A calamity may be defined as an extraordinarily grave (serious) event marked by great loss and lasting distress and affliction. It is the opposite of blessing and prosperity.
A calamity can result from a national disaster, such as a great earthquake or tsunami or hurricane. A calamity can result from war, from an invading army or from the use of nuclear weapons. A calamity can result from economic problems. A wicked political leader can also cause a calamity, as was true in the case of Germany's wicked ruler, Hitler. God Himself can cause a national calamity. Here are some examples:
What calamity happened to the world's people in Noah's day? See Genesis chapter 7. ____________________________________________________________________________________________
What calamity did the Egyptians experience? See Exodus 14:23-31. ____________________________________________________________________________________________
What calamity did the people of Jericho experience? See Joshua chapter 6. _____________________________________________________________________________________________
What calamity did the people of Judah experience in the days of King Nebuchadnezzar? See 2 Kings chapter 25. _____________________________________________________________________________________________
Is the United States headed toward a great calamity? Why do nations decline and fall?
In the book, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, completed in 1787, Edward Gibbon lists the following reasons for why the great Roman empire declined and fell:
Do these five reasons for the fall of Rome tell us anything about our present national situation? In light of how you answered the personal questions above, are you part of the problem?
History repeats itself as time marches on. A study of history shows that the great civilizations of the world have averaged about 200 years before they have declined and fallen. How long has our nation existed (Declaration of Independence–July 4, 1776)? ________________
The people of the world have followed this sad pattern:
From slavery to spiritual faith
|Was this pattern true
of the nation Israel
(see Deuteronomy 8:11-20)? ______
Hegel once said, "History teaches us that man learns nothing from history." This sad truth is echoed by George Santayana: "Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it."
Do you suppose that 200 years from now someone might write a book entitled, The Decline and Fall of the United States of America?
If and when a great national disaster should come, who (or what) is to blame for it? Should we blame our political leaders in Washington? Should we blame the oil-rich Arabs? Should we blame the Muslim terrorists? Should we blame the economy? What is the real problem? The real problem is not economic or political—it is spiritual.
According to Psalm 33:12, what made Israel such a blessed and prosperous nation (circle the correct answer)?
What motto is written and engraved on United States coins and dollar bills? ___________ (This motto is mentioned in the third verse of The Star-Spangled Banner, a verse that is rarely sung.)
As long as we are doing what is engraved on these coins, our nation will be blessed. If most Americans should fail to live by our national motto, then we are destined for destruction! Those people who refuse to trust God are in trouble.
Let us learn from history. When Israel honored the Lord and His Word (Deuteronomy 28:1), what word described the nation (Deuteronomy 28:3-6)? __________________ When Israel dishonored and disobeyed the Lord (Deuteronomy 28:15), what word described the nation (Deuteronomy 28:16-19)? __________________ Why did God send evil and calamity and disaster upon the nation Israel (see 2 Chronicles 7:22; 34:24-25; Jeremiah 6:19)? _________________________________________ For the land and nation to be healed, what four things did the people of Israel have to do (2 Chronicles 7:14)?
What prevented a great calamity from taking place in the wicked Assyrian city of Ninevah (Jonah 3:4-10)? ____________________________________________________________________________________
What are some things
which are taking place in our nation today which indicate that our country is drifting
farther and farther away from God and His Word? __________________________________________________________________________________________
Only God knows what the future holds for this nation, especially if Americans continue to go in their sinful and wicked ways. The following calamities are certainly possible and could happen on a national scale:
Often we think, "these things could never happen in our nation." But, are we
immune to what has happened and is happening to other nations? Are we an
exception to the
rules and patterns of history? Remember, there was once a time when Americans thought it
impossible that our nation could ever lose a war!
If and when the calamity comes, there will probably be a small remnant of true believers who love and fear the Lord. How can they survive in times of great catastrophe and trouble? The answer is found in Psalm 46.
In Psalm 46:1 we learn that "God is our R_____________." Can you find two other verses in this Psalm that say the same thing? Verses: ______________________ The word "refuge" means a place of shelter, a place of protection, a place of safety. God, the all-powerful Creator, is like a mighty fortress into which a believer may flee and be absolutely safe. (Martin Luthers great hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God is based on Psalm 46:1.)
The Bible does not promise to keep the believer out of trouble, but it does promise that in the middle of the trouble (or crisis), God will be there—the God who is our refuse, our strength and our helper!
The second verse of Psalm 46 says, "Therefore we will not F___________." We will not be afraid! Whatever might happen, we will not be afraid! No matter how serious the crisis or the calamity, we will not be afraid! Why is this true? (Dont forget verse 1.) _____________________________________________________
In Psalm 46 verses 2 and 3, how many times do we find the word "though"? ___________ The writer of this Psalm thinks of the worst possible things that could ever happen, and he says, even if the greatest crisis imaginable were to happen, we still will not fear. If all the mountains started moving and changing their position and falling into the sea, that would be quite a catastrophe! After the word "though" we can write in any possible calamity or crisis that may happen to this nation (or to you). Here are some examples:
"Though a strong nation should invade this country tomorrow..."
"Though the supermarkets may run out of food..."
"Though all the gas stations should run out of gas..."
"Though our nation should turn further and further away from God..."
"Though the doctor tells me I have only six months to live..."
"Though I don’t know what the future holds..."
Can you think of others?
Though all these things should happen, I will not fear! Why not (verse 1)? __________________________________________________________________
My safety does not depend on my money, my government, my country, my supermarket, my car, my doctor or my health. My safety depends on the Creator-God who is my refuge! He is available to strengthen me in any crisis! He is available to keep me in any calamity! In the middle of the trouble God can be found! He is right there!
The living God wants me to "Be _____________ and know" (Psalm 46:10) that God is my refuge!
In our next chapter we will learn how we should prepare for the coming crisis!