050508PM WN-15 Living In Hope
EMP: LIGHTS OUT!
Living in Hope
For those who try to live in this world without Christ—their world just got a little darker and more hopeless this week!
Remember why? Jesus said in Matthew 24, that a day is coming when it will be hard to find anyone alive on this planet. Without Christ’s presence within, life will get progressively more hopeless. But with Him, life grows brighter each day—not easier, not smoother, not funner, just brighter as we draw closer to Him.
Open with me again to Lamentation 3. We find here the pathway to hope.
What happened this week that made life on earth a little more hopeless? It was in my opinion, the release of the report given to the US Senate on terrorism. You may have read the transcript of the testimony that was taken at the US Senate.
The May edition of Jane’s Missiles and Rockets reports that recent missile tests by Iran may have been part of the development of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) warhead.
Jane’s cites testimony from the Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security from March 8, 2005, by Peter Pry and Lowell Wood. Wood is a member of the Congressional EMP Commission, which released a report on the EMP threat in July 2004. Iran has practiced detonating its Shahab-3 missiles while in mid-air, which has lead some intelligence officials to suspect that Iran is practicing the execution of an EMP attack.
Senator Jon Kyl (a Republican Senator from Arizona), who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security, wrote the following about the EMP threat in the April 15 edition of the Washington Post:
“An electromagnetic pulse attack on the American homeland is one of only a few ways that the United States could be defeated by its enemies – terrorist or otherwise. And it is probably the easiest. A single Scud missile, carrying a single nuclear weapon, detonated at the appropriate altitude, would interact with the Earth’s atmosphere, producing an electromagnetic pulse radiating down to the surface at the speed of light. Depending on the location and size of the blast, the effect would be to knock out already stressed power grids and other electrical systems across much or even all of the continental United States, for months if not years.
Few if any people would die right away. But the loss of power would have a cascading effect on all aspects of US society. Communication would be largely impossible. Lack of refrigeration would leave food rotting in warehouses, exacerbated by a lack of transportation as those vehicles still working simply ran out of gas (which is pumped with electricity). The inability to sanitize and distribute water would quickly threaten public health, not to mention the safety of anyone in the path of the inevitable fires, which would rage unchecked. And as we have seen in areas of natural and other disasters, such circumstances often result in a fairly rapid breakdown of social order…
American society has grown so dependent on computer and other electrical systems that we have created our own Achilles’ heel of vulnerability…”
Senator Kyl summed up the situation best when he said, “This threat may sound straight out of Hollywood, but it is very real.”
If this happens in the next two years before we are ready, here is what could result from an EMP attack.
“A successful strike would be virtually silent…While there would be no immediate loss of life, the cascading effects would result in millions and millions of indirect casualties. Contaminated water and food, no resupply, six months of darkness and total loss of communications. It would potentially throw us, technologically speaking, back to the 1880’s…In the 1880’s very few lived in the desert [like Las Vegas, Phoenix, LA and other parts of the USA]. It wasn’t survivable. Without working transportation, electricity for air-conditioning and pumps to supply water, the only way out is to walk…An EMP attack’s effects would be felt continent-wide, including Canada and Mexico…Senator Kyl says it could take the US as long as six months to make a minimal recovery. And that’s assuming the Russians, Europeans and Chinese will wait while we are helpless. The Muslim nations certainly do not want us re-assume our place as “the Great Satan superpower.” None of this is an over-exaggeration of the threat posed by such an attack. Neither is it as unlikely or impossible as we would like to believe… Bible prophecy clearly identifies four spheres of global power during the final hours of human history during the Great Tribulation. Ezekiel identifies the Russian/Muslim Alliance. John foretells the … military force of the Kings of the East. The prophet Daniel identifies the Kings of the South as the Muslim nations and a revived form of the old Roman Empire. There is no mention of a fifth global superpower that matches the description of the United States. On the contrary, the Revived Roman Culture of Europe is predicted as the supreme power…The United States is mentioned in Scripture for the last days, but in a very different context than the Tribulation. Writing of the Church Age, the Apostle Paul wrote;
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” (2nd Timothy 3:1-5 NASB)
This is a hard truth. It is difficult not to recognize much of modern America’s social culture in Paul’s description.”
And perhaps we are gone by then. But no matter whether we solve this potential threat, two things are clear: America is unwelcome in the world today, and we are absent in prophecy. So we need to put our hope in what we can’t lose.
Humans can live 40 days without food,
3 days without water,
8 minutes without air,
But only 1 second without hope!
Lamentations 3:21-25 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. 22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.
HOPE is what God to those who keep their eyes on the God who has chosen Jerusalem.
The Hebrew language of the Old Testament is a rich storehouse of words which define hope. There are four Hebrew words that give us valuable insights into the many way God can make us live in hope. Let’s examine these words and see how words written thousands of years ago leap right into the twenty-first century and our lives.
The first Hebrew word that God gives us is describing WAITING HOPE—the word is QAVAH (6960): HOPE THAT RENEWS EXHAUSTED STRENGTH. And that is exactly the word that God gives us in Lamentations 3:25
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.
To better grasp this word, turn with me to the most well known verse in the Bible using this special word which is Isaiah 40:31.
This Hebrew verb means to ‘twist and or stretch’. In the Old Testament world it was used of making rope by twisting and stretch many weak strands into a strong rope. Then this concept of rope making became a metaphor for waiting and receiving strength during weak times to endure stretching, twisting, and painful times in life.
Just as a weak thread combined with many other weak threads makes a strong rope—so when we are weak, and yet wait for the truth of God’s Word to slowly weave strength into our lives, we are strong in the Lord. My many weaknesses woven together through the fabric of life with His promises, makes me strong. That is the marvelous promise Isaiah offers us. Listen to him illustrate this waiting hope.
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
The word translated wait in Isaiah is qavah. When we apply the exegetical meaning of this word it means “waiting in the expectant HOPE and being strengthened thereby.” The NIV renders it “who HOPE in the Lord,” which is more accurate. When we have a sure hope in the future we can do what is impossible to do humanly. We can endure, we can go on, we can wait, we can rest. That is what waiting hope achieves in those who let the Lord weave His truth into their weaknesses.
Isaiah 40:29-31 He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait [hupomeno] on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
This is exactly the same word and hope that the patriarch Jacob testified about at the end of his 147 year long life of troubles, stress, and disasters. Genesis 49:18 I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!
King David in writing the Psalms uses this word more frequently than any other biblical writer. This word actually was one of the keys to David’s life. He recognized that his human strength was never enough to meet the stresses of life. 
Psalm 25:3 Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
Psalm 25:5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
Psalm 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You.
Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Psalm 37:9, 34 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth. 34 Wait on the Lord, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
Psalm 39:7 “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.
Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.
Are you allowing God to weave His Word into your weaknesses so that waiting hope will make you strong? I hope so this week and in the weeks ahead. That is why He even allows all these problems, struggles, trials, and unexpected reversals into our lives. To twist and stretch us into waiting hope!
 Also hupomeno is in Psalm 24.3; 36.9; 68.7.
 Hal Lindsey, The Terminal Generation. Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company: 1976, p. 92-93.