“Woe to the land whose king is a child and whose leaders are already drunk in the morning. Happy the land whose king is a nobleman, and whose leaders work hard before they feast and drink, and then only to strengthen themselves for the tasks ahead”. (Eccl 10: 16-17)


"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat


Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput






Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Sermon to the Land

I am fully aware that the readers of this site do not regularly tune in to listen to my musings on the political and spiritual condition of the nation but rather to read my interpretations of market action especially in the precious metals realm.

However, I feel compelled to express what I am calling a sermon to the land, based on the events I see unfolding around me in this my beloved country.

Some who read this will no doubt mock and hurl insults my way. Frankly I do not care so spare yourself the time and effort to flaunt your mockery. Your words of contempt will do nothing to alter the depth of the feelings that I am now experiencing nor the rapidly building sense of dread that is currently arising within me.

Others will perhaps be astonished to learn that there was a time in history past in which a similar condition arose in an ancient kingdom resulting in a catastrophic series of events from which that kingdom never recovered.

If that is indeed the case and you are stirred by these words as if an echo of them has sounded within your spirit, then I will rest content in that.

We begin with a passage from the Old Testament book of First Kings, chapter 12.

1 Kings 12

New Living Translation (NLT)

The Northern Tribes Revolt

12 Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had gathered to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of this, he returned from Egypt,[a] for he had fled to Egypt to escape from King Solomon.
The leaders of Israel summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel went to speak with Rehoboam. “Your father was a hard master,” they said. “Lighten the harsh labor demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us. Then we will be your loyal subjects.”Rehoboam replied, “Give me three days to think this over. Then come back for my answer.” So the people went away.
Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. “What is your advice?” he asked. “How should I answer these people?”
The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”
But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers.
“What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?”10 The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist!
11 Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!’”12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to hear Rehoboam’s decision, just as the king had ordered.
13 But Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors 14 and followed the counsel of his younger advisers. He told the people, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”15 So the king paid no attention to the people. This turn of events was the will of the Lord, for it fulfilled the Lord’s message to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh.
16 When all Israel realized that the king had refused to listen to them, they responded,

“Down with the dynasty of David!
    We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Back to your homes, O
Israel!
    Look out for your own house, O David!”
So the people of Israel returned home. 17 But Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.
18 King Rehoboam sent Adoniram,[b] who was in charge of the labor force, to restore order, but the people of Israel stoned him to death. When this news reached King Rehoboam, he quickly jumped into his chariot and fled to Jerusalem.
19 And to this day the northern tribes of Israel have refused to be ruled by a descendant of David.20 When the people of Israel learned of Jeroboam’s return from Egypt, they called an assembly and made him king over all Israel. So only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the family of David.

Shemaiah’s Prophecy

21 When Rehoboam arrived at Jerusalem, he mobilized the men of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—180,000 select troops—to fight against the men of Israel and to restore the kingdom to himself.
22 But God said to Shemaiah, the man of God,
23 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the people of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not fight against your relatives, the Israelites. Go back home, for what has happened is my doing!’” So they obeyed the message of the Lord and went home, as the Lord had commanded.

My commentary:

The above story describes the event that led to the division of the nation of Israel shortly after the death of its wise king Solomon.

It is important to note that in the previous chapter, God had sent word through His prophet Ahijah that He would tear the kingdom asunder as punishment for Solomon’s sin of idolatry. No longer would the son of Solomon rule over the entire twelve tribes of Israel as ten of those tribes would be stripped from his kingdom and given to Jeroboam to rule. Solomon’s son Rehoboam, would have only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin over which he could exercise his reign.

Note this well - God Himself had determined to bring the nation of Israel to its knees and tear it apart. All that then follows is the execution of that will as it involved human agency. in its actual accomplishment.

Upon Solomon’s death the narrative picks up at the beginning of this chapter quoted above.

Here are the main points to take away from this historical event.

First, even though God had promised Jeroboam that he would be king over 10 tribes he still joined with the people of those tribes and attended the coronation ceremony of Solomon’s son Rehoboam. At that event, the people pleaded with the young king to lighten the burdens that had been placed upon them and that if he were but to do so, they would remain his loyal subjects.

This in itself was admirable as it showed the extent the people of the ten tribes of Israel, and Jeroboam, were willing to go in an attempt to keep the kingdom whole and united.

