Nations in Rebellion!!

The developing situation in our world requires constant comment!

In every sphere of social activity, political, medical, sport, entertainment – there are those who send forth information and evaluation of what is going on in their field of ‘expertise’!

How much more important is a constant flow of observation and information on the eternally vital subject of the Providential dealings of God in this world!

We offer our limited and meagre attempts at monitoring and highlighting significant events in this world as this age draws closer to its conclusion.

May you find these reflections useful and profitable.


“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds,” Revelation 16:8-11.

Monday 19th July was heralded as ‘Freedom Day’ throughout England for ‘About-Turn’ Boris Johnston and his government had set that date as the day there would be a lifting of many of the restrictions imposed upon the country, because of the Covid pandemic.

With the recent increasing rise in infections and the number of people in various professions being required to isolate (including the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary) due to their coming into contact with someone testing positive for Covid, many were calling it ‘FreeDumb Day”!!

In the United States, there are growing fears that a fourth wave of the virus had already started. The pandemic continues to rage in many countries, though such news is kept out of the headlines! The tourist industry is facing chaos as a result of those countries which were recently declared safe to travel to, now reporting a rise in the infection rates. Many travellers found themselves facing ‘isolation’ when they returned home as a result of this change of status of the holiday destinations they had eagerly travelled to.

The joy of a ‘sunny foreign holiday’ soon evaporated in the face of this turn of events.

The record of the world’s miseries has reached unprecedented levels. Germany and Belgium had disastrous flooding. One newspaper ran the headline: ‘It was insane: Germany faced with biblical flooding scenes and more than 150 dead’. The number of the dead has now reached 180 with many, many still missing! There are fires raging on the west coast of the USA and it has just been reported that there are some 187 fires raging in Siberia!

Many have died in many countries as a result of the heatwaves that are taking place. Here in Northern Ireland, the highest temperature ever recorded happened a day or so ago. Here is how one newspaper reported it. “Hottest UK day of year as Northern Ireland records highest-ever temperature. Ballywatticock, in County Down, Northern Ireland, has reached 31.2C, the highest temperature ever recorded in the country.

All told, there are events taking place the like of which have not taken place in living memory.

What has been the impact upon society of these tragic and extraordinary occurrences? Most certainly not what one would have expected!

1. There has been no recognition or acknowledgement of God amongst the nations.

I find it amazing that it would appear that the existence of God as Ruler of the Universe seems to have been erased from the mind of the nations! When the plagues, sent by God, fell upon Egypt, it was not long until the magicians, the false prophets, acknowledged that it was God Who was at work. “Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This [is] the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said,” Exodus 8:19.

In today’s rebellious society there is not even the voice of a ‘false prophet’ to be heard, conceding that the troubles that have befallen the nations is of God.

Even the ‘priests and diviners’ of the Philistines recognised the ‘hand’ of God lay behind the plague that had befallen them as a result of their abduction of the Ark of the Covenant from Israel, 1 Samuel 5-6.

But today, the spirit that caused Pharaoh to refuse to acknowledge the sovereign power of God at work in Egypt, is very evident amongst the nations of the earth, particularly our own nation.

It is not that long ago that a Ballymena DUP councillor (I will spare his blushes and not name him) came under fire for daring to say God was behind the Coronavirus outbreak. He was rebuked by his Party leader and disowned by his party. He then, sadly, apologised for his statement!

No one is allowed to introduce GOD into the narrative of today’s tragedies! To do so would be to acknowledge that He actually exists and has power to act so! Furthermore, it would require an admission that the nations are behaving so as to grieve and vex Him. To do that would be to fly in the face of the new ‘morality’, akin to the thinking of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which has been embraced largely by the world and its governments and its churches and religious organisations. The only exception to this being the small remnant of those called ‘Bible-believing Christians’!

No, as never before witnessed, God has been dismissed by mankind as a living Entity Who plays any part in the affairs of the human race!

2. This wilful blindness to the person and power of God is resulting in a spirit of mad defiance of God.

Just as Pharaoh was of a mindset to deny that which was patently obvious, so the absence of any reference to God and the angry response should someone dare to point to Him, is an indication of the advancing of mankind into a very public denial of God.

Man has always been inclined by his rebellious, fallen nature to deny God. “The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good,” Psalm 14:1.

However, such has been the power of the witness of the gospel amongst the nations that such atheism has been suppressed and concealed. But now that the last days and their ‘perilous times’ (2 Timothy 3:1) are dawning, man is much more bold to declare his true feeling about the Lord. It is as it was in the day when Absalom’s rebellion forced David from his throne and from his city. That saw those who in their hearts had hated him, show their true feelings.

Shimei was just such a man. In the day of David’s humiliation, he felt it was safe for him to show his true feelings toward David, God’s chosen king. “And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name [was] Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came. And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men [were] on his right hand and on his left. And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: the LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou [art taken] in thy mischief, because thou [art] a bloody man,” 2 Samuel 16:5-8.

The day of ‘SHIMEI’ has dawned amongst those nations which in former times embraced the gospel to some measure. The open cursing may only be heard amongst some but soon it will be taken up by the many!

The defiance we speak of may be seen in the actions of the public during this pandemic and even more so in the last day or so as restrictions have been eased. The streets in London have been crowded by those who blindly refuse to acknowledge that there is a ‘plague’!

Crowds gathered to protest against any restrictions introduced to combat Covid.

Crowds of young people waiting to enter a club as 19th July dawns and the ignoring of any ‘isolation’ once in the club. These pictures may be viewed on virtually every news site

Common sense has gone out the window. And little wonder since, “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever,” Psalm 111:10. “There is no fear of God before their eyes,” Romans 3:18. Released from the kind and merciful restraints imposed by a ‘fear of God’ society blindly plunges headlong into sin and even greater defiance of God. “The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate,” Proverbs 8:13. These are the very things that are loved and embraced today in the absence of the acknowledgement and fear of God!

3. There is approaching that day when such will be the full development of rebellious man’s arrogant defiance of God that He will be acknowledged as the author of the plagues falling upon the earth but even so He will continue to be challenged and mocked to His face!

Please read again the verses at the beginning of this article.

“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds,” Revelation 16:8-11.

Here is evil defiance in its most depraved form. Here are those who know that they are under the judgment of God and yet they defy Him openly and in the foulest manner.

It is but proof that hellfire does not produced repentance! Hellfire is eternal because even in hell sinners continue to blaspheme God and defy Him and so fuel continuing and continual punishment.

Dear Christian friends, let us rightly understand the spirit that is abroad in our land and amongst other nations and let us recognise the ‘signs of the times’ which the Saviour said would come upon the earth just before His return.

The refusal to acknowledge God will soon be followed by a seeking to silence those who do. That will bring persecution upon those faithful to the Saviour. We ought to be aware of this and prepare ourselves by donning the ‘whole armour of God’!

The United Kingdom was, to a very large degree, unprepared for the commencement of war in 1939. That unpreparedness was a result of a refusal by the nation’s leadership to acknowledge the many signs which heralded a coming danger. Had our nation been prepared, I have no doubt that Nazi Germany would have thought twice about launching its evil crusade which resulted in the death of millions and the immeasurable destruction throughout the world.

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 24:42-44.


Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
19th July 2021.