Highlights from History and Foreshadowing of Prophecy

Yes, we are back to the snow covered lawns of Buffalo, MN.  Marlys and I had a wonderful time while in Tennessee and Texas, although it rained most of the time while we were gone.  Lots of flooding in the deep south, but the trees were beginning to bud and the daffodils were blooming.  As we traveled back north we noticed several large flocks of geese moving north as well.  Guess that is a good sign that spring is just around the corner. 


One of the highlights of our time away was the visit to The Hermitage in Nashville, TN - the home of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States.  For some reason, I have become fascinated with his story - and it is a very interesting one at that.  Jackson was the first non-politician to be elected to the office of president.  He was a military general, best known for the victory over the British at New Orleans in 1815 - a battle that closed the War of 1812.  Jackson became a national hero, thus propelling him to the presidency.  He was the second general to be elected president, the first being George Washington.  (By the way, the last general elected to the presidency was Dwight Eisenhower in 1952).  Jackson was highly opinionated and possessed a very quick temper.  Because he was not a politician, his thinking was often outside of the parameters of the establishment.  This created some very interesting opportunities for him.  As we listened to the tour guides as we walked through his home and then heard the recordings as we walked the grounds, the mystique of Jackson became more prominent.  He was a very complex man - a person who deserves more careful study today. 


A second highlight was our time at the Carter House which is situated on the battlefield at Franklin, TN.  This battle which occurred during the final days of November 1864 marked the last major battle of the Civil War.  Here the Confederate armies under the leadership of General John Bell Hood collided with the Union armies under the leadership of General John Scofield.  The destination of both armies was the city of Nashville.  There were several farm homes that were caught in the crossfire of this battle, one of them being the Carter House.  While the battle raged outside their home, the family was sequestered in the basement in darkness and quiet.  Fear gripped their hearts as they heard the canon fire wondering if their home would take a direct hit.  Footsteps were heard from the upstairs rooms, not knowing if they were friends or foes.  Friends, we had a marvelous tour guide at the Carter House.  As we stood in that basement, although the lights were on, she caused us to almost feel like we were there as the battle was going on.  Even though I have wandered on many Civil War battlefields, for the first time I actually began to understand what those families caught in the midst were experiencing.  By the way, in case you wanted to know, the Union won the Battle of Franklin hastening the final defeat of the Confederates which would occur in April 1865. 


Right now the coronavirus is dominating the news.  Fear and panic of this virus have invaded Wall Street and we have witnessed a two-day drop in the stock market that is almost historic.  As I checked the futures early this morning, it looks like the sell-off will continue for a third straight day.  The word "pandemic" is now being used of this virus.  To be sure, to date several thousand people around the globe have died of the coronavirus with tens of thousands of others becoming infected.  Some people have sought to identify the coronavirus as the plague mentioned in the book of Revelation (see Revelation 6:8).  I do not believe that it is that plague, but it certainly is a reminder that God can and will use disease as a tool of His judgment upon this earth. 


Another potential sign of the last times is the incredible plague of locusts that is ravaging Central Africa.  Literally billions of locusts are destroying everything in their pathways.  Swarms of locusts the size of towns have been seen moving northward.  Having ravaged Kenya, these swarms have now entered into Congo and South Sudan.  Our church has a missionary that we support living in South Sudan and he has asked us to pray that God would protect the town in which he and his family live and the fields of those farmers living around that town.  Many have wanted to identify this plague of locusts with that plague mentioned in Revelation 9.  There is strong evidence that the locusts that John describes are not these African locusts.  For one thing, John tells us that those locusts do no harm to green vegetation.  For another thing, the locusts John describes target humans and there is seemingly nothing that can stop them until their time, allotted by God, is completed. 


We are getting closer to Super Tuesday when, according to the political pundits, the campaign for the nomination for president could be decided.  At least next Tuesdays voting will certainly pare down the field of candidates.  These are important days for our country as we continue to seek direction.


What exciting days to be alive!  As I listen to the news programs and read the papers, I am so grateful to know that God is in total control.  He is not surprised.  He is not worried.  He does not seek the counsel of others.  This is a plan that He has scripted before He created the world.  Now that thought should give us pause for celebration and peace. 



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