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Debt, Disobedience and Demise of Nations

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Great Britain and the United States of America are teetering on the brink of economic collapse and national demise.


"Two of the most powerful and influential nations in the history of the world—Great Britain and the United States of America—are teetering on the brink of economic collapse and national demise. These ominous conditions are due to the loss of financial discipline spawned by moral decay. While many today have absorbed the ideas of secular intellectuals that God does not exist and the Bible is nothing but a collection of myths and fables, ancient biblical prophecies that have long foretold these sobering developments are coming alive today—right before our eyes!

Rapid Rise and Dramatic Descent from Greatness

The last 250 years witnessed remarkable transformations of the English and American nations. England, a little island located on the edge of continental Europe, became a naval power that controlled the sea lanes of the world and assembled an empire that girdled the globe. London became the financial capital of the world, and the British pound became one of the strongest currencies on the planet. During these expansive centuries, whatever was British was deemed the best! About the same time, the settlers of the original thirteen colonies, joined by thousands of immigrants from Europe, spread across the North American continent to become the United States of America—and eventually the most powerful nation the world has ever seen. The American dollar reigned supreme among world currencies, American financial resources helped rebuild the very nations the Allies had defeated in World War II, and American culture permeated the world.

Yet, in the last several decades all this has changed dramatically! The British Empire was dismembered, and the Royal Navy has been reduced to a small fraction of its previous size due to budget cuts (The Times, January 4, 2010). Today, the British pound, British banks and the British economy are in trouble, and observers warn this could "weaken Britain's authority on the international stage" (Daily Express, December 8, 2009). In recent months, foreign nations have attempted to purchase the London Stock Exchange, and the new French financial officer of the EU is in a position to place regulations on the City of London that could drive financial services out of Britain (The Times, December 2, 2009).

At the same time, America has become the target of resentment for invading Iraq and for escalating the war in Afghanistan. Foreign nations are blaming the greedy excesses and shortsighted practices of American financial institutions for the near-meltdown of the world's economic system. Over the last 25 years, America has gone from the world's greatest lender to the status of the world's greatest debtor nation. As of last September, Chinese investors held $789.9 billion in U.S. Treasury notes, while Japanese investors held $751.5 billion—making these nations the top two holders of U.S. Treasuries, far ahead of third-place noteholder Great Britain with $249.3 billion! These American debts were incurred to finance wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, to pay for government welfare and spending programs that exceeded annual tax revenues and by running huge trade deficits so Americans can live beyond their means—all with the approval of members of Congress and presidents who were content to borrow money from other nations to keep the American economy afloat and buy votes to be re-elected!

Sounding the Alarm!

However, the days of reckoning are coming! China, which has been buying America's debt, has made it clear that America's profligate spending cannot continue—at China's expense. China has also begun dumping dollars and buying gold. Former U.S. Treasury official Fred Bergsten has warned that the U.S. debt is growing to unmanageable levels and that the US economy could collapse if foreign investors withdraw from the dollar. In Bergsten's opinion, America's fate "is already in the hands of its foreign creditors" and this will limit America's ability to pursue economic and foreign policies of its own choosing (Foreign Affairs, Nov-Dec 2009). Even more sobering is the assessment of Niall Ferguson, a British-born professor of economics now teaching at Harvard University. Writing in the December 7, 2009 issue of Newsweek magazine, Ferguson warns that "steep debt, slow growth and high spending kill empires—and America could be next." He continues, "This is how empires decline. It begins with a debt explosion. It ends with an inexorable reduction in the resources available for the Army, Navy and Air Force"—which slowly and irrevocably limit the ability of debtor nations to project power on the world stage. Yet, this is happening to America and Britain today; others see them as nations in decline! But why is this happening to America and Britain today?

Prophecies Come Alive!

Few economists seem interested in acknowledging that the decades of surging debt also witnessed alarming signs of increasing moral decay: rising divorce, spreading drug use, growing acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, a widening gap between the excessively rich and the struggling poor and legal sanctions against school prayer, Bible reading and posting the Ten Commandments in public buildings. Many political and even religious leaders are "not connecting the dots" between what is happening in our modern liberal secular societies and the prophetic warnings in the Scriptures that are focused on the modern nations of Israelite peoples. Long ago, the wise King Solomon observed, "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7)—a powerful principle that Americans and other Israelite nations seem to have forgotten.

Even earlier, Moses told the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel that they would be richly blessed if they obeyed the commandments of God, but he also warned they would reap serious consequences if they disobeyed their Creator and Lord (see Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28). The blessings of obedience included, "You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow" (Deuteronomy 28:12). However, the curses of disobedience would include: "you shall not prosper in your ways… a nation whom you have not known [a foreign nation] shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor… The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you… He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tailHe will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you… therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you… Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart" (Deuteronomy 28:29–48). A growing chorus of voices is warning that these curses are coming to roost on the profligate Israelite nations today. Other Hebrew prophets also warned repeatedly that the future demise of God's chosen Israelite peoples would come "suddenly" and unexpectedly (Isaiah 9:14–15; 29:5; 30:13; Jeremiah 6:26; 15:8). Modern financial analysts realize this could happen if the nations lending to America decide to dump the dollar and call their loans. The prophet Habakkuk's warning to the ancient Babylonians, "Will not your creditors rise up suddenly?" (Habakkuk 2:7)—may also ring true for debt-plagued nations like America and its Israelite cousins. Prophetic scripture contains a sobering message: debt and disobedience lead to the demise of nations!

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