As our year comes to a close we have witnessed the transition of a number of nations and with such abrupt changes come uncertainty. I can think of Brexit, the USA elections, the sudden resignation of my own Prime Minister, the stepping down of the Italian head of state. I believe this change among the nations also includes the conflicts in the Middle East and the resulting flood of human flotsam into Europe.
As I was dwelling on these sudden changes among the nations the Holy Spirit pressed upon me that this is the beginning of the Lord shaking the nations for his purposes. As I was capturing the thought the word of the Lord came to me saying that is bringing the nations to His threshing floor.
This word is found in Micah 4:12 as God addresses the nations.
But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor.
This convergence of the nations should not take us by surprise for such is the ways of the Lord. This is a pivotal year in the timing of God. There will be significant and dramatic changes, but this will be a beginning, not an end. Transitions usually cause things to shake. These shakings should not faze us. Rather we need to understand the big picture of Gods planning over the nations.
In Genesis 15 God comes to Abraham and outlines his plan for the nation of Israel that would be born from Abraham’s seed. During this encounter Abraham was given a glimpse of God’s prophetic time clock. Firstly God informed Abraham that the Israelites would eventually become slaves in Egypt. He then He added a ‘But.’ In 400 years time God would deliver the Israelites from the Egyptians. Once delivered they would inherit the Promised Land. During the 400 years in Egypt the Israelites multiplied greatly in number. This was part of God’s strategic maneuvering for it is my contention that without the imprisonment in Egypt the Children of Israel would still be a ‘ragtag’ tribal grouping. God has a time clock for the nations.
Secondly we need to understand the term ~ ‘the full measure of iniquity.’ In the Genesis 15 encounter with Abraham God informs him that the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full. When Israel finally conquered the Promised Land the iniquity of the occupants had reached its full measure. This principle also applied to God’s judgment against the Egyptians. When iniquity reaches a certain level, God halts it. Therefore God does not judge the nations indiscriminately. There is a plan and purpose in Gods dealing with the nations.
A third strategic element for God’s purposes towards the nations to be fulfilled was the cry for freedom that came from the Israelites themselves. (Exodus 2) God moves in his purposes as his people cry out to him. God allowed his chosen people to be confined as slaves in the land of Egypt for as long as they tolerated the ‘fleshpots’ of their slavery. Therefore God stays his hand until his people are ready to move.
I believe these examples from scripture reveal Gods heart for the nations to be under his Lordship and as I wait on the Holy Spirit I see this convergence of the nations coming to pass which will cause much ‘hand wringing’ among the people as not only the bastions of government are shaken but also the seven pillars of modern society. For many people this will cause uncertainty, worry, anxiety and gnashing of teeth.
I also discern that the nation of Israel will play a pivotal role in the transition of the nations as an earthquake from the north will be seen as God realigns the countries. This will bring much uncertainty and shake our faith in more ways than one. There will be significant and dramatic changes, but this will be a beginning, not an end. Transitions usually cause things to shake. These shakings should not faze us. Rather we need to understand the big picture of Gods plans that he has set out before the beginning of time.
This coming year 2017 is a strategic year in Gods dealing with the nations.
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"This was part of God s strategic maneuvering for it is my contention that without the imprisonment in Egypt the Children of Israel would still be a ragtag tribal grouping. "
I agree. The sad truth is when we get "comfortable" with where we are at, we set up camp and happily settle down instead of pressing forward toward what God has promised us.