Understand that prior to this, Solomon had undertaken great public works projects and built lavishly and in so doing, had basically employed a type of forced servitude among the people. My understanding was that they were paid a wage for their labors; however, Solomon had imposed a system of heavy and oppressive taxation to fund his extravagance.

The request of the people to the new king is very reasonable when viewed in this light.

Second – the new king Rehoboam showed a glimmer of wisdom in taking some time to make a decision in regards to the peoples' request and particularly in consulting first with the elder statesmen of the day. These were men of wisdom and experience and understood the times and exactly what was at stake here.

Their council was both wise and prudent as it showed they were well aware of the passions and resentments simmering beneath the surface of the polity and which were threatening to erupt into the open with devastating results for their beloved nation.

They advised Rehoboam to lighten the burden his father had placed upon the people and acquiesce to their demands for the sake of unity, peace and harmony in the land.

Third – Rehoboam then made the foolish mistake of taking the council of the young hot heads. Their advice to him was not only foolish, short-sighted and petty, but it was to prove disastrous to the nation.

If I can paraphrase their council and speak in a more modern terminology I would put their advice to Rehoboam as such:

“You are the KING of Israel Rehoboam, the lawful heir of Solomon and the one who has the right to rule. Your word is law in this land. Just whom do these upstart rebels think that they are speaking to in such a manner? How dare they make demands upon you as if they are your ruler and you their subject? Assert your rights and your power and show them who is boss! Double their labors and raise their taxes further until you break their spirit and force them to bow to your will”

As you can see, Rehoboam’s vanity was putty in the hand of these foolish and self-seeking sycophants that the new king had chosen to surround himself with. His ego lapped up their words as a thirsty camel laps water in a desert oasis. The result – the nation was torn asunder, exactly as God had said He would do to it.

Here is how I see this – there was a growing and deep resentment in the land of Israel among those who bore the burden of the expense of maintaining the society. These same people were oppressed by those in authority, the very ones who should have understood that their role was not to lord it over their citizens but to serve them as wise, thoughtful and far-seeing leaders.

This resentment continued to build and to fester, like some sort of foul wound, under many years of continued abuse. At some point this resentment gave way to two simultaneous emotions – despair and rage.

Despair,  that their miserable situation would never change and Rage, when the long years of abuse had done to them what it inevitably does to all who are crushed under the weight of continuous intolerable injustices. Yet, the people,  daring to hope against all hope that their condition might perhaps, finally, be amerliorated, approached their new king in one last final desperate plea that reason would prevail.

Alas, it did not and the fiery passions that had been smoldering for so long finally ignited with a flame that burst forth in a fury that could no longer be contained. The nation split asunder with the words of the departing people clearly articulating what was in their hearts:

“What do we any longer have in common with this king and with his subjects? He cares nothing for us nor for the depth of the burdens that we are now forced to endure in order to support his trappings and his grandiose dreams.  We have no interest whatsoever in the house of the son of Jesse nor do we any longer care to be numbered in that house. Let us go to our own way and let us be ruled by a man who at least understands our plight”.

Fourthly and finally – the nation was torn apart and was never again made whole.

America – be warned – the division proceeded from the will of the Most High but the causes were the passions of men whose liberty had been trampled upon by a young, foolish, inexperienced and arrogant king disdainful of sound wisdom and intent upon having his own way, the consequences of which be damned.



33 comments:

  1. Dan,
    What you say in your blog is up to you and there is nothing for anyone to say. They don't like it... Stop reading!.
    I did the same (speak my mind) in my own blog and got a few negative comments... So what? Again what I (YOU) say is up to you and what WE (they) read is up to us.

    I would say to you that, with or without religious background, what you are describing is what is going to happen.
    The arrogance and greed of our elite "masters" can have one ending only: Terrible ending. This will come through 2 completely different horizons:

    1- China (and Russia) that is patiently working (economic and monetary tools) to become the new king and put the USA down for good. The end will come when China announces that it is selling a large chunk of its USD reserves to buy gold. The crash of the USD will bring hyperinflation in the States.

    2- US citizens who are finally going to wake up and fight back for what is going to be a long civil war (which do not have to be an armed one, even if an armed opposition will start the confrontation)

    So I agree with you and the sooner the better for all of us:
    "the nation was (will be) torn apart and was (will) never again made whole."

