Shavua Tov

Only six days until Shabbat!

  • Daniel Botkin

The Curse and the Cure

The Curse: A God-Sent Insanity Upon Our Land



“The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart” (Deut. 28:28)


Quos deus vult perdere prius dementat. “Those whom God wishes to destroy, He first makes mad.” (Boswell’s Life of Johnson [1791] Vol II, pp. 442f)


Near the end of Moses’ life, in his final address to the children of Israel, he spoke about blessings and curses that will come upon a nation. Obtaining God’s blessings and avoiding God’s curses is not rocket science. It is very simple. It is a principle that can be summarized in a single sentence: Obeying God’s commandments will bring blessings upon a nation, and disobeying God’s commandments will bring curses upon a nation.

This does not guarantee that every single obedient individual in the nation will be immune to suffering in this life, nor that every disobedient individual in the nation will have no happiness in this life. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. As Ecclesiastes 9:11 says, “time and chance happeneth to them all.” The blessings and curses listed in Deuteronomy are aimed primarily at the nation as a whole, the nation in general. In other words, a nation’s obedience or disobedience to God’s commandments will bring national blessings or national curses respectively.

Now let’s consider our nation, America. I am no expert on early American history, but I know enough about this nation’s founding to know that America was founded on Judeo-Christian Biblical principles. And I know that many of the founding fathers were God-fearing, Bible-believing Christians. Even those who were not true Christians had a measure of reverence for the Creator, and they recognized the importance of the Scriptures in the founding of this nation. Anyone who doubts this can read the founders’ own statements about God, the Scriptures, and Biblical principles.

Even the three-fold division of American government into the judicial branch, the legislative branch, and the executive branch follows the pattern proclaimed in Isaiah 33:22: “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king: He will save us.”

I do not know if the founding fathers had this verse in mind when they formulated the three branches of American government, or if they were unknowingly guided by Providence. Either way, it shows God’s hand on the founding of this nation. Even though the nation consisted of imperfect people, God’s hand was on the founding of this nation.

A study of the history of the Christian faith in America likewise shows God’s hand of blessing on America. Great numbers of people turned to the Lord in revivals like the Great Awakening and the Cane Ridge Revival. Bible Societies and Mission Boards carried the gospel to remote places. Churches thrived and the nation was blessed. If nations could be Christian, America was the closest thing anywhere to a Christian nation. That is the reason God richly blessed America in so many ways.

America is still a blessed nation. Unfortunately, we are just basking in the afterglow left by previous generations. The blessings we now enjoy are the leftovers that our forefathers left. A vineyard that is neglected after the owner’s death will still produce fruit for a while before it is totally destroyed through neglect.

Some years ago a vision appeared to me. I saw a kerosene lamp made of clear glass. The base of the lamp, which holds the oil, was empty, yet the wick was still burning brightly. But a lamp cannot burn without oil, so how could this be?

As I pondered this question of how an empty lamp could continue to burn, the Spirit revealed to me how it was happening. The wick was still saturated with enough fuel from the original oil. Even though the tank was empty, the oily wick would continue to burn for a while before the light burned out. I saw this lamp, and I saw America.

We are living in the afterglow, and the afterglow is fading. Unless the tank is refilled with fresh oil, the lamp will soon go out and the Lord will remove our candlestick out of its place.

Some of America’s blessings from the righteousness of past generations still remain, but those blessings are fading. As God’s blessings depart, this creates a vacuum, and God’s curses are sucked in to replace the blessings. This truth can be seen again and again in Israel’s history.

“And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and He delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and He sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies” (Jdg. 2:13f).

The prophet Azariah summed up this truth very simply: “The LORD is with you, while ye be with Him; and if ye seek Him, He will be found of you; but if ye forsake Him, He will forsake you” (2 Chron. 15:2).

Among the many curses promised to a disobedient nation, and the particular curse I want to focus on here is this curse: “The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart” (Deut. 28:28).

