About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Follow The Money


It was a dimly lit underground parking garage in Roslyn, Virginia, a Washington D.C. suburb, when 3 words were whispered to a Washington Post investigative journalist.  "Follow the money" became immortalized in history and notoriously identified with political scandals.  Deep Throat, who we finally learned after his death in 2005 was former Associate Director of the FBI Mark Felt, gave Bob Woodworth the news lead of a lifetime.  Anyone old enough in 1972 will remember the trail of money and dirty tricks, as they were known, that led to President Richard Nixon.  Watergate made Bob Woodworth, Carl Bernstein, and the words "follow the money" famous forever. 


I often wonder what I might see if the secret sins of those pursuing prominence were exposed for all to see.  I imagine seeing lots of money, sex, and compromise.  Every bribe, every sexual favour, and every compromise gets the pursuer to prominence one step closer of supremacy. 


We live in a hedonistic, self gratification, narcissistic western world where money doesn't only drive our economy; it drives many of our political decisions.  Why has Western Europe been soft on Russia?  It's because Europe buys 80% of its oil from Russia.  Why has America been soft on China ?  It's because America is in financial debt to China and American companies produce many of their products in China to sell to Americans.  Deep Throat was right.  Follow the money. 


How did the West, especially America, become so wealthy in the first place?  It's my opinion, at least in part; it was due to the West embracing the Christian Reformation of the 16th century.  I understand that the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution had a part to play in this, but it was the Reformation that provided the seeds of freedom that I believe inspired human creativity that sprouted into prosperity.  If this is an accurate assessment, then what will happen to our western nations now that they are rejecting the influence of the Reformation?  A brief look at Israel as seen in Deuteronomy 8 answers this question.


Deuteronomy 8:7 states that "The Lord your God is bringing you (Israel) into a good land."  Verse 10 says that "When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land that He has given you."  There is no doubt that Israel's ability to create wealth came from God, not from itself.      


We see God's warning to Israel in verses 11 through 16.  "Do not forget the Lord your God ... otherwise when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God.  You may say to yourself, 'my power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth.'"  Israel did forget their God in the midst of their affluence.  It did become proud.  It did claim its wealth was the work of its own ingenuity, and, it paid the price for it.        


God predicted that if Israel forsook Him and lived in self-sufficient arrogance, it would die.   "You will surely be destroyed.  Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed" (verses 19 and 20).  History shows us that this was the fate of Israel.  


Our western nations, including America, are forsaking the Christian consensus it once embraced.  The West attributes its wealth to the work of its own hands.  Was it really American ingenuity that made America great?         


God's warning to affluent Israel, "You will surely be destroyed," is His warning to the haughty self-sufficient nations today.  You and I might not see all of the money trails but God does and once He decides to take action, He will not change His mind.  Whatever happens to your nation in the near future, Revelation 18:16 and 17 declares where the money trail eventually ends.  "Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls.  In one hour your great wealth comes to ruins."  



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