Saturday, August 10, 2013

ELUL 5 , 11 AUG 2013: DAY 6 OF REPENTANCE: MERITS AND TRANSGRESSIONS





1. Each and every person has his merits and his transgressions. One whose merits outweigh his transgressions is considered righteous, while one whose transgressions outweigh his merits is considered a wrongdoer, and one whose merits and transgressions are equivalent is considered an intermediate. The same is true of countries as well. If a country's inhabitants' merits outweigh  their transgressions, the country is considered righteous while if its inhabitants' transgressions outweigh their merits it is considered wrongful. And the same is true of the world at large.

2. One whose transgressions outweigh his merits will die immediately in his wrongfulness. As it’s written: "I have struck you as an enemy would and punished you as would the cruel, because your guilt is so great and your sins so many" (Jeremiah 30:12-15).       Similarly, the country whose inhabitants' transgressions are great will be destroyed immediately. As it’s written: “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous" (Genesis 18: 17-22). And such is the case with the world at large, as well: when the transgressions of its inhabitants are very great, it will be destroyed immediately. As it’s written: "And G-d saw that man's wrongfulness was pervasive in the land" (Genesis 6:5). But the determination of all this is not based upon the number of transgressions or merits so much as upon their seriousness. For, there are some merits that outweigh many transgressions. As it’s written: "He is the only one … in whom the L-rd, the G-d of Israel, has found anything good" (1 Kings 14:5-14). And there are transgressions that outweigh many merits. As it’s written: "but one sinner can destroys a lot of good”(Ecclesiastes 9:10-19). But such a determination can only be made by All-Knowing G-d, for only He can evaluate the relative value of our merits and transgressions.

Maimonides, "Laws of Repentance" 3:1-2


WHY IT's NOT TOO LATE for AMERICA

-by Paul Holdren.

For most of the 35 years of my Christian experience considerable
time has been spent thinking about a national revival. I can still
remember the feeling I had when I heard the word, "Revival", for
the first time. It impacted me as an exhilarating word, with a power
and energy of its own. Upon hearing the word I was left with the
impression that "Revival" was something that I definitely wanted as
a part of my Christian experience.

As the years have passed I have consistently prayed for a "Revival"
on the level of the great awakenings. I have longed for a "Revival"
that would change the direction of our nation, our communities and
our homes. As a part of my personal testimony I have discovered
the importance of experiencing "Revival". If God, by His infinite
mercies, was able to call me back into covenant relationship, then
He is able to call our nation back into covenant relationship with
Him.

At this very moment I desire a "Revival" that will change us, turning
us from our present state of confusion, darkness and death toward
God's glorious truth, light and life. As our nation's direction and
moral climate have spiraled downward my heart's cry has been for
a "Revival" of historic proportion.... A survey of revivals can be
summarized with the observation that genuine heaven sent "Revival"
resurrects dead Christians and churches, while at the same time it
changes the direction of a nation.

II Chronicles 7:14 "If my people who are called by My name will
humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from
their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and heal their
land." II Chronicles 7:12-22

With the exception of John 3:16, this is probably one of the most
quoted scriptures of my generation. Of late, I've noted an alarming
trend among Christians when this verse is cited. Let's see if you
can pick out the difference, "If my people, who are called by my
name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, then I
will hear from heaven and heal their land." Did you hear the
difference? Yes, you are right…the "and turn from their wicked
ways" has been left out.

For over a year now, almost every time this "Revival" verse has
been quoted or prayed, the "and turn from their wicked ways,"
has been left out. How is it that the media evangelists, local
pastors, bible teachers and scripture quoters hope to achieve a
"Revival" if we don't turn from our individual and national rebellion
to God's will?

Have we become so seeker friendly that we dare not admit our
need for moral change in America? Have we become so
enamored with church growth that we have forgotten that the
cross is an offense in and of itself? Have we become such a
cross-less Christianity that we have also become a biblically
"Christ-less" Christianity? Another gospel is being preached and
America, as a nation, is paying the price for the church's
insubordination to the Word of God.

This generation is probably the most wicked and arrogant
generation in our nation's history. We have become, as my father
used to say to me, "too big for our britches." It is with a grieving
in my spirit that I make this point, of our need, "and turn from
our wicked ways." Honestly, I rather not say the following, but
I must for a heavenly hand is upon my back.

We now routinely shed the blood of 4,000 innocent babies on
a daily basis. We've become a sex-driven society that has
perverted God's beautiful gift to a husband and wife. We've
murdered thousands in drive-by killings, while on our way to
becoming a gang infested nation of drug peddlers, thieves and
addicts. Executive boards, from our corporations to our churches,
flex their decision making muscle in order to achieve their
personal goals in whatever way deemed necessary. Our business
leaders have become robber barons, siphoning off the company's
coffers in multi-million dollar bonuses while leaving their
companies bankrupt in the process. Our institutions of higher
learning promote a pseudo-intellectualism that smacks in the
face of ethics, morality and the commandments of God.

At this very moment our government is negotiating legislative
and bureaucratic oversight that is making our nation a debtor
nation with an ever tightening noose around the neck of freedom.
At this very moment the church's prophetic voice and national
influence has been silenced not so much by the godlessness
of our culture, but by the ungodliness within the church itself.
The church's spiritually destitute offering of profane fire is
burning upon the altars of convenience, contrivance, and
corruption. Much to our discredit, it is the church that has
robbed society of a much needed revolution through an
outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 80:3 "Turn us…turn us…turn us, O God, let your face
shine upon us and we shall be saved." Psalm 80

I love this psalm as it sparks hope in me for the people of God.
If my observation for II Chronicles 7:14 is accurate, then Psalm
80:3 conveys a much needed message as well. And that
message is that we are incapable of turning ourselves. We are
so far gone as a people, as a church, as a nation that only divine
intervention is capable of turning us. Only by the grace of God
will we be "turned" toward Him.

There are some who have abandoned any hope of a "Revival" for
America - saying that we have gone too far - saying that we have
crossed the line of no return. By contrast, I think that the
Psalmist would disagree with this promotion of despair. Actually,
we are in a perfect position for God to move upon the land for we
no longer see ourselves capable of bringing a "Revival" upon
ourselves.

-Paul Holdren.