What are the judgments? Reading verses 1-2 (please read the passage for yourselves) we see the downfall regarding Food, Water, Military, Prophets, Leaders. In other words, the collapse of the essential -basic- necessities that allow people to live and survive. Indeed, when the "third seal" is opened, the judgment is the economy and inflation and the expensiveness of food... a day's wages required for a day's intake of food. (Re6:5-6)
What do we see today? The collapse of various nation economies. People are becoming jobless. These days I see what appear to be homeless people, individuals/couples, parked out next to intersections, hoping for handouts. To be sure, many of those are 'working' the system. But for many, the aura around them and their pets (dogs) is unmistakable. I often feel more sorry for their dogs, drooping along. Pets tend to be what their owners are; thus a droopy dog would not indicate an otherwise 'happy' situation for the owner, only they are 'playing' the system. They -are- in hard times, for whatever reason. And the economy hasn't yet finished bottoming out. By the time the 'end' comes -MANY- MORE will be joining those ranks. What we see now is merely the foretaste of what is yet to come.
What is the cause? Pardon if we become a bit graphic as we progress, but what we observe in words here is nothing we aren't already seeing personally and in the media.
People are refusing to raise up their children with Godly standards, so they grow up sassy and disrespectful to adults. The hippy generation was notorious for doing things calling for them to appear before judges, and in court raising their marxist fists before the judge and the proceedings. When the rollerblade and skateboard punks go rolling by, and the business proprietor goes out to ask them to stop loitering, and when they become snotty about it, the proprietor uses stronger language at them, they reply with the trademark insolence, "WHATEVER!"
They often say that art defines life. For some time, now, the eco-green sustainability PSAs depict a 'father' leaving the lights on, or taking too long a shower, so it is the 'child' who is depicted telling (commanding/demanding) the father to mend his ways. And when he doesn't hop-to in obedience, the dog-patrol is called to take care of the matter.
The other Saturday as it was nearing evening news time, I had turned on the TV to the channel, and was in the other room doing some household laundry chores, listening to the kiddie cartoon that was on, "Shelldon" I was utterly amazed at how much self-esteem, self-worth, I'm-OK-you're-OK, and similar stuff was being drummed every-other sentence. And when, in the story line, the family was to partake a meal, and the little one wasn't too enamored of the meal selection, rather than mother saying (as in the days I grew up), "Eat what's on your plate" (or you can go to bed without supper), it was the 'servant' (mother) ingratiating to the child, "If you don't want that, may I get you something else?"
Children are the rulers (3:4), like the Nagano Olympics theme in 1998, "When Children Rule the World". A few years ago this new family moved next door, and the one girl, just getting into high school, and I would have many conversations. She was just a "kid" yet, but was talking, pretending to be like an adult, speaking of her "gentlemen" friends at school. But when these "gentlemen" might come around, by their appearance, attitudes and behavior it was obvious they were just rebellious little "punks".
Other than certain ones like Jezebel and other such individuals throughout history, never before has human history experienced the explosion of feminism as we see today. Women refusing their God-given rolls to raise up children... how many millions of babies have been murdered savagely in the womb! God said,
They think nothing of killing human babies, but wax emotional with tear-jerky songs and PSAs to help save the abused pets: cats and dogs.
Why? Because they are following their mother Eve, who swallowed satan's lie... "You will be AS GOD" (Ge3:5) They are busy worshiping "mother earth", and following Gaia's high priestess Oprah, working towards female 'empowerment', and self-deification... to be goddesses... "I'm your Venus, I'm your fire, your desire"
And around the time this is being written the current "fitness" craze seems to be something called "Zumba". The old work-out equipment, lifting weights, running, walking, treadmill... is sooo 'boring'. If you buy the special offer, you can do "fun" aerobic workouts. But what one sees on the TV screen is -everybody- learning to be "exotic" dancers. In one scene the dancers look, for everything, like rock band back-up dancers. In another scene some males are doing accentuated pelvic thrusts. And as for the rest, they are moving their bodies in ways they depict in shows or sitcoms where somebody is going into a strip club and the dancers are dancing. It's all about Sex, Sex, Sex.