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  2. Its interesting how people notice "moral" corruption mostly when it works against them. When the representative of the Irish mafia (prosident) was gunned down by the equivalent in the Texas mafia (vice president,)nobody said boo until years later. At the time it seems jobs were plenty and "Rome" was undisputed leader. I never heard anyone in Ireland objecting to dangerously low interest rates and corrupt lending practices here before 2009. Now "corruption" is everywhere here.

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  3. Dear Trader Dan,

    I welcome your interpretations of market action as well as your HUMAN spiritual side. God bless you. The world would be a better place with more folk like you.

    Thankyou

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  4. Ciao Dan,

    Please do yourself a big favor and throw your New Laughable Translation in the fire and get yourself the Real Word of God a King James 1611 and nothing else this is the one and only true English Version of the Word of the Lord. All and I do mean all the rest are FORGERIES.
    DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE, You do not want to invest your soul and friends and families soul in FORGERY
    Lord Bless Giuseppe Valente

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  5. Best stick to your market comments and technical analysis Dan.

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  6. Good Job Dan !

    Wisdom is where you find it and where you see it.
    Since you are the writer and prime mover in this blog no one can nay say you as to your opinions, and please, please tell it like you see it.

    If someone does not care for this, let them vote with their feet, and not come back.

    I'll be back, Dan, keep up the good work.

    DG

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  7. I enjoy your blog a lot and read it routinely. Whether I agree with everything or not, I appreciate that you always think deeply about your feelings and thoughts and you are sincere. Thank you and keep up the good work.

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  8. That was a very thought provoking commentary. As a biblical student myself, I enjoyed how you applied Old Testament Biblical concepts to present day economic and political problems. Although it is painful and disturbing, I prefer to have the truth told to me rather than slick smooth lies. I was intially drawn to your blog because of King World News and market analysis. I hope you keep your Biblical insights coming. Thanks

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  9. Dan-

    Uncertainty abounds- both in markets, and in society.

    The only uncertainty that should concern you is whether your death comes earlier, or later in life.

    Between this day, and that day (of your inevitable death); each day is a blessing that will offer just as many rewards as it does misgivings...

    Let the Juvenile King tell "the people" what he will. Lies are the cornerstone of all social norms, except for the wisdom of being a good neighbor.

    Peace to you, and reverence to your gracious wisdom. We are brothers in mind, and in soul.

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  10. Thank you for reminding us that the Bible was truly one of God's gifts to mankind and was meant for us to LEARN from. Since God unfortunately did not offer much metals trading advice therein, however, I will continue to look to you to provide that missing link.

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  11. Psychologist Carl Jung studied ancient and medieval history and religion to find the archetypical processes of human nature, and finally identified what he called the self in the unconscious. Modern man thinks he is separate and immune to the laws of nature, but nature laughs at our hubris and inflation. Nature pokes us in our dreams, and gives us thoughts that we think are ours. Dan is feeling what I and others are feeling, a sense of dread, that something is building up in the Western psyche that will eventually break through. This comes from the unconscious. Its comes from what in the ancient and medieval world called God; in modern depth psychology it is called the self. Either view is valid. Dan, you may get some hate mail but don't deny your intuitions.

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  12. Dear Dan,
    I have enjoyed coming to site for over 2 years now, while i no longer trade in the casino ( lost), i still am stacking my Gold and Silver as high as i can get them. With that said, Id like to say thank you for all you do. I believe the scripture you post is spot on.

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  13. Probably many have seen this but I think it's worth posting in light of Dan's commentary:

    http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1357922340.php

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. Dear Dan, Thanks for the finest commentary you have offered to date on this blog. I always knew from reading your writings, that they were driven by the spirit of a man with a Godly wisdom and perspective. While a few will cast stones your way, The Almighty will shower many blessings upon you.

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  16. Dan,

    I congratulate you for having the boldness to present your biblical views on what is taking place in America. As a reader and student of scripture I know your analogy is right on. OT stories are for this very purpose to show us what is going to happen in the future. Unfortunately the same thing which is happening to America is also happening to the church. As the government has gone so has the church.

    God did not call us to lead these secular lives we love so much, but to take up our cross daily and follow Christ.

    Terry

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  17. I agree with Arius, "Dan is feeling what I and others are feeling, a sense of dread, that something is building up in the Western psyche that will eventually break through."
    Dread unlike anything I have felt ever and frustrating in that I cannot fix it.

