Rock Hard: A New Look At An Old Image

 

By Lawngren

Far too many people have the idea that God the Father and Jesus His Son are as tough and inflexible as a bowl of jello. Far too many people think that God won’t dare judge them, either because God is a big wimp, or because He is ashamed of Himself. They are learning and reinforcing this attitude as they watch evil people destroying Western Civilization, with the aid of Western “leaders”. They think they can despise all authority. Or maybe they resent God for letting enemies destroy the Western World. Certainly the secular world resents God’s demand that people live righteous, holy lives.

There’s an old hymn by Frances J. Crosby which says in part,

“A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.”

While that soft, comfortable image is true to some extent in this life, sometimes, for some Christians, it’s far from common world-wide and throughout history. Western Civilization was a bubble that existed under the protection of our God the Rock. As a civilization, we have not until recently had the Rock’s hardness turned against us.

But we got fat and lazy, and became corrupt to the extent that we don’t even recognize how corrupt we are. I’m talking about “ordinary” Christians. You and me. Folks who mostly obey man’s laws and mostly do right according to human judgment. That “mostly” has allowed America and the rest of the Western World to decay in its larger secular component until shocking, hideous evil is present in greater intensity and to a greater degree than has ever been seen in the West before.

To a degree that is more than the Rock is willing to tolerate.

What makes us the special object of the wrath of God is that we, that is, Western Civilization generally and America particularly, had a significant component of Judeo-Christian heritage. That created a beneficial influence on the rest of our civilization, and the Rock was able, by overlooking even some big faults and sins, to prosper us and protect us without utterly shaming His holy name. Christians were in fact “the salt of the earth”, and like salt, we preserved the “meat” we were “sprinkled on”.

But we have become too buddy-buddy with the world. We forgot, or ignored, the warning of James 4:4:

“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

An enemy of God. Just by being friends with the world. Ignoring the Rock Who established us, protected us, and enabled us to live soft, easy, pleasant lives. I’m speaking in generalities, of course. Ours is a fallen life in a fallen world, and we have all been hurt by it. But to an amazing degree, we were protected and we did prosper.

Remember, in the Gospel of John, King Jesus Himself referred three times to satan as “the prince of this world”. (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11) Satan is also described as “destroyer”, “accuser of the brethren”, “the father of lies”, “a mankiller from the beginning”. It was satan who put the thought into judas iscariot’s heart to betray Jesus. This is the one with whom we have chosen to be friends – if we have let our faith slide and become friends with the world.

It was Satan who tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, thereby scorching all human lives from that moment on.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1st John 2:15-16)

Did you know that one name for demons in the New Testament is “kosmokratorii”? That means “those who have seized control of the system”.

Satan and the demons have control, except in those areas and lives where God has jurisdiction. We have had the privilege of His protection, and we have abused it. The result is not only seen in our own lives, but in the freedom and intensity with which evil is taking control over the entire world.

And now the Rock of our salvation is forced to punish us, and we are just beginning to discover how hard and how inflexible regarding sin the Rock is. Habakkuk described it perfectly. It has happened before, of course. We had warnings. We are without excuse, especially but not only those pastors who refused to preach and teach all of God’s Word. Here in the first chapter of Habakkuk is the vision that Habakkuk saw when Israel was in the same situation we are:

The cause:

“The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw:

Oh Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you ‘Violence!’ and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so that justice is perverted.” (verses 1-4)

That was the condition of Israel at that time. It is the existing condition now in America and in Western Civilization that causes the Rock to fall on us. He will not tolerate those who are supposed to represent Him to the world becoming just another tool in the hands of satan. We have a responsibility before God. A critical mission, and we have abdicated it. Now the Commander in Chief assigns punishment for the ocean of sins. Tell me, friends, whom does the following passage remind you of? What people?

The punishment:

Look at the nations! Observe, and be astounded. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize property which is not theirs. They are a feared and dreaded people; their justice and authority originate with themselves and are defined only by their own decree.

Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like an eagle diving on prey; they all come intent on violence. Their horde moves eagerly forward; they gather prisoners like sand. They mock kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at every fortress and heap up rubble [for earth mounds] and capture it. Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—guilty people, whose own strength is their god.” (verses 5-11)

And just in case we missed the reason this is happening, Habakkuk pinpoints it:

You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment; you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.” (verse 12)

Our punishment is Rock Hard. Only this time, there will be no return to mercy. We have run out the clock. The next event on God’s timeline is the Great Tribulation, the Apocalypse, and I fervently hope that the Rapture comes before that.

Whichever comes, are we ready to meet our God and receive what we have earned? If not, there is almost no time left to make ready.

This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1st John 1:5-9)