A prophetic look at the day in which we live
1 Kings 19:11–12 (ESV)
11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. (Thin silence)
After Elijah’s demonstration of God’s power (1King 18), rather than a mighty revival; instead of becoming the pastor of a great church; or the advisor to the king, Elijah was threatened with death.
He laments to God that he alone remains true to the covenant and yet he is an outcast of Israel rather than leading as the prophet of God.
God passed by and there was a great wind that tore the mountains, surely God would be in such greatness? But God was not in it. Next there was a powerful earthquake. Surely that is the sort of great event that God would be in. No! Then a fire, but God was not in the fire either. After this was a ‘thin silence’ a nothingness that really offends the sensibilities of man and what people deem great.
God revealed to Elijah that He, God, is not in natural things that impress mortal men; He is in the wisdom of a thin silence, a low whisper.
It seems to me that our meetings, our buildings, our money and our influence etc are like the strong wind, the earthquake and the fire, they are impressive by men’s’ standards but God is not found in them. Rather the thin silence, the unglamorous whisper, that which is foolish to the wisdom of this age, that is where God is found. To those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, God is revealed in His righteousness and in His wrath.
Romans 1:16–18 (ESV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
God is in His righteousness
In the gospel – which is the power of God – His righteousness is revealed. So God is found in the working of /his righteousness as the wicked, those who are at enmity with God, are captured by His love and led in triumphal procession – captors of His powerful love.
Such revelation is far from the glitz and glamour of contemporary success-orientated churches, and is the ‘thin silence’ of God’s presence: the foolishness that confounds the wise (1Cor 1:18,19; 2:6-16).
God is in His wrath
God’s wrath is revealed against the unrighteousness of men and women who supress the truth by there unrighteousness. The evidence of God’s wrath is that He gives them up to the evil desires of their heart (Rom 1:24, 26,28).
So, God is not revealed as being active in the church or society because our programs have wowed peopled or catered to peoples religious curiosities or their base depravity of self-indulgence but in the ‘thin silence’ of a people whose live reflect the glory of God in the marketplace rather than in an institution.
God is revealed in society in one of two ways: either His righteousness is being revealed or His wrath. The former appears in a societies pursuit of righteousness, justice, mercy and peace; the later in societies pursuit of lustful pleasure, injustice, callousness etc.
What of God’s nature is being revealed today in society, His righteousness or His wrath?
In the middle of the worst economic crisis in world history what has been the forefront of political will? Financial justice for those robbed by manipulative multinational banks? Wisdom for a merciful response to political refugees and an answer to the plight of displaced people due to war, famine and natural disasters? An answer to the breaking down of families and the societal problems that result?
No! Bankers are fined millions (the cost of doing business) for pleading guilty to criminal charges of manipulation of markets (netting themselves billions), causing financial destruction to families and local communities, yet no CEO, the ones who actually perpetrated the manipulations and fraudulent behaviour, is actually charged or imprisoned. No justice!
No! Politicians of all nations and political persuasion are trying to workout how to stop refugees from coming to their shores without engaging the nations best minds to find a solution to their plight. No Mercy!
No! While the world is being devoured by war, terrorism, genocide, natural disasters, global economic repression (ie unelected bureaucrats controlling world banks issuing orders to elected governments on how they will govern – see the IMF, EU central bank versus Greece, Ireland etc), and the breakdown of society, politicians are fighting to legalise same-sex marriage, transgender rights, and making it a criminal act to believe that same-sex marriage and transgender choices are contrary to the laws of nature and of God. (On the 26 June 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage.) No righteousness!
What does this mean? That the world, not just a particular society but the entire world is, by its deeds, revealing the wrath of God. There is now very little opposition to men’s evil desires. And so that which has been holding back now seems to have been removed.
2 Thessalonians 2:7–8 (ESV)
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
Politicians are powerless to resist the evil desires of the heart of man. Slaves to sin, obedient to death, powerless to stop the rush into depravity. A world handed over is a world under God’s wrath. We have been such things happen in individual lives, we have seen it in nations, and even empires, but now God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against ALL ungodliness and unrighteousness in the world at large. We have seen the recapitulate of The Revelation over the centuries but now as it advances to its ultimate climax the whole world is caught up in its prophetic end.
[Part III The Thin Silence: What is unfolding is not a doomsday scenario but rather the multifaceted wisdom of God. The wrath of God poured out on the whole world is also to be seen as the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ made manifest in the saints…]