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God Have Mercy:

HELPING ORPHANS to COME OUT

An excerpt from Victory in Jesus: Equipping Christian Families for Foster Care or Adoption,

Copyright 2016 by Cheryl Sasai Ellicott. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or reproduce without Author's written permission.

Sweetwater Still/2016/Paperback

In Bible interpretation scholars often apply "the Rule of Firsts"—taking special notice of the first time something appears in Scripture. This mention is always significant; it sets the precedent for interpreting the concept when it appears again. Keeping the Rule of Firsts in mind, here’s the first time the word orphan (or fatherless) appears in Scripture:

[The Lord says,] "Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you . . . " (Exodus 22:22-24a NIV)

Over forty other Bible Scriptures outright proclaim, or clearly imply, that God defends orphans (along with widows and foreigners). If we abuse, neglect or cheat the fatherless, we arouse God’s wrath. However, one Scripture declares that Almighty God, who is love, will at some time turn away from even the orphans. He’ll refuse to show them pity.

". . . he will not show pity on any of the widows and orphans, because all the people are godless and wicked and everything they say is evil." (Isaiah 9:17b GNB)

This prophecy was fulfilled after the ancient nation of Israel turned away from their God, ignored His warnings and calls to repent and was eventually destroyed by enemies. Because of her covenant with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Israel had been divinely blessed and invincible; she was surrounded by God’s hedge of protection. But she turned away to follow idols, heaped up sins and ignored the prophets and warnings—even the obvious removal of the hedge. Total destruction of her Northern Kingdom followed (in 722 B. C.) and in 586 B.C the survivors of Judah’s decimation were carried into captivity.

But many years later, on April 30, 1789, another newly formed nation dedicated themselves to this same God. Intent upon patterning their nation after ancient Israel, they took vows binding them to be faithful to God. Inside a church—their ground of consecration—they prayed as Solomon had upon Israel's Temple dedication. This also was spoken over their new nation that day:

". . . the foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality . . . . . . The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself hath ordained." 1

The results were tremendous: God placed a hedge of protection around this new nation; she became the most powerful and blessed of all. She was invincible. Yet in time, this nation also turned away from God and denied her vows. She shamelessly heaped up sins—mocking both private and public morality—spilled the innocent blood of her children and lusted after gold and other idols. Just as Israel before her, she entered a season of warnings, which were ignored. Next, the hedge of protection began to crumble. The first breaches were so tremendous, the collapse was heard around the world. On the exact ground where the founding fathers dedicated the nation to God, she was devastated by terrorists—it was "the worst terrorist attack in world history." In 1789 when this nation took her vows to God, it was within a small church called St. Paul’s Chapel; at that time Ground Zero, the site of the future terrorist attacks, was an empty field which belonged to the church. Unaware of these facts, the terrorists who staged the attack gave their plans a code-name: The Big Wedding.

The nation is, of course, the United States of America. "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States," the first president declared.1 Not only was America bound by vows to acknowledge God, but also to adore Him.

In Isaiah chapter nine, when the Lord removed the hedge and stirred up Israel's enemies to attack her, instead of repenting, the leaders responded:

"The bricks have fallen, but we will build with dressed stones; the sycamore trees have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars." (Isaiah 9:10 ISV)

Likewise, on September 11, 2001, after the World Trade Center fell, America also failed to take this removal of protection to heart. Instead of calling the nation to turn from unfaithfulness and return to her God, leaders responded by publicly quoting the prophecy of Isaiah—word for word, multiple times. "The bricks have fallen, but we will build with dressed stones; the sycamore trees have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars,"2 they swore. "We will rebuild! We’re going to come out of this stronger than before. . ."3 "We remember, we rebuild, we come back stronger!"4 "We will rebuild!" newspaper headlines echoed repeatedly.5 They didn't know that they claimed a prophecy of judgement upon a nation who had broken her vows. They failed to understand the prophecy in context:

8 "The LORD has sent a plague against Jacob, and it will fall on Israel; 9 and all of the people were evil—Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—saying proudly with arrogant hearts:

10 'The bricks have fallen, but we will build with dressed stones; the sycamore trees have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.'

