Next week, on January 8, the American Dialect Society will pick the "Word of the year" for 2017.
One of the top candidates is "reckoning", a word which nominator Mary Schmick of the Chicago Tribune said "Has been everywhere". According to Wall Street Journal writer Ben Zimmer the word "reckoning" "suggests a settling of accounts, especially for past misdeeds." He states that the world dates back to 14th-century English, "referring to the last judgement". Indeed, 2017 has been a year of "reckoning," or judgment, from God.
It is not as if we were not warned. Many commentators, ourselves included, saw in the great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017, a warning from God. The fact that this eclipse occurred on the first day of the Hebrew repentance season of Teshuvah magnified the message of Teshuvah to return to the presence of God. For more information, you can download our book Teshuvah Eclipses at this link.
While many did repent and pray through Teshuvah, the nation as a whole did not. The day after the eclipse, the floods began, with the first in Kansas City, where torrents of rain had covered the view of the eclipse. Next came hurricanes dumping four feet of water in southeast Texas, raking Florida from the Keys and up the western seaboard and destroying the infrastructure of Puerto Rico. Then came the wind-driven fires raging through the wealthy Napa Valley and devastating large areas around Los Angeles.
Now comes ice, as most of the nation has seen the coldest New Year in a century.
Back in the spring of 2017, scientists noticed that the energy output of the sun, measured by sunspot activity, had fallen to its lowest level in 100 years. Lower solar energy had historically led to a cooling climate cycle which features torrential rains, high winds which can drive fires and colder temperatures. Scripture teaches us that the Lord uses the forces of nature to send judgment (See Deut. 11:16-17, Ezek. 13:13 and Job 37:6-13). These reckonings of rain, fire and ice have forced a rebellious people to stop and pay attention to Him (Job 37:7).
Another form of reckoning, or judgment, came as the secret sins of powerful men were exposed (see Prov. 26:24-26). It began with sexual exploitation in the entertainment business, as women came forward with credible accusations which people began to believe. This exploitation had been covered over for years because of the "progressive" politics espoused by the abusers. Even the Democratic Party, which had stood steadfastly by Bill Clinton when his sexual abuses were exposed, turned on some of their own politicians in an amazing recognition that perhaps character does matter. For their part, the Republicans re-learned the lesson that character matters in a stunning electoral defeat in Republican Alabama.
Secret sins in the government were also exposed as the "Russia collusion" investigation, intended to entangle the Trump presidency, began instead to show that the Democrats had used Russian sources to manipulate the FBI and Justice Department into spying on the Trump campaign. Many high government officials have been implicated in an apparent conspiracy to interfere with the Trump campaign while covering up the over $100 million Russian payment to the Clinton Foundation and failing to mount a real investigation of the Clinton Server Scandal. Of course, the secret sins of some Trump campaign workers have also been exposed, even though they are unrelated to the "Russia Collusion" story. It seems that those who lied to the president and those who lied about the president may both fall into the pit they dug for him (Ps. 35:7-8).
As people of prayer, we should be praying that those under judgment will repent and learn righteousness in accordance with God's plan, as expressed in Isaiah 26:9. Because He is gracious and compassionate, the Lord may relent from sending further calamity (Joel 2:13).
Let us pray that the year of reckoning will bring forth a year of reconciliation with God and man, and healing for our land.
Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.
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