Firstly I am no Jewish scholar or knowledgeable in Hebraic roots or history and secondly my passion is to learn all I can in the Word and grow as a child of God. As interesting as these books are, they are to flesh out my knowledge, and not the source of God's Word. There is only one WORD, God's Word, the bible, for me!
So why am I going on about all this? The above is just to give you background into where I am getting my meandering thoughts from :)
In the book, The Harbinger, the writer is sent on a bit of a journey to discover, with a help of a "random stranger", the 9 harbingers. Harbingers are warnings, sent by God to redirect ancient Israel back to Him. In the book the writer and the stranger, lead us to see the pattern of these harbingers and Israel's reaction to them, and... how (for the purposes of this book) that pattern is being followed closely by America. Now I am South African, living in South Africa, and as these harbingers unfold, in the time of Israel's falling away, and today, in America, I can see these patterns being played out in the lives of any Christian.
For example, the first harbinger, as per this book is that God allowed a breach in their defenses, a breaking down of their walls. The writer lines this up with the Twin Towers. The second harbinger in the time of Israel, was the Syrian nation - the tool allowed by the Lord to set about Israel's defeat, should they not turn back to God. In that time, like now, the Israelites said they would rebuild, they would use stronger materials, they would build taller, stronger, higher! They would NOT turn back to God. Today, that tool is the terrorist, who, when you follow their path back into the past, their roots lead back to the ancient Syrians. The third harbinger is the falling of the walls, the breach being broken down completely. A warning becoming a judgement!
Now it is at this time in the book where the writer shows that ancient Israel, and today America, had a choice. They could turn back to God, ask His forgiveness and rid their lives of idols etc. He would then restore to them His protection and restore the breach, or they could become even more independent of Him, even more arrogant and self-sufficient, less in need of their creator, their God, their rock!
It is here that I thought how this applied to us as Christians. How often in our lives do we become too comfortable within our circumstances, how we lean less on the Lord and more on our "things", our "friends", our "comforts", our jobs, etc? We start making trade-offs and compromises and stand up less for our morals and our foundational Godly roots! I think it is at this point that God often allows a breach in our protection. He allows a loss of finance, a loss of standing with our friends, a hardship, an event, illness maybe, something that gives us a kick in the pants!
It is at this point where we make one of two choices,
1. We choose to get closer to God
2. We choose to go the way of the world, in other words, we DO NOT CHOOSE GOD!
It really is that simple. We come to a point where we have to choose God, or NOT choose God.
That is what I am seeing in this pattern of harbingers in this book. It is reality. It happened to Israel and is currently happening to America and I include in that any previously "Godly" nation and at one point South Africa was such a nation.
Why are we so surprised when God removes His protection, His presence, His blessing? At first He does it to get our attention. After that we get more chances. God is certainly a God of many chances. But there is a point where those chances, for us, for our countries, run out, and those breaches become judgment! Hard to read? Imagine how hard it is for our God to watch as we choose the world over Him? But He loves us anyway! He keeps knocking anyway! And those who are already won to Him, He wants to keep us close and God is sometimes rough with the flesh, to win the soul.
I think as each of us chooses the path that leads back to closeness with God, and our numbers grow, we can at least be a light to our nations, that may encourage the same.