Never Forget, the catchphrase for 9/11, runs through my mind as I watch the events in Afghanistan unfold this week. I stare in horror and listen in amazement as we see the panic in people’s eyes and hear reports of people being stranded, brutalized and killed. It is difficult to watch the Taliban take over hard fought Afghan territory.
Never Forget? How can we? People are still dying because of this attack! Yet, these scenes on our TV makes you wonder if we did forget the history of the attack and who the Taliban is and what they have done.
As I reflect on Never Forget, it occurs to me that God often tells His people to never forget. In Leviticus 23 God appointed 7 feasts that revive the Israelites faith by remembering their history, culture, and God’s intervention. God wanted them to Never Forget for the same reason we use this mantra for 9/11: To bring cohesiveness to a group a people who share a culture and common bond. In this case a family related by worship of the God of Abraham.
However, this never forget message is not one we humans respond to well, particularly when it comes to remembering what God has done or His commands. Just as I wonder if we are remembering 9/11 honorably, we dishonor God through disobedience and neglect. Although God is slow to anger, and warns His people, eventually God’s patience runs out! A holy God must address sin.
Before we look at how Afghanistan ties into our Christian history and relationship with God, let’s remember some of the events where God’s wrath was needed to save or teach His children. As you read, consider how much the United States is similarly disobedient and why God’s patience with the U.S. may be waning.
The Tower of Babel
Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
The Parting of the Red Sea and Forty Years of Wandering
Forty years of wandering was God’s punishment for the Israelite’s lack of faith. God told them to Never Forget all He had done for them and the miracles performed to free them from slavery. Particularly, He told them to Never Forget the last miracle when the death plague passed over their homes because the blood of the lamb was on their doorframe. (Genesis 12)
However, despite all they had seen of God’s power, they didn’t trust Him to deliver the land promised to them through the Patriarchs. They thought the people of Canaan were bigger and stronger than their God who had just parted the Red Sea that allowed them to escape slavery in Egypt! (Numbers 13: 21-33, 14: 26-38)
How is our faith today? Are we afraid of those who hate our God? So much so we don’t stand up to them!
The Time of the Judges
After Moses died Joshua led the people into the Promised Land (Israel today). Before Joshua died the people made a covenant that they would obey God’s laws and worship Him alone. Furthermore, they destroyed all the idols. However, subsequent generations forgot about the covenant and the Bible tells us that during the time of the judges: “There was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25 NKJV.”
There were 12 judges over a period of 325 years. The people continually sinned and ignored God until He punished them by allowing an enemy to subjugate them. Consequently, the people would cry out to God and in His mercy God put a judge into a leadership role to rescue the people. Unfortunately, Never Forget turned into : REMEMBER, BUT ONLY WHEN WE ARE IN TROUBLE! Sound familiar?
The Israelites wanted a king like other nations. Eventually, God relented and allowed Samuel to transition Israel to a monarchy. However, even with a king the people continually forgot God’s laws and continued to worship idols. (1 Samuel 8)
Additionally, there was fighting between the 12 tribes which resulted in a split country; the northern 10 tribes of Israel and southern Israel known as Judah. God sent prophet after prophet to warn the people of coming destruction for their sin to no avail. (1 Kings 11: 31-39)
Eventually, Israel was overtaken by Assyria in 720 BC and around 606 BC most of Judah fell to Babylon. Finally, Jerusalem (the capital of Judah) fell around 586 BC. The people were exiled; scattered throughout the world for seventy years. (1 Chronicles 5: 25-26, 2 Kings 24: 1-4, 2 Kings 25: 1-4 & 9-12)
SO, LIKE ISRAEL, IS GOD LOSING PATIENCE WITH UNITED STATES?
The United States, a country founded on Judeo-Christian values, is the most blessed and powerful country in the history of man. This great country went to Afghanistan for justice after the attack on the United States on 9/11/01, which in part meant bringing down the Taliban. Today these terrorists rule more territory in Afghanistan than when the U.S. entered the country twenty years ago – and they did it in just a few days!
How did this happen? Is it possible God is using these circumstances to warn us of coming destruction or to punish us for our neglect and sin?
It wouldn’t be the first time.
As we read above and find in Isaiah 10: 5-11 and 2 Kings 24: 1-4, God used the pagan Assyrians and Babylonians to chastise Israel for its continual rebellion and disobedience. Could the Taliban, China, and Iran be our modern day Assyria, Babylon, and Persia. After all, Iran is modern Persia. Is it rising again?
YOU SAY GOD DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT TODAY!
Ok, I know Jesus died for us and we live under the covenant of Grace. Thank you Jesus!
However, Paul said in Acts 17: 26-27 that God created all nations and decided when they should rise and fall. His purpose was for nations to seek after Him. Are we seeking after Him? I think as a nation we are not.
After all, we disregard the traditional family, kill children in the womb, refuse to honor God in the public square or in our schools, promiscuity is everywhere in our entertainment and everyday life, church attendance is down, and we worship idols of fame, success, money, and power.
Even Jesus talked about God’s eventual wrath. Read the ‘Parable of the Wedding’ (Matthew 22: 1-14) which describes how God invites us over and over again to join Him through His son Jesus Christ. In the end those who refuse are thrown into outer darkness.
I know Christians want to ignore the fact the Hell exists, however, it is a biblical fact.
IS IT TOO LATE?
Okay, it is your turn, please comment below about your opinion on this post. Differing opinions are welcome, but please be respectful.
Additionally, for more information check out God’s Providential Use of Nations.
As always: BLESSINGS UNTIL NEXT TIME!
Perhaps we will meet someday: if not in this life, surely in the next.