11 But the LORD has raised adversaries from Rezin against him, and he stirs up his enemies—12 Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west—and they devour Israel with open mouths! "Yet for all this, his anger has not turned away, and his hand is still stretched out, ready to strike."

13 "But the people have not returned to rely on him who struck them, nor have they sought the LORD of the Heavenly Armies. 14 So the LORD has cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and reed in a single day—15 the elder and the dignitary is the head, and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail. 16 For those who guide this people have been leading them astray, and those who are guided by them are swallowed up.

17 Therefore the Lord does not have pity on their young men, and has no compassion on their orphans and widows, because each of them was godless and an evildoer, and every mouth spoke folly. "Yet for all this, his anger has not turned away, and his hand is still stretched out, ready to strike."

18 "For wickedness has burned like a blaze that consumes briers and thorns; it sets thickets of the forest on fire, and skyward they swirl in a column of smoke. 19 From the wrath of the LORD of the Heavenly Armies the land has been scorched, and the people have become like fuel for the fire; no one will spare his neighbor. 20 They cut meat on the right, but they're still hungry, and they devour also on the left, but they're not satisfied; each devours the flesh of his own children. 21 Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim devours Manasseh; together they are against Judah. "Yet for all this, his anger has not turned away, and his hand is still stretched out, ready to strike." (Isaiah 9:8-21 ISV)

 

True to her word, America proudly rebuilt. Part of her national makeover was the passing of more laws disregarding the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself hath ordained. And she boldly built a new tower to replace the World Trade Center. Spending 4 billion dollars, America constructed the most expensive building in the world at the time. At 1,776 feet (signifying the year America signed her Declaration of Independence) this symbolic tower was the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere; she named it the One World Trade Center. A symbolic cornerstone ("dressed stone" from the quarry) was brought in and called the "Freedom Stone." The sycamore that fell within the courtyard of St. Paul’s Chapel was replaced with the same genus of tree spoken of in the prophecy of Isaiah 9. The new tree was dedicated as "the Tree of Hope." Workers engraved the new One World tower with graffiti symbolizing "rebirth and resilience." America marched forward in the footsteps of the ancient nation of Israel, prior to her total destruction. But these actions also aligned with future prophecies of a rebellious One World government that arises in the end times.

Oh, little Christian, listen and take heed! These facts apply to us! It is within this context, this exact prophecy—this judgment upon a nation that has turned from her God—that God declares "he will not show pity on any of the widows and orphans, because all the people are godless and wicked."

Have the children of our age become so godless and wicked that God cannot tolerate them? Will the children that I raise, and that you raise, fail to receive His pity and protection, because we have not turned them from the sin and guilt of this society? May it never be! Please stand with me, saying, "Not on my watch!" Beloved brothers and sisters, regardless of what age we live in, God has called us to do more than just feed and clothe the orphans. It's not enough to lift them out of the ashes that they might become like America's rebel sons and daughters—sharing the pride, riches and ungodly lifestyle of our society, thereby sharing her guilt. The voice from heaven declares, "Come out of her, my people, so that you may have no part in her sins and in her punishments."

Our mission, if possible, is to turn orphans away from the wickedness within society—to encourage and enable them to be separate—so they will receive God's mercy. To do this, we must first come out and turn away ourselves.

“And so the Lord says, ‘You must separate yourselves from them. Have nothing to do with what is unclean, and I will accept you. I will be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18 GNB)

"Put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. . . . Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 13:12b, 14a NIV)

 

 

 

 

1: Excerpts from George Washington’s first inaugural speech, April 30, 1789

2. Senate Majority Leader Daschle, September 12, 2001; John Edwards, September 11, 2004; President Barack Obama, February 24, 2009

3. New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, September 11, 2001

4. President Barack Obama, June 2012, writing on a steel beam of the One World Trade Center

5.CBS News, CNN, MSNBC, The Guardian, National Public Radio, Times Online, Fox News, Al Jazeera, Drudge Report, Associated Press, New York Times

 

COMING TO BOOKSTORES July 10, 2016

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