Keep the Big Picture
World events, if viewed in isolation, can produce myopic vision which concentrates on issues and perceived causes. It is easy to get caught up in these causes and to look for solutions in the here and now. The year 2022 is shaping up in a way that will provide plenty of distracting causes to focus on.
As members of the Church, we need to always keep the big picture in mind. We should not get locked into speculative determinations. The Bible provides an overview and does not allow for the setting of specific timing. This is a lesson we should have learned a long time ago.
The big picture involves a covenant that God made with Abraham and its implications for today’s world as God continues to fulfill His promises. Since around 1800, the world order has been set by God’s promise that Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, would become powerful, dominant influences. Ephraim was to become a company of nations and Manasseh a single great nation. Their power and influence were to peak in “the last days.”
We have witnessed the powerful effects of both the British Commonwealth and America throughout the last two centuries. Together they influenced a world order that we can rightly regard as “the West.” The scriptures indicate that the blessings promised by God would involve great natural resources, agricultural abundance, military superiority and world dominance. The 19th and 20th centuries were dominated by these peoples. However, equally clear are the contingencies upon which these blessings rest. The Abrahamic covenant included obedience. “And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them” (Deuteronomy 28:13).
The nations which sprang from ancient Israel did not uphold the obedience part of the agreement. They failed to uphold God, His law and His way of life to the nations around them. While God had promised blessings for obedience, He also promised curses for disobedience. The blessings would be removed and their rank disobedience would result in curses. The power and prestige would disappear. “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and
His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deuteronomy 28:15).
As we march on into 2022, we shall witness an increasing fulfillment of these curses. Western society is being dismantled by a counterculture. As our cultural norms are attacked, it is easy to fall into the myopic trap.
In our observations of where the world is heading in 2022, we must keep the big picture in mind. Israel’s conduct has opened the door to “curses” which God had promised. Our response must focus on God, His law and His way of life. As spiritual Israel, we must pick up the baton dropped by physical Israel. We are to be living witnesses to “…proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light … who are now the people of God” (1 Peter 2:9, 10).