“The bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with hewn stones; The sycamores are cut down, But we will replace them with cedars.” - Isaiah 9:10
This video was produced by some folks I respect, and narrated by a Jewish rabbi, Jonathan Cahn, whom I do not know. It takes Isaiah 9:10, finding there nine specific harbingers of God’s judgment against Israel, and finds all nine in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, in the USA. I’m not sure I got all nine, but here are the points made.
1. Sept 12, 2001 – Senate Majority leader quoted Isa 9:10 to our nation’s gathered rulers, out of context, making a vow of our national resolve to survive and thrive. Seven years later, Sept 12, 2008 – the financial markets collapse over the Leman Brothers’ fall.
2. The germination contract of the NYSE was signed under a sycamore tree. On Sept 11, 2001, when the towers fell, a sycamore tree kiddie corner to it was damaged and eventually cut down. There is now a monument to this tree on Wall Street.
3. Sabbath year – every 7 years God commanded Israel to rest the land. This is the key to God’s timing of judgment. The Dow crashed Sept 17, 2001, (29 Ellul - Jewish, calendar) and then again Sept 29, 2008 (29 Ellul – Jewish calendar). Sabbath year Hebrew word can mean release, or collapse. “9/11 is woven into the ancient mystery of [Sabbath year].” Dow lost 7% of its value. Point loss was 777.
4. 2 or 3 witnesses needed
1. Daschle quotes Isa 9:10 quoted 9/12/01 – “we will rebuild”
2. 9/11/04 John Edwards quotes Isa 9:10
3. 2/21/09 Obama says, “We will rebuild.”5. Mystery Ground. Temple destroyed in 70AD, where the nation was founded – this is part of God’s judgment. America founded on God’s Word, like Israel. Happened on April 30, 1789, when the constitution was put in force and the 1st president inaugurated. Washington spoke of God and warned we must follow God or He will remove His blessing. This happened in New York City, lower Manhattan, St Paul’s chapel, which is kiddie corner from Ground Zero. The church used to OWN ground zero. The sycamore that fell grew on the church’s yard. The foundation of Federal Hall was cracked in the shockwave of 9/11/01.
It concludes with 2 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.” The gatherings in churches after 9/11/01 had the feeling of triumph (“God bless America”), NOT repentance. We have not repented as a nation. Also, this verse is not for a nation, but for God’s people. The Church is compromised with sin and not pursuing God. We need to repent.
So much for a summary. Here’s my take.
I believe there is clear application of Isaiah 9:10 to the recent history of the USA. America is intent on recovering from trials, apart from repentance and returning to the ways of the Lord, as Israel was in Isaiah 9. So our solutions (increased security and war on terror resulting in national debt, easy money resulting in housing bubbles and recession) will backfire, and God’s judgment will come. Cahn is on target, here. On our current trajectory as a nation, God is going to judge us. We are not repenting, as a church or as a nation, in spite of God’s warnings to us. God’s blessings are now beginning to fade. The church should be deliberately searching the Scriptures and her life to see how she should repent and return to the Lord.
Cahn states: “America like Israel was founded for God’s purposes… God blessed America more than any nation.” I reject the implicit assertion that America is unique among the nations, religiously, or in God’s eyes. We are not a peculiar people, as Israel was. We have an inspired account of how God dealt with His people, Israel, in the Bible. While we can draw valid application from it to apply to our own nations, we must be careful not to go the other way, and declare that God is doing x because the markets did y on date z. The newspaper is not an inspired account of God’s dealings with us. We are not inspired interpreters and VERY easily get these things wrong, trying to put together a puzzle that only God can. I remain skeptical of finding God’s purposes in modern events like this. God superintends all things deliberately, but that doesn’t mean there is an important message from Him for us in every falling tree. One example in the movie is the Sabbath year release of debts. The purpose of the 7th year was to FORGIVE debts, not to predict the timing of economic collapse. There is also some arbitrary picking of dates here to make it work, and then sensationalizing it, complete with spooky music in the background. It’s a bit overdone, and off base in a couple places.
Then again, the church needs to recover from spiritualizing every prophetic text into excluding God from superintending the finances, law, and politics of nations. This movie gets 5 stars in that area, from me. The cinematography is very good, and I understand the over-done-ness, in the attempt to grab the attention of an entertainment-stupified people (and church!). A solid 3.5 out of 5 stars.