Recurring Alternations (Part 1 of 4)

Over much of human history, siècles have shown a recurring alternation between peace and war.

Arnold Toynbee

Siècles of Peace & War

What is a Siècle? It was one of the first ways of measuring time and the human lifespan. Within these Siècles come the children who will become part of the “next” generation who will also make an impact on the world and the Siècles to come.

The audacious and provocative book, The Fourth Turning written by William Strauss and Neil Howe was published in 1997. The book cover says it, “gives insight to what to expect just beyond the turn of the next century.

The book was written in what authors describe as a: Third Turning or Unraveling Period. They describe four repeating periods of time: The first is a high, the second is an awakening, the third is an unraveling period and this ultimately leads to a crisis period which historically includes wars and rumors of wars.

The authors encourage readers to look for the signs of these turnings or periods. For example: a crisis mood will foreshadow an actual fourth turning or Crisis Period.

Strauss and Howe say,

Remnants of the social order will begin to disintegrate; political and economic trust would implode. Real hardship would beset the land, and could include questions of class, race, nation and empire.

Historically after major signs of a change in a country’s mood; a large war should breakout before (according to the authors), the year 2025, perhaps similar to what happened in the 1900’s which included twin emergencies: The Great Depression and WWII.

Are we currently in the midst of a Fourth Turning?

Another historian Arnold Toynbee known for his book called A Study of History. The book is best known for its theory on the rise and fall of civilizations and the causes,

Toynbee also describes an alternating rhythm in history which also suggests cycles of war and peace.

He notes, “specific patterns between the worldviews of aging and infant generations that often help facilitate these cycles.” He describes the decay of the “living memory of a previous war” which appears to lessen the severity war and the causes of war.

It appears to me that each generation is born with different cycles and seasons within these turnings.

I believe it is safe to say,

Each generation type because of the world systems and world views develops ways to approach, live and survive the various recurring alternations that will happen within their own respective turnings and generations.

In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the
mountain peaks belong to Him.
Psalm 95:4

I believe the Earth is the Lord’s!

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

Exodus 19:5

According to the book’s authors after a Fourth Turning or Crisis Period comes a First Turning or High Period,

It will be an upbeat era of strengthening institutions and weakening individualism, when a new civic order implants and the old values regime decays. where it will be either to the people of the human race, total apocalypse or a new and golden age.

On page three of book the Fourth Turning it describes,

a generational life span, including these seasons and cycles were called saeculum periods by the ancients. They were comprised of four parts growth, maturation, entropy, and destruction.

If the author’s turnings timeline repeats then we could actually be in or approaching a period of crisis, civil unrest, war and famine.

I was also relieved to read that even a severe Crisis or a Fourth Turning may yield a brand new growth cycle and opportunities to achieve a “new greatness” as a people.

Now is the Season and Time of Planting

Let us recognize our changing times and seasons as part of God’s ultimate plan to redeem not only mankind but the earth as well.

It is important to maintain trust and confidence even in the midst of great tribulation and trials. We need not grow fatalistic or fearful, but we can be futuristic in our hope and confidence that we serve a God who has the whole world in His hands. His eternal plan is unfolding, and He values our well-being, body, soul and spirit.

It is important to turn to God for His Strength, Love and Courage. He will empower us to serve Him and others with His love, power and authority to walk through every period in our lives, especially the siècles of war and peace. We can look to His unfailing words of wisdom.

God’s promises as long as there are seasons and cycles, the earth will remain.

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

Genesis 8:22

God does not want us to know when the final cycle or season on earth will occur.

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.

Acts 1:7

God establishes the Kingdoms and controls the outcomes of both peace and war.

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.

Daniel 2:21

God establishes a season for everything. He ordains time and only He can erase time.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

God’s plan, purpose, and vision for and of the earth and its’ inhabitants has a future end, and also beginning.

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

Habakkuk 2:3

No matter what recurring alternation, siècle of war, peace, feast or famine we are in, God is able to save, deliver, and heal our individual nations and families.

Let us enter this season in intercession and thanksgiving, for not only what God has done, but what He promises He will continue to do now and forever.

I pray the LORD will show you the width and depth of His wonderous love!

You are of great value to the Father,

from ashes to beauty…
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In Recurring Alternations Parts 2, 3 and 4 I will give a couple of examples of historical and moderns events where individuals survived previous Fourth Turnings.

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