Truth On Fire

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From the Presence

One of the most consequential actions in scripture, in a bad way, is when men remove themselves from the presence of the Lord. There are several instances that command our attention. The first occurs in Genesis 3:8: “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” Something BAD had happened; the first couple had transgressed and disobeyed God, died spiritually. That voice and presence they had found so welcoming was now something they sought to avoid.  

The second occurs in Genesis 4:16: “And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.” Something BAD had happened; Cain had rejected God’s gracious appeal to do right, and murdered his brother Abel. 

The third occurs in Job 1:12; 2:7 regarding Satan: “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD” (1:12). And again: “So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown” (2:7). Something BAD was about to happen to Job; God granted permission to Satan to ‘rough up’ and afflict his servant. Satan’s departure from the presence of the Lord marked the beginning of the rigorous trial of Job’s patience. 

The fourth occurs in Jonah 1:3: “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.” Something BAD was about to happen; the disobedient prophet was about to experience a natural disaster at sea that imperiled himself as well as the sailors on the ship. 

The fifth occurs in 2 Thessalonians 1:9: “Who [those who reject the gospel and know not God] shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” At a future date, something BAD is going to happen to those who reject the Lord Jesus and his gospel—everlasting destruction! The worst aspect of the Lake of Fire (in addition to torment) is perhaps the deprivation of the presence of God for an eternity. 

The worst judgment that can fall upon an individual or nation is when God deprives them of his presence as a result of them rejecting his presence. America today is replicating Cain. Our government has taken us from the presence of the Lord to live in spiritual Nod. Interestingly enough, the word “Nod” means “a place of exile, wandering, vagrancy.” 

Spiritually speaking, America in its rejection of biblical truth is the equivalent of a homeless bum on the street, a vagrant hoping to catch a ride on the next freight train. I feel something BAD is about to happen to America with Biden-Harris, Dumb and Dumber, at the helm.

But all is not lost...yet! The one thing that can save America is REPENTANCE (a change of mind that brings a nation around to God's way of thinking). The words of Peter are still relevant: "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19).


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