Echoes From the Campfire

I’m only a humble instrument, an’ I believe God guides me right.”
                         –Zane Grey  (The Mysterious Rider)

       “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

                         –James 4:10(NKJV)
Sometimes I wonder, I really do.  We pray for revival, and rightly so, but has the nation gone too far?  Yes, there is always an “IF” clause with God with repentance, but even when the people repent, there are many times consequences that have been set in motion.  John Gardner wrote, “The renewal of societies and organization can go forward only if someone cares.  Apathy and lowered motivation are the most widely noted characteristics of a civilization on the downward path.”
       Upon studying the Book of Judges there seems to be a pattern:  sin, servitude, supplication, salvation, downward spiral.  It is that downward spiral that concerns me for each time it goes further and further down.  

               “And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them.  They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.”
                               –Judges 2:19(NKJV)

The people became more vile, more decadent, more perverse.  The following verses of Judges 2 tells of a woeful situation where God says, “I also will not longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left before he died.” (2:21)  There seems to have come a point where God sends the consequences of the peoples’ actions.
       Let’s look at another example–King Manasseh.  Manasseh was indeed an evil man and king.  Read 2 Chronicles 33, and in verse 9, it says, “So Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel.” (NKJV)  Manasseh is a sad story and he was taken “with hooks” and “bound with fetters” to Babylon.  In his captivity and affliction he “humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers…”  The Scriptures say that Manasseh “knew that the LORD was God.”  Here was genuine repentance.
       Yes, Manasseh repented, he tried to bring revival to the people upon his return.  He tried to undo all the evil that he had previously committed, but then we see that the people did not listen, but adhered to their evil ways.  “Nevertheless the people still sacrificed on the high places, but only to the LORD their God.” (33:17, NKJV)  They were worshipping God by using pagan practices and methods; in other words, worshipping with the practices of the world.  Too far gone, they faced judgment.
       I wrote the above to preface some startling statistics from Barna.  Have we faced the same downward spiral?  Have we, the people, gone too far?  Of Evangelicals, 39% says there is no absolute moral truth.  Startling!  Thirty-three percent believe that the Holy Spirit is not part of a “Trinity” but only a symbol of God’s power.  Another 30% say that salvation can come through good works.
       Now I ask, how far is too far?  The Book of Judges proclaims that the people “were in great distress.” (2:15)  It is important that we remember, that even though God has a plan for the Church, for every believer, there may come a time when they have to go into “captivity.”  When judgment came, all went to Babylon as slaves, even the righteous.  It is there we see the examples of Daniel and his friends.  How far is too far?  I have no idea, only God knows when the scales have tipped so far as to bring judgment.  There could be a national revival, but there could also be the return of the Lord and then true judgment would begin.