Archive for November 17, 2008

Barack Obama is wasting little time to assume control of the United States Executive Branch. From weekly messages from his semi-oval office, to appearances on “ 60 Minutes”, he is rapidly inserting himself into what is left of the political decisions of the Bush Administration. The Office of the President-elect

In summarizing Obama’s appearance on “60 Minutes” last night, the LA Times said:

teamofrivals1“Asked by CBS’ Steve Kroft whether he planned to put political enemies in his Cabinet, as Abraham Lincoln did, Obama responded by saying the first president from Illinois was a “very wise man.” With the economy struggling, the president-elect said the nation had little choice but to boost government spending, something he said conservative and liberal economists agreed on. “We have to do whatever it takes to get this economy moving again,” he said. “We’re going to have to spend money now to stimulate the economy.” Besides Lincoln, Obama said he had been reading about the Great Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office. He said he hoped his team could emulate that administration’s confidence and willingness to experiment.“

The London Times Online had this take on the interview: “Mr Obama said he had spent “a lot of time” reading the writings of President Lincoln since the election, because “there is a wisdom there and a humility about his approach to government, even before he was president, that I just find very helpful.” He and Mrs Clinton have both read and admired ‘Team of Rivals’, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book about how President Lincoln bought old foes into government after winning the 1860 election. Reminded that the 16th president put many of his political enemies in his cabinet, Mr Obama was asked on CBS’s 60 Minutes whether he was considering the same approach. “Well, I’ll tell you what,” he replied. “I find him a very wise man.”

Baruch writing the words of Jeremiah

Baruch writing the words of Jeremiah

It would be interesting if Barack included an enemy or two on his cabinet, as President Lincoln did. However, most leaders do not like the idea of opposition. In another troublesome time many years ago, in the nation of Israel, the King of Judah listened as the writings of a man named Baruch were read. You can read what happened in Jeremiah chapter 36. The King’s advisors had heard Baruch reading from a scroll and were frightened by what they heard.

“When they heard all the messages, they looked at one another in alarm. “We must tell the king what we have heard,” they said to Baruch. “But first, tell us how you got these messages. Did they come directly from Jeremiah?” So Baruch explained, “Jeremiah dictated them, and I wrote them down in ink, word for word, on this scroll.” “You and Jeremiah should both hide,” the officials told Baruch. “Don’t tell anyone where you are!” Then the officials left the scroll for safekeeping in the room of Elishama the secretary and went to tell the king what had happened.” Jeremiah 36:16-20 (NLT)

King Jehoiakim had his trusted aide Jehudi read the scroll to him.cut_it_with_the_penknife

“It was late autumn, and the king was in a winterized part of the palace, sitting in front of a fire to keep warm. Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up. Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard. Even when Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll, he wouldn’t listen.” Jeremiah 36:22-25 (NLT)

Here was a King who was open and honest about his contempt for opposition to his government. In fact, after burning the scroll, he sent his son and some other men to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah. Fortunately, God had hidden them, and they were spared. In those days opposition was often met with imprisonment and death.

Barack Obama Reads LincolnBarack is busy reading about Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D Roosevelt. Would that he had the courage to seek wisdom from God’s Word.Bible - Word of God

Judah was facing economic and political hardships that eventually resulted in the toppling of the government and their captivity by a foreign nation. Times of prosperity had suddenly (over a process of forty years) turned into military defeats and isolationism. All the while they continued to fast, worship and seek after Jehovah God. Yet all the while they practiced greed and honored other gods, especially the god ‘BAAL’. They would worship in the Temple on the Sabbath and through the week offer sacrifices to Baal and other gods. They wanted to cover all the spiritual bases. They were tolerant of all the religions. They were tolerant of people’s rights to worship whom they please in a manner they please. Child SacrificeThat tolerance led to the horrible practice of child sacrifice to Baal.

“They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!” Jeremiah 7:31 (NLT)

Americans do not see abortion as child sacrifice, but I can’t help but think that God does.


I can just see God saying “You allow your sons and daughters to be aborted in the womb, a practice that never even crossed my mind to command such a thing” Ibelieve we sacrifice them to the god of self-indulgence, and to the god of convenience.

I’m wondering if Barack Obama will be a President who will cut out of the Bible the portions of Scripture that he disagrees with. Indeed, I’m wondering if he will believe in the Bible as the Word of God at all. True belief requires OBEDIENCE. As he considers the wisdom of Lincoln and the actions of Roosevelt, I pray he will consider the warnings of God’s Word, especially the warnings of Jeremiah.partialbirthabortion

Barack has claimed that his name has its root in the Arabic and Semitic word for “blessing”. He said it is similar to the Hebrew word “ ‏בָּרַךְ (bārak) <Strong’s: 1288> to kneel, bless, praise, salute”. Other linguists have said it is more akin to the Hebrew word “‏בָּרַק (baraq) <Strong’s: 1299> cast forth (lightning)”. The Theological Workbook of the Old Testament has this to say in reference to the meaning of ‘baraq’ (lightning):

“The association of lightning with the Lord also serves as a polemic against Baal, the principal Canaanite nature deity. The Ugaritic texts and artifacts portray Baal as the god of lightning, fire and rain. Thus one text reads: “Baal flashed his thunderbolts” (ʿnt, IV, 70), and another says: “He flashed lightning to the earth” (Text 51, V, 71). In a stele he is pictured as brandishing a club in one hand, and holding a stylized thunderbolt ending in a spearhead in the other (C. F. A. Schaeffer, The Cuneiform Texts of Ras Shamra-Ugarit (1936), plate XXXII, fig. 2). The stele indicates that Baal had power over fire and lightning. It is against this background that one must read Jeremiah’s warning: “Do not learn the ways of the nations, and do not be dismayed at the signs in the heavens…. But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, an everlasting King; at his wrath the earth trembles…. The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, these shall perish from the earth, and from under the heavens…. When the Lord utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens . . . ; he makes lightning’s for the rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasuries” (Jeremiah 10:2-13; cf. Jeremiah 51:16).

blessing or curseI don’t know the true meaning of Barack Obama’s name. I do know that God said in His Word (Deuteronomy 28) that we can either have blessing or cursing and that choice is made by heeding and following the Word of God. In fact, God says in Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT): “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

Followers of Christ must pray for Barack Obama. We must pray that he will be a “Blessed” leader, because he has decided to obey God’s Word.  We must pray that he does not follow the example of Jehoiakim, and burn the Word of God that he disagrees with. If that happens, his name will indeed be “Lightning”, for he will be following the ‘god of lightning-Baal’. And God says that the gods of this world will perish from the earth, along with all those who follow them.

Barack, I hope you include the writings of Jeremiah in your readings. Barack, you need to meet Baruch, and follow the Word of God. Then and only then will your name mean “Blessed of God”. If there is any hope for America, if there is any hope for the Blessing of God on our country, it will be because our leaders humble themselves before Almighty God and agree to follow Him! Our God still Reigns!