And this next chapter I suspect has much to do with "in that day" (4:1), as the time during and after Jacob's Trouble (Jer30:7) is often called. Perhaps entering into the Millennium of Messiah's Kingdom? By the time the 70th week is finished, as we addressed in the Revelation series, it is quite possible that only 10% of earth's present population will be left alive; 90% will have been decimated through warfare, famine, pestilence, and other catastrophes. (which also agrees with the desires of the eco-sustainability-agenda 21) And if a person understands that a lot of the death will be due to warfare, that means that there will be more females left than males. We know that in Israel, alone, 2/3 will be killed, and only 1/3 will remain. (Zec13:8-9) Here it speaks of "he who is -left-... he who -remains-" (4:3) Is6:13 speaks of the "tenth". It will be such devastation that the survivors will be few and scarce. There won't be enough males left for there to be "couples", so females wanting to reproduce will agree to 'share' males between them...
Here is another...
You didn't know that today's seductive sensuality was so graphically portrayed in Scripture, did you! But isn't this what society emulates and glorifies! Awhile back I happened upon a Jay Leno show where he had as guest some 'plus-sized' woman (model) who had been berated for revealing too much cleavage. So, while she was sitting there as guest, Leno busted the media for its -HYPOCRISY- by showing a clip of a Victoria's Secret TV commercial. You that see those know how "pornographic" they are...but nobody complains about them. (Well, NOT "nobody"! I yell at them all the time, and sometimes get so disgusted that I will flip channels momentarily until the commercial is over!)
In these chapters, as you read them, consider how much time is devoted to the female and her sexual allurements, compared to the other things it mentions. Is that not pretty much in the same proportion as what society considers these things! Most comedians that travel down the sleeze path can hardly speak of anything without sexual innuendo and undertones in every-other-sentence. If one has worked around certain trades, as people chat about whatever comes to mind, as they engage in their manual labor side-by-side, it is the same. During college one place I worked it seemed that pretty much every-other-word had some sort of sexual connotation.
And so how does God judge? In proportion to the sin. Busy beautifying certain body parts? "Jehovah will lay bare their secret parts" (3:17) I know it is not politically correct to say this next, but... If you getup yourself with allurements, walk seductively, flash those fabulashes seductively... don't be surprised when some male (that doesn't necessarily turn you on, but you turned him on) -accepts- the "invitation" and rapes you. REALLY! Consider it God's judgment. As it says in Revelation...
In these days many Believers wring their hands when they see the evil state of things all around. As the economy is tanking worries begin to set in: How will I survive? How will I make it? As the news is watched and one sees the "unemployment" statistics, the Believer might worry: What happens when they hand me the pink slip?
When God is judging the wicked, He also takes care of His own. Notice...
You see... the previous chapter was graphically descriptive, because now God is cleansing His people. How do we know the extent of the cleansing, if we didn't first know the depth of the filth. To run a dusting cloth over a car that is merely 'dusty' is much less effort than to wash and scrub a vehicle that is covered, headlight to taillight in mud, due to having been out four-wheeling. In similar fashion the extent of God's grace to the sinner is only fully appreciated, only when the depth of the sin is first fully realized.
But as God makes full restoration He also brings back something Israel hasn't seen since the wilderness. In the wilderness as God was redeeming them out of Egypt He travelled with them in the -pillar- of fire and cloud. (Ex13:21-22)
In those days God is going to set up a canopy over Jerusalem with cloud and smoke by day, and fire by night. Exactly what this will look like? I guess we wait to see when the time comes. But this canopy is also going to be a shelter against storm and rain. (4:6) Today they build domes over coliseums. This is going to be God's -SUPER- DOME. It will be what the nations see when they trek to Jerusalem. The Light of God's presence. And it will be the shelter under which the people of Zion reside. Like that old song that is not sung anymore these days...
A Shelter in the time of storm.