Prayer Targets: American Vine; Jim DeMint; Marriage States; Abortion in the Military, Supreme Court
December 12, 2012
Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine... Ps 80:8-15, esp. v 14
Dear Praying Friends,
On Friday, January 4, 1861, Rev. Benjamin Dorr, DD, delivered a sermon at Christ Church, Philadelphia, entitled "The American Vine." President James Buchanan had called for a "National Fast," a day "for fasting, humiliation, and prayer throughout the nation." Just weeks later Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated and the Civil War began. Dorr was inspired by a sermon of the same title, delivered on July 20, 1775 by Rev. Jacob Duché, then Rector of that same Church. He compared America's spiritual condition with that of ancient Israel. The parallels are striking (e.g. Dt 8:7-9; 80:6-15; Is 5:1-7, etc.):
Sacred history informs us how all [God's] predictions, promises, and threatenings, were verified, as regards the Jews. God graciously planted his people, as a choice vine, in the promised land, and He largely multiplied and prospered them there. For a time they were grateful for his mercies and obedient to his laws. "But within a while they forgot his works, and would not abide his counsel. They thought scorn of that pleasant land, and gave no credence to his word. Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. And he gave them over into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them were lords over them. Their enemies oppressed them, and had them in subjection" (Ps 106:13 ff).
Thus it happened, again and again, with this rebellious and stiff-necked people. The more God prospered and blessed them, the more ungrateful and disobedient were they; but "when He slew them, then they sought him; and returned and inquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their strength, and that the high God was their Redeemer" (Ps 78:34-35). "Many a time did he deliver them; but they rebelled against him with their own inventions, and were brought down in their wickedness. Nevertheless, when he saw their adversity, he heard their complaint. He thought upon his covenant, and pitied them, according to the multitude of his mercies" (Ps 106:43-45).
Thus they went on, from age to age, sinning and repenting, yet becoming in each period of their apostasy more hardened in wickedness, until, at last, they filled up the measure of their iniquities by crucifying the Lord of glory; and then they were given over to irremediable ruin. The vine was rooted up, which God's own hand had planted; the wall was broken down by the hand that built it; the land was made utterly desolate; Judea was trodden down of the Gentiles; the Holy City and Temple were destroyed; and Jerusalem became a heap of stones. And this, because she would not know, in the day of her visitation, the things which belonged unto her peace ( The American Vine , Dr. Benjamin Dorr, 1861).
Read Deuteronomy 28, then 1 Corinthians 10:11. Four years after Rev. Dorr's sermon, 630,000 Americans lay dead, our nation ravished by a bloody civil war. America's fiscal crisis, today, pales amid the panoply of curses outlined in Deuteronomy 28. Those who understand the importance of life, marriage, family, morality, faith, and the fear of God to a culture's fabric, know that America faces much more than a "fiscal cliff". We face the complete collapse of our Christian culture and with it, our nation. Without extraordinary mercy from God, America faces another dark night of the soul.
Senator Jim DeMint to Lead Heritage Foundation - Political Washington was surprised to hear U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) announce last week that he would resign his Senate seat in January to become President of the Heritage Foundation, one of the nation's leading conservative "think tanks." A balanced conservative and a leader, DeMint believes he can do more for the nation at the helm of Heritage than he can inside the U.S. Senate. Heritage is a long-time ally of FRC, and cosponsor of our annual Values Voter Summit. Throughout 2012, Heritage and FRC partnered to create, produce and traverse the nation via our Values Bus Tour, advancing our shared conservative values to motivate voters to vote their righteous values and common sense. Heritage is the nation's most prominent Washington "think tank" and FRC is the nation's most prominent "social conservative think tank" according to a recent poll. Sen. DeMint will now be in a better position to help unite the tripartite, interdependent conservative coalition - national defense, economic and social issue conservatives, who must all work together if America's lurch to socialism is to be stopped and the foundations of our liberty restored.
Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) will appoint DeMint's successor, who will face a special election in 2014. Longtime Heritage President Ed Feulner will semi-retire, as newly-appointed Chancellor at Heritage. Sen. DeMint will begin his job the first week of January ( WSJ Article ; Senate's Loss, Conservative's Gain , Perkins Release ).
- Thank God for the Heritage Foundation. May God anoint and use Sen. Jim DeMint mightily in his new post. May the three important segments of the conservative movement strengthen their coalition! May those who labor ceaselessly to divide conservatives, completely fail in their efforts! May God awaken the American people, Democrats and Republicans, to see and resist the massive effort now underway to make the U.S. a socialist nation (Num 10:9; 1 Chr 12:32-33; Ps 11:33; 75:1-7; 133: all; Is 54:17).
Marriage in the States - Flush with enthusiasm following victories for same-sex marriage in four states November 6th, activists in Minnesota are pushing for a same sex marriage law quickly to be passed there. Ohio activists are pushing to overturn the Marriage Amendment ratified by the voters in 2004, at the same time they helped keep President George W. Bush in the White House. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, following the lead of governors in Maryland and Washington State who successfully pushed same sex marriage laws in their states this year, is calling upon the Illinois Legislature to pass a SSM bill for him to sign into law in January. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that homosexual journalists are at the forefront of the sexual /legal revolution (Minnesota; Ohio; Illinois; Journalists).
- Surely there are sufficient Christians in each state to prevent these activists from redefining marriage and imposing homosexuality upon their children. May God raise up pastors and leaders who will not rest until these efforts have been defeated (Gen 18:17-23; Josh 23:9-10; 2 Chr 7:14; Ps 110:3; Mt 18:19; Heb 11: all; Jude 7).
Abortion in the Military - The Defense Authorization Act was unanimously passed in the U.S. Senate last week, including $17 million more than requested. But the bill contained a measure to provide abortion insurance coverage for military women in cases of rape. The Senate and House bills must now be reconciled - then surmount the veto and Sequester cliff. Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.) has written Congressional leaders, urging them to support the abortion measure. GOP pro-lifers hope to expunge the measure in reconciliation (Unanimous, Abortion Coverage, Powell).
- Pray God will intervene to stop this foot-in-the-door effort to sneak abortion into the military during this Lame Duck session of Congress. May conservative conferees mightily prevail to excise this measure knowing this is a fight we must fight until revival comes! (Dt 5:17; Ps 119:126; Is 58:12; Jn 9:4; Rom 1:32; Gal 6:7)
Finally, given the nation-changing or nation-preserving consequences of the cases the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear last week, one regarding California's Marriage Amendment, the other the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), believers need to be praying regularly for members of the Court: Justices Samuel A. Alito, Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan. , Anthony Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Sonia Sotomayor, and Clarence Thomas. Thank you for Praying!