Summary: The road ahead is about to get rocky, but, we have reason for hope.

It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. It’s 2009 and what makes this new year unique is there’s more reason for pessimism than optimism at what it will bring. Maybe you’ve heard some of the dire predictions about what the near future holds. A couple of weeks ago, economist and forecaster Gerald Celente caught my attention. He’s highly respected and sought after as one who analyzes trends and make incredibly accurate predictions:

“Celente, who is CEO of Trends Research Institute, has the best track record in the professional forecasting industry, so when he speaks people listen. He was almost alone in predicting well in advance the 1987 stock market crash, the 1990 collapse of the Soviet Union, and the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis. More than a year ago, in November, 2007, he told the UPI that the following year would be known as ‘The Panic of 2008,’ adding that ‘giants would tumble to their deaths,’ as indeed happened with Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and other untouchables. He forecast the sub-prime mortgage collapse and a massive 90% devaluation of the dollar from a failed rescue effort.”

“Celente [has] forecast … a social and political revolution sparked by the economic devolution. He predicts food riots, accompanied by a tax rebellion. We may see this as early as April 15th, 2009. He says that by 2012 America will be an undeveloped nation, marked by squatter rebellions by those who refuse to give up their homes or else take over the homes of others. ‘There is going to be a lot of homeless, the likes of what we have never seen before. Tent cities are already sprouting up around the country and we’re going to see many more.’ Christmas as a retail bonanza will be a distant memory, reflecting a situation that he says will be ‘worse than the Great Depression,’ because the so-called safety net will collapse.

“As a forecaster of sociological change, Celente warns that ‘there’s going to be a lot of crime’ at all levels ‘worse than in the last 1929 depression’ and that the growing wealth gap between the rich and the middle class will threaten social order because the middle class everywhere in the world will become a revolutionary class using knowledge, resources, and skills ‘to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.’ He warns, ‘There will be a revolution in this country, and we’re going to see a third party in response to the bloodless coup by Wall Street’ supported by ‘a huge underclass of very desperate people with their minds chemically blown beyond anybody’s comprehension.’

Dr. Robert D. Crane, “The Sky Is Falling: Perils and Pitfalls of Long-Range Predictions, An Islamic Perspective”, Dec 24, 2008

Celente is not a biblical prophet, so his predictions are not fail proof. But he is saying what we all know to be the truth. Over the next few years the situation in our country is going to get much worse before it gets better, if it gets better. I do find some people living in denial, hoping that our government, which cannot balance its own budget, will somehow save us through bailouts and stimulus packages. That’s a false hope. What we’re about to face as a nation has come about from a combination of our own sin and stupidity with a dose of God’s judgment. The road ahead is about to get rocky, but, as people who have faith in Jesus Christ, we have reason for hope.

Jacob was a man who faced grave uncertainty due mainly to his own stupidity, sin, and the judgment of God, yet the Lord gave him reason for hope. Think back to last month when we left our hero to focus on Christmas. Jacob swindled his brother Esau out of his birthright, disguised himself as brother and tricked his blind father into transferring family leadership and supernatural prosperity to him through a blessing. Rather than wait for the things he wanted, Jacob leaped ahead and seized it all through deceit. Esau swore to murder Jacob upon the death of their father, so mom came up with a scheme to get Jacob out of the country. He was to travel 550 miles to the distant land of Haran to find a wife from relatives.

Legally, Jacob had everything he wanted, but, just like our economy, it was an illusion. The reality was Jacob alone, cut off from the family fortune, running for his life to a foreign land. The road ahead of him was rocky, but God intervened through a dream to give him hope. From this episode we’ll gather some …

Certainties in the Midst of Uncertainty

Before we gather any from the story, I need to dispel an idea not dealt with here. If you intend to live anything resembling a Christian life this is one truth you have to get under your belt.

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