Nissan 1, 5775
Recently Starbucks has initiated a program to start discussions on race relations with Race Together. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said that he was inspired to do this after an informal forum with employees in Seattle. According to an article posted on the Starbucks website, “RACE TOGETHER is an initiative from Starbucks and USA TODAY to stimulate conversation, compassion, and action around race in America.” It is true that we have a problem with division and unrest in our communities, and these things are worthy of discussion, but these are mere symptoms of the bigger problem. The fact is there is another matter that is much more serious that requires our immediate attention, so let’s get down to business.
For those of us who have been around awhile, we can say truthfully that the things society accepts as good are very different from what was accepted thirty years ago. The moral code of this nation has shifted to the point that good is now being called evil and evil is called good. A case in point is the Presbyterian church, which recently voted to change the definition of marriage to include same-sex marriage. As American society continues this moral realignment, it increasingly mocks God and His word, and the time will come when God will judge this nation for this. History has witnessed this pattern many times over.
When King Solomon wrote “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” Eccl 1:9 (ESV), he gave us a way to understand history. History is made up of patterns, and an alert historian can clearly see that these patterns repeat over time and across cultures because there’s nothing new under the sun. The book of Judges shows us a clear pattern of history from ancient Israel. When Israel had a close relationship with God, they were at peace and their fortunes were secure. But when they began to drift away from God, God would send prophets to warn the people. If they listened, God would forgive and heal their land, but if they persisted in rebellion, God would remove their protection and allow Israel’s enemies to overwhelm them. America is in the same pattern. God has already sent prophets to warn the nation to repent, but the people ignore that message. The pattern of history will repeat without national repentance; God will remove America’s protection as happened with ancient Israel, and this nation will know what it means to come under God’s judgment.
This nation has been weighed on the scales and been found wanting, and the Daniels of our day have read the writing on the wall. God has sent prophets to warn the American people, but He is also using signs in the heavens to alert the people as well. As of this writing, we are half-way through a tetrad, which is a series of four blood moons. Two of the blood moons occurred in 2014, and two more will appear in 2015. The interesting thing about this tetrad is that the blood moons occur on the Jewish feast days of Passover and Tabernacles for 2014-2015, and just that fact should get everyone’s attention. Previous tetrads have coincided with important events in Jewish history (e.g. Israel’s independence and the Six Day War). We are also in another shemitah year. A shemitah year is a year of rest and release. During a shemitah year there was no planting or reaping, and debts were cancelled. The last two shemitah years have not been good for America. In the shemitah year of 2001, America witnessed the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, and later the worst stock market crash up to that date. In the shemitah year of 2008, America experienced another stock market crash in which the market fell 777 points. Now we are in the shemitah year of 2015, and since America has done nothing to repair its relationship with God since the last two shemitah years, one can only speculate that something even more disastrous is in store for America this year.
We can discuss community problems at length through Race Together, but as we consider God’s warnings, the repeating patterns of history, the blood moons and the shemitah year, the whole Race Together initiative loses its luster. It is time for a new initiative which I call God Together. While this initiative will have elements of discussion, it is an action based initiative, not a discussion initiative. The action of God Together is to get right with God individually and as a nation while there is still time. The story of the cross is widespread in America. You would be hard pressed to find anyone in America who was completely ignorant of what the Son of God did for us on the cross. The Bible has also been the unacknowledged bestseller in America for years; the land is literally covered with Bibles. Everyone is free to attend a church service without fear of reprisals (at least so far). America cannot claim ignorance as an excuse. It is high time that this nation and its people humbled themselves, act on what they know and seek God for His forgiveness. Confess your sins; seek God while He may be found and receive His mercy and grace. Think about these promises from God:
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
Isaiah 1:18 (ESV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 (ESV)
This is the more serious matter we need to focus on. We need to stop discussing our problems among ourselves as with Race Together and start talking with God. He is the only one who can solve our problems. The time for discussion is over; the time to act has arrived. Make God Together a reality in your life and the lives of others. This is the only way we will make it through the tribulation to come.
Shavua tov everyone!