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Saturday, August 09, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Joel 2:21-27
21 Do not fear, O land, rejoice and be glad, For the LORD has done great things. 22 Do not fear, beasts of the field, For the pastures of the wilderness have turned green, For the tree has borne its fruit, The fig tree and the vine have yielded in full. 23 So rejoice, O sons of Zion, And be glad in the LORD your God; For He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain, The early and latter rain as before. 24 The threshing floors will be full of grain, And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil. 25 "Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. 26 "You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame. 27 "Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, And that I am the LORD your God, And there is no other; And My people will never be put to shame.
You can sometimes get into trouble transferring modern-day America for Israel in prophecy, but my mind can't help doing so here. Where we are at, both physically and culturally is a materially-blessed place. We may credit the Industrial Revolution, good crop soil and availability of natural resources, free-market economics and the taking advantage of poor people elsewhere, but that credit stops short if we don't acknowledge God as the primary source. One of the problems with being fat and happy is that we tend to ignore God when things are going good. The liberals in the crowd will chalk it up to better education taking people away from the superstitious faith they had when they were ignorant of science and culture. Nay, it is the wealth that the better educated have that will also draw them away; the vast majority of Americans can't pray "Give us this day our daily bread" with any fervor, for we're not sweating that. I may jokingly pray "Give us this day our daily PowerPoint" when I've procrastinated on my class preparation, but I'm not typically praying out of material need. If I can invoke the classic Doxology they used when I was a kid (and still do in many quarters)-"Praise God from whom all blessings flow." Let's not forget that.

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