Madness is insanity. Our nation has been smitten with a God-sent insanity, specifically an insanity about what is right and wrong, moral and immoral.

I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. Sin existed in America during my childhood, but at least sin was considered sinful and shameful then. In those times, people did not “have affairs”; they committed adultery. Unmarried couples did not “live together”; they were fornicators living in sin. There were no “single moms”; there were unwed mothers, and they were often sent away to a home for unwed mothers to spare their families the shame and embarrassment. Their children were not “single-parent children”; they were bastards. There were no “gays”; there were homosexuals, sodomites, queers. Those sins existed in the 1950s, but they were kept in the darkness where they belonged. They were not constantly flaunted before the public, demanding acceptance, as they now are.

Contrast the normative sexual morals in America back then to the sick, twisted sexual morals in America today. Today, thanks to so-called “progress,” sexual immorality is now not only accepted, it is openly praised. Some heterosexual people think it is “cool” for someone to be openly “gay,” and they make a point of letting others know that they have “gay friends,” and that they do not object to their friends’ sexual perversion.

In the minds of the people who embrace and celebrate this lowering of sexual morals, the “bad guys” are now the Bible-Thumping Bigots who refuse to condone sexual perversion. I have said it before, and I say it again: We do not need to apologize to perverts, because we are not the ones who declared homosexuality and other forms of sexual deviancy to be abominations. It was God, not us, who declared sexual perversion an abomination. All we are doing is simply agreeing with what God has said. The Bible uses the following words in regards to sexual immorality: abomination, defiled, reprobate mind, sodomites, uncleanness, vile affection. If people have a problem with that, their argument is with God, not with us.

Some of America’s political leaders are righteous people, but many are not. Many of them are in favor of same-sex “marriage.” Some of them are in favor of inconveniencing the vast majority of the population to accommodate a tiny percentage of the population, the so-called transgender people who want to be recognized as the opposite of their true gender, and be allowed in public restrooms, clubs, sports teams, and organizations like the Boy Scouts of America.

When I think about how some American politicians vote for laws to accommodate this sort of sexually perverse nonsense, it is rather puzzling, because these politicians are not stupid people, academically speaking. They were intelligent enough to graduate from prestigious universities and smart enough to get themselves elected to public office. How can such intelligent people even consider passing laws to affirm the LGBTQ identity of mentally ill people, and to let so-called transgender people invade public restrooms of the opposite sex? How can such intelligent people be so stupid?

The answer to that question is in Deuteronomy 28:28. “The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart.” These leaders, and those citizens and celebrities who follow their lead, have been smitten with a God-sent insanity that blinds them to the obvious truth.

Insane people cannot see the truth which is obvious to everyone else. You cannot reason with a madman. Visit a madhouse, a real insane asylum, and see if you can talk a raving madman out of his insane delusions. You can’t. Whether the insane man is deluded by hallucinations, or by voices in his head, or by crazy ideas that creep into his mind, he cannot be talked out of his delusion. He will argue for his imaginary reality with all the logic of a sane man. He will passionately insist that his view is right and noble. If you point out to him that six-thousand years of human history and tradition and common sense say the opposite of what he believes, he will not be persuaded to abandon his delusion. You cannot reason with a madman. Insanity blinds men to the truth that is obvious to sane people.

Deuteronomy 28:28 also mentions “astonishment of heart.” The NASB translates it as “bewilderment of heart.” A footnote in the Hertz Pentateuch says “confusion of mind.” Talk about bewilderment and confusion! “Am I male or female? Or both? Or neither?”

