17 Nov 2019. 33rd Sunday OT. Cycle C-2019. Mal 3:19-20a + 2Thes 3:7-12 + Lk 21:5-19

While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, [Jesus] said, “All that you see here — the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down” (Lk 21:5-6).

Israel, the Northern Kingdom, was prosperous and protected while she remained faithful to God and to His Commandments. When the people turned away from God, they lost these blessings. When the Assyrians invaded Israel, God let the enemy raze their sycamore groves, and tear down their brick fortress. He even let the enemy tear down His link to them–the Temple. The people withstood the invasion, but they ignored the harbinger, God’s way of calling them to return to Him (cf. Ps 81:7-17). They said defiantly (Is 9:9),

Bricks have fallen, 
but we will build with cut stone;
Sycamores have been felled,
but we will replace them with cedars.

Arrogant Israel, instead of seeing the calamity to be God’s judgment on her gross idolatry, saw it as a mere weakness that she could, on her own power, correct and fortify. When God unleashed His wrath, Israel’s rebuilding could not withstand the final judgment. The Assyrians returned to obliterate the nation.

“The Harbinger,” a 2013 New York Times bestseller by Jonathan Cahn, relates a story of the fall of Israel to the Assyrians prefiguring the fall of Godless America. The colossal collapse of the towers of the World Trade Center, followed by the collapse of the U.S. economy, is a harbinger of the final judgment if the nation does not return to God. The author cited in his book many parallels in the events before and after the tragedies suffered respectively by both Israel and America. These parallels that he cited are too numerous to be coincidental.

The book could convince the people that America’s fall could be averted if she returns to God and to obey His Commandments. VSS

Picture: International Business Times photo of the World Trade Center towers burning after suicide pilots crash two commercial planes into them.