British police face public anger as riots rage (The Associated Press, Tuesday, August 9, 2011). Britain began flooding London's streets with 16,000 police officers Tuesday, nearly tripling their presence as the nation feared its worst rioting in a generation would stretch into a fourth night. The violence has turned buildings into burnt out carcasses, triggered massive looting and spread to other U.K. cities.
US urges citizens to leave Syria immediately (Fox News, Monday, August 8, 2011). The United States urged US citizens Friday to depart from Syria "immediately," and noted the Damascus government had placed "severe" constraints on the travel of US diplomats in the country. The travel warning expressed growing concern over the violent crackdown by President Bashar Al Assad's security forces against pro-democracy protesters.
Arab League tells Syria to halt violence as more than 60 die in Assad's latest crackdown. (Ha'aretz, Monday August 8, 2011). Arab League Chief Nabil al-Arabi on Sunday called on Syrian authorities to "immediately halt" a violent crackdown on anti-government protests and expedite steps to preserve the country's unity.
US stocks sink after Fed predicts slower growth (New York AP, August 9, 2011). The Federal Reserve spoke - and the financial markets responded with a dive. Stocks dropped Tuesday afternoon after the Fed said that economic growth this year has been "considerably slower" than it expected and that it will keep interest rates at their record low of almost zero until at least the middle of 2013.
Through the Third Lens of Scripture: Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and His Anointed, saying, "Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath. and distress them in His deep displeasure: "Yet I have set My King on my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.'" Now therefore, be wise O kings; be instructed you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him (Psalm 2:1-12).
Why do the nations rage? The question is left hanging without an answer. The inspired psalmist goes on to describe in broad strokes their raging and plotting, and the consequences of such actions, but he never answers the question, "Why?" Based on the whole counsel of Scripture, this seems to be the point to which human nature devolves, when left unchecked. In happened between the time of the first sin (Genesis 3) which quickly led to murder and polygamy (Genesis 4) which eventually led to this: The lord saw how great man's wickedness on earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time (Genesis 6:5).
A New testament view of this same regression in natural man and his societies is seen in Romans 1-3. There Paul declares The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness...(Romans 1:18). In chapter one Paul focuses on the sins of idolatry, the rejection of the truth of God's Word, and it being exchanged for the lie of Satan, and homosexuality. While all these sins are indicative of the practices of Gentiles (people without a relationship with God), in Chapter 2 Paul turns on the Jews (who had a covenant relationship with God). He says that they do the same things; that they are stubborn and unrepentant, and that they do not practice what they preach. By the time you reach Romans 3:9, Paul concludes, "...Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin."
Then, just in case somebody dares to think that they belong to some special, third class of people, Paul writes, "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This sin produces death. It will kill a nation, a society, a culture just as surely as it will kill an individual. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord"(Romans 6:23).
When speaking of national sin and impending judgment, I have often quoted "Righteousness exalts an nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34). That is as true today as it ever has been. Perhaps it will help to distinguish between the judgment of individuals and the judgment of nations. I especially hope this is helpful to friends who, like me, have donned the uniform of the USA and consider themselves patriots. The Bible makes it very clear concerning the judgment of individuals that some of their sins are judged in this lifetime while others are judged in the next. Sins judged in this lifetime include all those sins that a person has washed away when he acknowledges that Jesus Christ bore them in His body while hanging on Calvary's cross (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Peter 2:24). The person who judges himself a sinner in need of a savior, and then in repentance cries out to Jesus for salvation will not be judged along with others in the world (1 Corinthians 11:31-32).
Nations are not eternal, as is man. Nations have been and will be judged in this life. People are all the time being saved from God's judgment by faith in Christ, even though they live in a nation which is under God's judgment. The nations are raging now - trying desperately to throw off the reign of God, and doing nothing positive to prepare for the arrival of His Kingdom. In all their raging, God is laughing, knowing that there is nothing they can do to thwart the purposes of God. The nations are raging and the Middle East is in turmoil. What will happen if next month, the UN declares Palestine a separate nation? I don't know, but I do know that there is nothing the UN can do to keep the Lord Jesus Christ from sitting upon His throne on the holy hill of Zion (which is Jerusalem)! The turmoil of this world will increase before that Day happens, and the Lord shall receive His inheritance of the nations out of the ashes of the outpouring of His wrath.
Why do the nations rage? It's their nature to. Don't get distraught by all the raging; don't get caught up in all the raging. "Kiss the Son" or pay Him the homage He is due. Prepare your heart as a throne for Him, before He assumes His rightful throne in Zion. "Blessed are ALL who put their trust in Him (Psalm 2:12).