When the transgender fad first started coming out of the closet, it was just biological males thinking they were females, and biological females thinking they were males. But now it has gone way beyond that. Now we have lots of alternative gender identities, such as the following:

  • bigender (identifying as both male and female)

  • genderfluid (identifying as either male or female at random times or in response to stimuli)

  • agender (without gender, i.e., “genderless”; identifying as some [nonexistent] “internal gender that is neither male nor female, just neutral,” also called non-gender or non-binary)

  • trigender (identifying as male, female, plus another [non-existent] “gender”; not to be confused with third gender, which identifies as neither male nor female, like agender does)

  • polygender (identifying as 2, 3, or even more [nonexistent] “genders”; also called multigender)

  • pangender (identifying as “all” genders)

  • genderqueer (a catch-all term for people who do not identify exclusively as male or female)

Welcome to the insane world spawned by the modern-day feminist movement and the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

I realize that the modern feminist movement drew attention to some injustices that needed to be corrected, things like sexual harassment, rape, abusive husbands, and unequal pay for equal work. But overall, the modern feminist movement has done far more harm than good. It has spawned and fed and nourished a plethora of plagues upon the world: abortion, infanticide, discontentment, divorce, gender wars, sexual immorality, homosexuality, and now transgenderism, plus an attempt to erase not only gender-specific dress and gender-specific roles, but even the very idea of gender itself, something that God decreed and declared at the beginning of human history, when “God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him: male and female created He them” (Gen. 1:27).

In the Rotherham Bible, the KJV’s “astonishment of heart” is translated “terror of heart.” In my KJV, the margin says “panic of heart.” When does the terror and panic come in? It comes whenever a Bible believer says or does anything that can be construed as “sexual bigotry.” Insane people react to this imagined bigotry with terror and panic.

“Oh, no! A Christian baker refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding! Oh, no! A Christian photographer refused to photograph a transgender wedding!”

The New Jerusalem Bible translates the KJV’s “astonishment of heart” as “distraction of mind.” Distraction is exactly what all this sexually perverse nonsense is leading to. It is distracting people from the more important issues of life, and from the real answers our nation needs.

Sexual immorality is not the only thing that is distracting the minds of people who are smitten with madness. People are also being distracted by false accusations of racism and so-called “cultural appropriation.”

Real racism still exists and needs to be eradicated. However, many claims of racism are bogus. There have been a few stories in the news recently (real news, not fake news) about drivers who claimed that traffic cops who stopped them were racists. These drivers did not realize that the cops had their body cameras on during the traffic stops. In each case, the entire episode was recorded, and showed that the claims of racism were totally bogus.

Another recent claim of racism was lodged against a politician who referred to black folks as “colored people.” The politician dutifully issued a profuse apology for his insensitivity.

Personally, I do not use the term “colored people,” because it is archaic, and because I know that black people prefer to be called black people or African Americans if there is a need to refer to their ethnicity. However, when I first heard that people were offended and upset by a politician who said “colored people,” my immediate response was to ask this question: “What does NAACP stand for?” Last time I looked, it stands for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

So I seriously doubt that the politician’s utterance of “colored people” was inspired by racism. I suspect that he just temporarily forgot that “colored people,” which was considered respectable in his youth, is now considered outdated.

As I said, real racism still exists. But every time a false claim of racism is made, it makes it easier for people to dismiss and ignore legitimate claims of racism. It is like the proverbial Boy Who Cried Wolf.

So-called cultural appropriation is another “distraction of mind.” Cultural appropriation is borrowing something - clothing, hair style, music, any expression of culture - that is unique to an ethnic group that is different from your own ethnic group. That is insensitive and should not be done, we are told.

An example of this was in the news a few months ago. A teenage girl went shopping at thrift stores to look for a unique dress to wear to her high school prom. She found a beautiful Chinese dress with pretty embroidery. After she posted photos of herself in the dress on social media, many people condemned her and called her a bigot. They told her that she was insensitive and wrong to wear that dress, because she is a white girl, not an Asian. White girls wearing Asian garments is cultural appropriation, she was told.

I’m not sure what this girl’s accusers would say about Asian teenagers who wear American blue jeans, but this is the crazy world in which we live. Another white person, some movie star I never heard of, was likewise recently accused of cultural appropriation. His sin? He had his hair styled into dreadlocks, and white people should not wear dreadlocks, he was told.

