From the Editor’s Notebook: The United States in Prophecy

From the Editor’s Notebook

W. Ross Rainey

The United States In Prophecy

William Kelly (1820-1906) was once told by a Dublin professor that if Mr. Kelly would settle there as a teacher, he would make a fortune. Typical of his simplicity and self-effacement, Kelly replied, “For which world?” C.H. Spurgeon, borrowing Alexander Pope’s words, said that Kelly was “born for the universe.” An outstanding spiritual scholar, Kelly’s list of writings include Lectures or Notes on all the books of the Bible.

One of his volumes, Lectures Introductory to the Study of the Minor Prophets, was first published in 1874. In his comments on Joel regarding various details pertaining to the coming “Day of the Lord,” Kelly made some astute observations about several nations, including the United States. While we may not agree with every detail, I felt our readers would be interested in his remarkably up-to-date insights from Scripture, keeping in mind that Kelly wrote these words a little over one hundred years ago. The following paragraphs are quoted in full from pages 109-10:

England, like the rest of western Europe, will be under the apostate influence of Rome and the antichrist; for there is no power faithfully protesting against this iniquity. For similar reasons, if I might venture to give an opinion (and I never think of giving one’s own thought as more than that), it is that the United States of America will be swamped into a political marsh; and as they have been hitherto a mere omnium gatherum or conglomerate from the rest of the world, especially from Europe, comprising no doubt a vast deal of skill, industry, and enterprise, but also not a little of the scum and refuse of all nations; so I believe they will break up into factions of noisy primitive elements; and, after going off in boastful vapouring, will at length burst as a bubble.

Population does not in itself make a nation strong. Some of the nations greatest in masses of men have been politically weak before a small energetic kingdom. Look at Darius’ power, as opposed to Alexander and his Macedonians. The last appeared contemptible. Did it not seem the greatest folly for these few adventurers to invade Asia, and face the enormous armaments of Persia? Yet the he-goat with his horn was too much for the myriads of the great king, and the second empire collapsed.

So as to America, I conceive that the young giant power which has grown so fast will sink still faster, probably through intestine quarrel, but assuredly somehow before that day comes. They will break up into different fragments. Their prime object is to maintain political unity. This is their great ambition, and though it may appear to stand and advance, as everything ambitious is apt to prosper for a time, it will be all blown down before long. For it is a remarkable fact that there is no place in prophecy for a vast influential power, such as the American United States would naturally be, if it so long retained its cohesion. Is it conceivable that there should be such a power existing at that day without any mention of it? Can the omission be accounted for save by its dissolution? However, I particularly wish every one to understand that this is merely drawn from the general principles of the Word of God.

India I presume will be part of the north-eastern system spoken of here and elsewhere. The British will lose possession of India, as nationalists wake up to yearn after their own distinct position. And such is even now the tendency, which prophecy distinctly recognizes as characterizing the end of this age. The Russian empire, as being itself north-eastern, is destined to be the suzerain power there. They may not be aware of the role divine prophecy attributes to them, of their immense success, and of their total destruction under the hand of Jehovah. But Scripture is clear. (Compare Ezekiel 38, 39.) Divine judgment will not slumber.

A Prayer

Many months ago a Christian friend sent me a copy of a poem which Sam Mattix quoted at a meeting sometime after his release with P.O.W.’s from various North Vietnam prisons. Since neither the author nor the source was given, it is not possible at this point to give credit to whom credit is due. The poem, in the form of a prayer, reads as follows:

O Lord, help me

in silence
to find peace not just emptiness

in suffering
to find meaning — not just agony

in knowledge
to find wisdom — not just information

in routine
to find order — not just boredom

in order
to find purpose — not just conformity

in daily life
to find surprises — not just the expected

in prayer
to find You — not just my own desires

in change
to find promises — not just threats

in opportunities
to find possibilities — not just problems

in sin
to find forgiveness — not just guilt

in problems
to find hope — not just despair

in leadership
to find direction — not just power

in challenges
to find trust in You — not just personal insecurity. Amen.

Be Careful For Nothing

“Be careful for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).

Commenting on the words of this familiar text, George Muller said:

“This is one of the privileges of the child of God, that they are permitted, and not only permitted, but invited, and not only invited, but commanded, to bring all their cares, sorrows, trials, and wants to their heavenly Father; to roll all their burdens upon God. And because they are permitted, yea, commanded so to do, they have no need to be anxious about anything. If the men of the world see that Christians are anxious like themselves, they will have ground for saying that our profession of having an Almighty Friend and Helper in Heaven is only a profession; and therefore we dishonour God by not trusting Him in the hour of need. We have, however, such a Friend, and He is willing and able to help us and to deliver us in His own time and way.”