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  18. Dan, my browser locks down scripts and cookies, so I have never been able to comment, previously. But today I took the effort to open another browser just to tell you thanks. Thanks for all your work sharing your analysis. Thanks for your open opinions. And thanks for pointing out non-economic reasons for our country's collapse.

    I've been seeing regular commentaries, lately, about moral decay (in addition to fiscal and monetary) as a precursor to the collapse of all great civilizations. We certainly seem to have issues with all three.

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  19. As a regular reader of your blog, I just want to say thank you Dan. I appreciate your insight as a trader and a Christian. I am both as well but no longer trading in the manipulated markets but seeking the Lord for wisdom in these perilous times. He has directed my family to get out of all paper and into tangible assets. Blessings to you as you continue to speak and share! Donna M

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  20. I think there's been no less than 5 rewrites of the Bible.
    Like all paper, it has its level of abuse over time.
    That's why I like gold.

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  21. AMEN Brother!!
    Lots of folks agree that some really bad $hit is going down and very soon.

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  22. AMEN Dan AMEN! Unfortunately those who need to heed these words will most likely not listen. Our government is run by foolish idolaters and so it is wonderful to be advised by wise believers such as you. THANK YOU~! As the end times draw near, the Lord will put more wealth in the hands of wise and knowledgeable believers to handle as He instructs.

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  23. DAn, I am a stranger to you, but I have been getting your blogs in my reader for some time now. Thank you for coming out as a believer in God's Word, or at least a believer in the applicability of God's Word to this society.

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  24. Dan, I share your sense of dread.
    Thank you for taking a look at the moral implications of the path we are walking. Jesse's Cafe does some of this; not many others do, and I for one welcome your comments.

    More generally, thank you for your efforts to keep us informed about the markets, crazy as they are these days.

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  25. Dan-

    Never apologize for telling the truth or Truth.

    The number of comments here indicates how much your post hits home to folks. Of course, it does. God give us plenty of opportunities to change our ways as both individuals.

    Christ promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail. He didn't promise that they wouldn't prevail against your country or society, tho. And, it is no less than that we are all facing every day.

    So, while we are all trying do the best we can to provide for ourselves and families, we have to remember that this all will pass away and we'll be left to give an account for ourselves when we die. So, it IS time and past time to turn ourselves back to God and his commandments. Love God with all your heart mind and strength and love your neighbor as you would love yourself. Who has ever hoped in the Lord and been left wanting?

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  26. thank you Dan for this post as well as the many wonderful posts prior to this one.

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  27. I agree with your commentary. Also applicable is II Chronicles 7:14 "Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land."

    As one who is working to steward the money entrusted to me, I also am working on how to prepare for the consequences of demanding that God be separated from our culture.

    Keep up the good work Dan.

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  28. Love it Dan

    Mt 24 keeps running through my head. Lots of bad stuff coming until the Hallalujah Chorus starts up after the seventh trumpet (Rev 11:15).

    JOSEPH, on the 1611 KING JAMES ONLY HERESY you fell for...consider this sermon series. It is outstanding. Anyone else swayed by this argument or just curious please arm yourself.

    Just stick with true translations from the best manuscripts we have. Careful with the paraphrases.

    http://ltdmin.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=53

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  29. Blessings Dan. I always enjoy hearing the Word of God applied correctly.

    Tim

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  30. Thank you for taking the time to write this article. I love your insights on both economic and moral matters. God bless you. I only wished we had more leaders like you.

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  31. Thank you for at least having the decency to avoid naming the object of your contempt... but I suspect most know anyway.

    Hard to believe someone as intelligent as you could get it so wrong. You (and the Religious Right/Libertarian/Tea Party {take your pick} philosophy followers in general... politically funded by the corporatists, while somehow believing they are an awakened, grassroots movement) have swollowed the elite driven propaganda game hook, line and sinker.

    How is it you (they) believe the "Taker / Maker" meme, when it is the same group of moneyed elite that have been taking for decades (actually centuries)... always demonizing the disenfranchised, giving the upper middle class the "other" to fear, despise, and focus their contempt upon (picking your pocket all the while)... and they've hit the jackpot whith a Progressive (actually very center left) black man in the White House.

    There is much wrong with western society... fools blame one political philosophy / party (or another)... is, and always has been, the lust for power and money that brings evil to this world.

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