There is an obscure verse in the Bible that seems to be speaking to America today as it spoke to ancient Israel – shortly before the nation was judged, invaded and dispersed.
It was through the work of a messianic rabbi in New Jersey that I learned of the striking parallels between what happened in Israel and what is already happening to the U.S. – all revolving around Isaiah 9:10.
Jonathan Cahn has a new book out on this subject called “The Harbinger.” And I am in the midst of producing a DVD documentary on the subject, with his cooperation, called “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” which I hope to release toward the end of January.
This story starts about 3,000 years ago. You can read about it in 1 Kings. Solomon builds the Temple according to his father’s instructions. The Temple is dedicated to the Lord in a ceremony that lasts days. Then in chapter 9, the Lord appears to Solomon. And here’s what He says in 1 Kings 9:3-9: “I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou has made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou has built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
“And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:
“Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
“But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:
“Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:
“And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?
“And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil.”
Here we see what we so often see in the Bible – promise of a blessing for obedience and a curse of turning away from the Lord.
And we all know the outcome, so I’m not giving anything away here. Long before the death of Solomon, the children of Israel began to turn away from the commandments and serve and worship other gods. Even Solomon himself turns to this kind of spiritual adultery – leading to the divided kingdom in one generation.
But the dividing of the kingdom was yet just a warning, a harbinger, a limited judgment. God was shaking His people trying to get their attention and return them to the covenant.
He sent them prophets like Isaiah to rebuke them and correct them. But still they would not listen. They put their faith not in God, but in various military alliances and their own resourcefulness – both in Israel and in Judah. As you might remember from your Bible studies, the northern kingdom of Israel even allied itself with Syria against the southern kingdom of Judah.
As we learn in Chapter 9 in Isaiah, God used one of the severest of enemies of both Judah and Israel, the Assyrians, to strike the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali in the northern kingdom. This was another one of those limited judgments the Lord was using to turn the people away from their sin.
Did it work?
We get the answer beginning in Isaiah 9:8 – and all the way through the end of chapter 9. You should take the time to read all that carefully later. But, for now, I want to focus just on the key to understanding this message today: Isaiah 9:8-12: “The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.
“And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
“The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.
“Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin (king of Syria) against him, and join his enemies together;
“The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.”
The key verse of this presentation is the highlighted one you see – Isaiah 9:10. “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.” What’s happening here is that God has judged the nation, but the people are defiant – and expressing their defiance. Instead of turning to God in repentance after this attack from the Syrians, they are proudly and arrogantly expressing their faith in THEMSELVES. God, you may have knocked down our bricks, but we’ll just rebuild with hewn stone (like the kind that were used to build the Temple). You might have knocked down our little sycamore trees, but we will replant bigger cedars in their place.
This proud spirit of defiance leads to God removing His hedge of protection over the nation and more judgments – all still simply intended to bring the people around to repentance and obedience and covenant. As you see at the end of verse 12, God still has his hand out to the people: “For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.”
But we all know what eventually follows for His people and the two nations. First the northern kingdom is swept away by invaders. And later, the southern kingdom is carried off into captivity for 70 years.
But what does this have to do with the United States of America – particularly what we experienced on 9/11 and thereafter?
It’s really an amazing story.
But first, let’s begin with a little forgotten American history, because the parallels between the foundation of this country and the foundation of Israel are quite striking.
April 30, 1789, is a profound date in American history with similarities to Solomon’s dedication of the Temple. It actually represents the real birth of the United States of America. Some of you are probably scratching your heads and wondering why this date is unfamiliar to you. You are probably thinking the country was born on July 4, 1776, with the Declaration of Independence. But that was merely the date our independence was declared. We weren’t really a functioning country at that point. There were years of war that followed. And it wasn’t until April 30, 1789, that George Washington, our first president, gave his inaugural address, following the ratification of our Constitution, and we had a functioning federal government for the first time.
You might want to read Washington’s proclamations that day, because they hold a striking resemblance to what Solomon said at the dedication of the Temple – that God would bless the nation if it remained obedient, but He would judge the nation if it did not.
The location of that speech is also of note. It took place at America’s first capital city – New York. Immediately following the inauguration at Federal Hall, George Washington led the Senate and the House of Representatives in a procession through the streets of the nation’s capital to the place appointed for prayer at St. Paul’s Chapel a few blocks away.
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn suggest judgment came to America on Sept. 11, 2001, at the precise location of the nation’s spiritual dedication – just as it came to Solomon’s Temple, the location of the nation’s spiritual dedication.
The foundation of Federal Hall was actually cracked by the explosions of 9/11. St. Paul’s Chapel became known as the “miracle church” that survived the attack.
I think very few people associate the 9/11 attack and the destruction of the Twin Towers with the location of America’s spiritual dedication. But there’s much more to the parallels with ancient Israel.
The day after the attack, Sept. 12, 2001, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle was chosen to speak to the nation from the Capitol. You probably don’t remember this speech. I sure didn’t. But this is the key speech that brings the Isaiah 9:10 effect into the 9/11 attack. Because, just like the leaders of Judah and Israel back in Isaiah’s time, it begins to show us that we missed the message God was sending when he sent our enemies to attack us. This is a speech you have to see, not just read:
I want you to notice that Daschle has no idea what he is doing here. He is embracing the spiritually defiant and arrogant words of the children of Israel, the leaders of that nation, and uttering them as words of comfort. He doesn’t realize the context of the message – these are words that invite more judgment. It’s worth noting that Daschle, one of the most powerful men in the nation when he spoke those words, later fell into disgrace – to the point where he couldn’t even serve in Barack Obama’s Cabinet. I mean, that’s disgrace. Obama’s Cabinet is like a rogue’s gallery. But Daschle’s nomination had to be withdrawn.
Was that the end of the Isaiah 9:10 connection to the events of 9/11? Not by a long shot. It was merely the beginning. On the third anniversary of Sept. 11, in 2004, another powerful U.S. senator, then running for vice president, gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus. What did he say?
Like Daschle, Edwards thinks he’s invoking inspirational and comforting words from the Bible, but he’s actually inviting judgment on America. He’s repeating the words that angered God to the point where he decided to turn up the heat on Israel.
And Daschle and Edwards were hardly alone among U.S. leaders. It started the day after 9/11 and continues right through today. I urge you to read Jonathan Cahn’s “The Harbinger” to see the other amazing parallels between the history of behind Isaiah 9:10 and America’s 9/11.
Specifically, you will learn about the sycamores felled in the 9/11 attack and the way they were replaced by cedars. You will learn that after the bricks fell, hewn stones were brought to the site in ceremonies of rededication to build stronger and bigger and better.
You will also learn about the continuing judgments directly tied to 9/11 – a series of economic judgments that began as a direct result six days after the attacks and continue to plague America today.
My hope is that I have at least whet your appetite for more – the book by Jonathan Cahn available now and the documentary I am producing for the weeks ahead.
What I have learned in a few short months since I began studying the Isaiah 9:10 effect has changed my entire perception of 9/11 and the future of America. It has been a wake-up call that I believe the entire nation needs to hear. I hope and pray you will help me spread the word.
View a video version of this column: