Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.

Sep 12, 2011

Why Does America Seem Cursed?

There can be no doubt that 2011 is now the most calamity-prone year in American history. Three weeks ago, I wrote that the U.S. has set a record for the year with the most costly weather disasters. By the time the year is over, we could have $200 billion in weather-related losses.

Hurricane Irene has added $14 billion to the tab, and it is only the tenth billion-dollar weather event of the year. Amazingly, the hurricane was only a category 1 storm when it made landfall. Irene was able to inflict so much damage by having a perfect track over the most populated area of the East Coast.

Tropical Storm Lee was another weak storm that inflicted heavy losses. It never reached hurricane status, but it generated misery through relentless rainfall. Lee broke no less than eight major records for flooding.

The losses from the Texas drought continue to add up. It is now the worst dry spell in the history of that state. I can see the effects of the drought here in Arkansas. Every time I drive to Little Rock, I see at least ten trucks hauling massive loads of hay in the direction of the Lone Star State. So much hay is being moved to Texas on Interstate 30 that a layer of hay is building up on the side of the road.

Not all of America’s problems are weather related. Our nation has been struggling with a financial crisis for the past three years. You would have to go back to the days of the Great Depression to find a longer period of economic stagnation. Right now, Washington is trying to come up with a plan that creates new jobs.

You can see our downfall in various lists that are used to track the wealth status of nations. We no longer have the tallest buildings, the fastest trains, the busiest ports, or the most cars. The only category we lead in is that we are the country with the largest national debt.

Most prophecy-minded Christians would point to our relationship with God as the source of our national troubles. We are already blessed wildly beyond the average citizen of most other nation. In the U.S., the average person makes $47,200 per year. In the nation of China, $7,519 is the average annual income. Near the bottom of the list, a person in Zimbabwe earns only $400 per year.

The question is: Why are we losing God's special blessing on our nation? I’m sure most of you folks are aware of the "blessing and curse" prophecy regarding how nations treat Israel. God warned in His Holy Bible:

“I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3).

I think our dealing with Israel is a major factor in why we have so many problems, but I don’t think it is the main reason. If it was, we could just elect a pro-Israel president and all these storm clouds would vanish.

Years of slowly turning our back on God has caused us to lose our hedge of divine protection. The attack of 9/11 is probably the most striking indication that our enemies no longer fear us. When I was a kid, all the major terrorism was in Europe or the Middle East. Now, the only way we are able to keep evildoers away from our door is by transforming our homeland into a giant police state.

There is no easy formula for getting back to our glory days as a nation. It would take a revival movement to change our course. The Old Testament example of Israel proves how difficult it is to change the hearts of people when a nation forgets God.

For years, I have received a continuous stream of email from people who do not believe in Bible prophecy. One of their biggest complaints has been my warning of greater natural disasters in the coming days. I don’t get as much mail on this subject any more. I think it’s because people no longer see my forecast as something of pure fantasy. It’s happening now, and they now view it as a threat. I still stand by the same warning that I would write people back with: "If my luck with the end-time signs doesn't run out soon, yours will."

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).

-- Todd

Togarmah Turbulence Stirring in Mideast

Current turmoil over last year’s Israeli Defense Force (IDF) naval commandos’ interception and action against a ship carrying pro-Palestinian operatives intent on running an Israeli blockade brings to the surface of Mideast tensions a reminder of Turkey’s future connection with the Gog-Magog prophecy.

Present-day Turkey sits geographically on much of the territory known in ancient times as Togarmah, whose inhabitants are predicted to be among the peoples that will attack Israel. The prophesied assault is termed the battle of Gog-Magog. The nations listed to invade from Israel’s north are given in Ezekiel 38:3-6. Turkey was governed by a secular government more or less friendly to Israel for many years. For the past several years, however, that country has turned toward religionists of the Islamist persuasion to govern, and Turkey has moved away from the ties that once held the two states together in a non-confrontational, even cooperative, disposition.

The most recent wedge issue further alienating the countries is Turkey’s determination to bring Israel before the United Nations to seek UN judgment against IDF actions that resulted in nine Turkish citizens being killed. Turkey is seeking the action through the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Based in The Hague, the ICJ is a permanent UN court set up to rule on state-to-state disputes. The primary judgment being sought is against Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

The nine pro-Palestinian Turkish citizens killed were on board the Turkish-flagged ship, Mavi Marmara, at the time the Israeli navy intercepted it on May 31, 2010 while it sailed toward Gaza’s coast. The pro-Palestinian activists on board at the time of the interception and boarding said the commandos started shooting as soon as they hit the deck. But the Israeli military said its commandos fired live rounds only after being attacked with clubs, knives, and guns. IDF reports said its troops faced significant, violent, organized resistance from a group of passengers upon boarding the vessel. They were therefore required to use force equal to the resistance in order to protect themselves.

International pressure is mounting against the Israeli government over the ongoing controversy. Like in so many areas of the Jewish state’s interaction with other nations, there is developing a readily discernible anti-Israel bias. This is seen, in particular, by the actions of almost every nation within the UN, which seem in collusion to bring into being the Palestinian state by majority vote, bypassing the UN Security Council input and excluding Israel from having any say in the matter.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has stated that he, along with most others in the UN, considers Israel occupiers in Jerusalem. Demands are being made that the Israeli government apologize for the action taken in blockading Gaza, and for every other trumped-up atrocity the haters of Israel can think of in accusing the Jewish state.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however isn’t biting into that poison apple.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday that Israel will not apologize to Turkey over the events of the Mavi Marmara raid, in light of the recommendations put forward by the Palmer report on the incident:

" We don't need to apologize for our soldiers who protected themselves against violent attacks by IHH activists and we don't need to apologize for working to stop weapons being smuggled to the terror group Hamas," he said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting. "Israel expresses regret that lives were lost, and I hope that we will find a way to improve relations with Turkey," Netanyahu added. "We need not apologize for the fact that naval commandos defended their lives against an assault by violent IHH activists. We need not apologize for the fact that we acted to stop the smuggling of weapons to Hamas, a terrorist organization that has already fired over 10,000 missiles, rockets and mortar rounds at our civilians. We need not apologize for the fact that we act to defend our people, our children and our communities. To the naval commandos, I would like to say that just as you and the rest of the IDF defend us, we will defend you everywhere and in every forum. I reiterate that the State of Israel expresses regret over the loss of life. I also hope that a way will be found to overcome the disagreement with Turkey. Israel has never wanted a deterioration in its relations with Turkey; neither is Israel interested in such a deterioration now.” ("PM: Still Won't Apologize to Turkey over 'Marmara' Raid," JPOST.COM STAFF AND HERB KEINON, 9/4/11, –My thanks to Jonathan Stettin)

While the prophet Zechariah’s foretelling that the whole world of nations will, near the end of human history, come against God’s chosen nation (Zechariah 12:1-3,) is manifest in this generation, the prophet Ezekiel’s Gog-Magog prophecy as it involves Turkey is in view upon the geopolitical horizon.