Summary: In tumultuous times, how shall the righteous live? The Psalmist has given us godly counsel that must be applied to our lives.

“In the LORD I take refuge;

how can you say to my soul,

‘Flee like a bird to your mountain,

for behold, the wicked bend the bow;

they have fitted their arrow to the string

to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;

if the foundations are destroyed,

what can the righteous do?

“The LORD is in his holy temple;

the LORD’s throne is in heaven;

his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.

The LORD tests the righteous,

but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

Let him rain coals on the wicked;

fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

For the LORD is righteous;

he loves righteous deeds;

the upright shall behold his face.” [1]

The physician of the soul must train himself to distinguish between the symptom and the disease. The symptom is not the disease; however, the symptom does reveal the disease. Treating the symptom may bring transient relief, but it can never cure the disease. To cure the malady, it is necessary to reveal the cause and then address that cause. The wise follower of the Risen Saviour must train himself or herself to accurately diagnose the illness if they ever hope to minister to those trapped in this dying world.

Two or three decades ago, you may have had difficulty imagining that biblical prophecy could be fulfilled in our lifetime. And perhaps you have grown somewhat casual about biblical prophecy in more recent times. I am not as blasé as I might have been at one time. Ezekiel speaks of an invasion of Israel; the invasion will be led by an individual identified as “Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” This vast horde will include armies from Iran, Ethiopia and Libya; it will be led by Russia [see EZEKIEL 38:1-39:24]. The prophecy delivered by this weird prophet appears to be taking shape before our eyes.

In 2009 the world was transformed, though it appeared that few, even leaders within the Zion of our Lord, recognised at that time that a significant transformation was taking place. Neither did most knowledgeable people realise the magnitude and scope of that change. In January, 2009, an American President promising that he would fundamentally transform America assumed the leadership of what was unquestionably the most powerful nation in the world. Convinced that America needed to be humbled before her enemies, he was guided by a philosophy dedicated to diminishing American power and influence in the world.

On September 30, 2015, a Russian three-star general entered the embassy of the United States of America in Baghdad to deliver a démarche to the American military attaché demanding that American armed forces stay out of Syria because Russian warplanes would be bombing enemies of the Assad regime beginning in one hour. This demand followed on the heels of a Chinese general warning the United States to stay out of the South China Sea. Chinese provocation has continued, and even increased exponentially, in the ensuing decade. In less than seven years, American influence had been eroded to the point that they could only bluster and protest pitifully. That President, acting at times dictatorially throughout his eight years in office, had exceeded in his efforts to diminish American influence in the world even beyond the wildest expectations of his sycophantic minions.

During that same period of time, Canadians elected a Prime Minister who promised to be more “even-handed” toward Palestinians and Arabs while Europe grows increasingly anti-Semitic. Israel was being deserted by erstwhile allies and left vulnerable against her foes. While Palestinians ran amok, stabbing and hacking innocent people, world leaders urged Israel to avoid aggravating Muslims—they would surely commit a crime against Muslim terrorists if they attempted to protect their own people. European leaders ridiculed Israeli leaders, and promoted Palestinian interests against that of Israel.

For a brief few years, there appeared to be a brief reversal of these ominous developments. A new President was unexpectedly elevated to office in the United States, having garnered more votes than the expected successor to the previous President. He was rude, almost uncultured, angering many with his tweets. However, he was openly pro-Israel, even bringing about multiple treaties between Israel and her Arab neighbours during his tenure in office. However, the man would be opposed even to the point of overt persecution. The influence of this man would be circumvented as denizens of the political swamp agitated, engineering a quiet coup that began even before he took office. Ultimately, those opposed to this President were able to replace that President with someone who would be compliant with their hatred of Israel and who would advance their hatred of the American republic. Thus, American power and influence would be diminished even beyond what had been witnessed before.

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