed with the white robe of the righteousness of Him who is Jehovah–our righteousness–even our Lord Jesus Christ.

I once was a stranger to grace and to God
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree
Jehovah-tsidkenu was nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die:
No refuge, no safety, in self could I see;
Jehovah-tsidkenu my Saviour must be.

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life-giving and free:
Jehovah-tsidkenu is all things to me.

[Whitelaw, Jehovah-Jesus, pp. 102, 103].

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