Our country is being divided by these foolish, petty distractions of mind and by the terror and panic that is triggered by imagined bigotry. These artificial problems are distracting people from the real cause of our nation’s woes. The real cause of our nation’s woes is our departure from God and from His commandments. Therefore the cure should be obvious.


The Cure: Return to the God of the Bible and to the Bible of God


The cure, like the cause, is not rocket science. If the root cause of our nation’s God-sent insanity and blindness is departure from God and from His Bible, then the obvious solution is to return to the God of the Bible and to the Bible of God.

Return to the God of the Bible and to the Bible of God. This in a nutshell is the message that needs to be proclaimed to America. This is the message that needs to go out across our land.

We Bible believers all have our pet doctrines, certain doctrines that we like to emphasize. Baptists focus on soul winning. Church of Christ folks focus on water baptism. Methodist holiness churches focus on sanctification. Pentecostals focus on speaking in tongues and other supernatural gifts of the Spirit. Seventh Day Adventists focus on the seventh-day Sabbath. Messianics likewise focus on the Sabbath, along with the Biblical calendar and dietary laws. All these things are important, because they are in the Bible. But these things can wait. The first step for lost sinners is to return to the God of the Bible. After the sinner repents, gets his sins forgiven, and gets right with God, then he can return to the Bible of God and begin learning how his heavenly Father wants him to live. It is pointless to teach a man how to live a Biblical lifestyle if he has not first turned his heart toward God and returned to God.

When I talk about returning to God I am talking about repentance. But if I am talking to a lost sinner, I prefer to talk about returning to God rather than about repenting. A lost sinner may not understand the meaning of repentance, especially if he has no past church experience. He may think repentance means nothing more than being sorry for his sins.

Feeling sorry for your sins is part of repentance. But it is possible for a man to be sorry for his sins only because he is presently suffering the natural consequences of his sins. The prisons are filled with people like that. This sorrow is what the Bible calls “the sorrow of the world.” But genuine repentance will include godly sorrow, sorrow over the fact that your sins offended God. Godly sorrow will bring a person back to God, and not just leave him wallowing in remorse and misery and self-

pity. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Cor. 7:10).

When I say “Return to God,” I am not talking about some New-Age nebulous sort of “god-as-you-perceive-him-or-her-or-it-to-be.” I am talking about one specific God, the God of the Bible, the one and only true God, God as the Bible declares Him to be.

When speaking to sinners, I say “God” rather than Yahweh or Yehovah or some other Sacred Name preferred pronunciation. I say “God” because most unsaved worldlings would not know who I am talking about if I use some Hebrew version of His name. If I am speaking English, “the God of the Bible” narrows it down and specifies which God I am talking about.

I want to see our nation return to the God of the Bible and to the Bible of God. In John chapter 4, Yeshua said that the Father seeks people to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. He said, “God is a Spirit.” Therefore if a lost sinner returns to God, this starts the “Spirit” aspect of worship. The “truth” aspect of worship starts when the repentant sinner understands that the Bible is the truth that sanctifies us: “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth” (John 17:17).

I yearn for another Great Awakening in America, a spiritual awakening that will cause people to shake off their spiritual slumber and stupidity and return to the God of the Bible and to the Bible of God. I long to see people set free from their God-sent insanity and blindness and confusion of heart.

I envision people marveling at their former blindness and saying, “What were we thinking?! How did we stray so far from God?!”

If we want to see genuine repentance and revival, it has to start with God’s own people. The oft-quoted 2 Chronicles 7:14 is addressed to God’s people, not to heathens: “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Repentance had to begin with God’s own people in ancient Israel, and repentance has to begin with God’s own people today. If you are one of God’s people, do what 2 Chronicles 7:14 says to do. Then go forth and call the nation to return to the God of the Bible and to the Bible of God.


| DB

 

Image: Psalm 48 by Daniel Botkin from his Psurrealistic Psalms Pseries. Visit his art website, DanielBotkin.com to see the rest of this series and peruse all of his art galleries

10 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All
Topics
Archive
Featured Posts
Follow Me
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube