“Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.”
― William Strauss, The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy
Siècles of Freedom & Slavery
In Part 2 of my blog Recurring Alternations, we look at the nations of Egypt and Israel. Both have rich histories and centuries of both war, peace, slavery, and freedom.
Let’s first take a look at when God speaks to Abraham from Genesis 17:5-8:
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceed fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
At God’s request Abraham left his birthplace Ur (in Southern Iraq) journeyed to Haran (in modern day Turkey), the finally rested in Canaan, or modern day Israel. God told Abraham he would become a great nation.
Even though both he and his wife were well past the hopes of having children, Abraham was 75, God gives Abraham a word of prophecy that out of his loins would come great nations, plural.
When this didn’t happen immediately, Sarah thought it would be a great idea to help God along by offering up her maid servant Hagar to conceive a child with Abraham.
Hagar gets pregnant and has a son whose name is Ishmael, which means the Lord hears your affliction.
It appears that both Abraham and Sarah were good with this plan until suddenly 14 years later, Sarah becomes pregnant and delivers Abraham’s second son Isaac, whose name means laughter.
The now jealous and disgruntled Sarah asks Abraham to banish both Ishmael and Hagar from their family, which he does.
Abraham now the father of two great nations, one from Ishmael (whose mother was Egyptian), and the other Isaac, the future father of Israel.
Both of these men became strong and mighty, just as God promised.
Ishmael marries an Egyptian woman.
Many cycles of slavery and freedom, wars and rumors of wars, feasts and famines would be birthed out of these futuristic two great nations; Egypt and Israel.
In Genesis 17:20 we read God’s words to Ishmael. “As for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly (they are the most fruitful people on earth!). He shall beget 12 princes and I will make him a great nation”
His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah…Genesis 25:9
Was this a sign of a treaty of peace? It was apparent that Abraham loved and respected both of his sons.
The Bible and Jewish history records Abraham’s son Isaac as having two sons (Jacob and Esau).
Jacob has twelve sons (by two wives and several concubines or slaves.
His next to youngest Joseph (born from his beloved Rachel), unknowingly fuels the anger of his half brothers.
One day while Joseph was still a teenager his father sends him to check on his older brothers who were out shepherding their father’s flocks. When they saw him coming, they plot to kill him.
The eldest brother has a change of heart and suggests selling him into slavery to a band of merchants headed to Egypt.
After many years of enslavement his gifts of prophecy and administration help him get a position in pharaoh’s palace where he become second in command as an advisor because he predicts a worldwide famine and talks the pharaoh into preparing for it, thus saving Egypt.
Just as Joseph predicted the famine comes, and Egypt becomes the number one supplier of food and world power, because of this former Hebrew slave.
I believe the divine providence of God has a hand in setting captives free and he was determined to make the Hebrews a great nation….
After Egypt stores food for seven years, to prepare for the coming famine, his brothers come to buy food and they are reunited. The offspring of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are back together. The only problem? They are stuck in Egypt with no land.
As Wikipedia writes Joseph’s father Jacob passes away in Egypt.
Quote: Later in the narrative, following a severe drought in his homeland of Canaan, Jacob and his descendants, with the help of his son Joseph (who had become a confidante of the pharaoh), moved to Egypt where Jacob died at the age of 147. He is supposed to have been buried in the Cave of Machpelah.
The twelve brothers remain in Egypt, and there they raise their families and multiply. After Jacob, Joseph, and the current pharaoh die, a new pharaoh plots to take the Hebrew people captive as slaves creating another recurring alternation for the people to futuristically be known as the Israelites.
The Hebrew people would be slaves and considered aliens in Egypt for four siècles or four 100-year periods. Once again, the offspring of Abraham are taken into slavery.
We read in Exodus 12: verses 29-42:
Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
Because the Hebrews were multiplying quickly and the new pharaoh was fearful and worried about a revolt, he begins a genocide of the Hebrew male babies. One of these was a baby called Moses. God arranged for Moses to be rescued by none other than Pharoah’s daughter and eventually he became a prince in Egypt.
Although Moses was a Hebrew, he was raised in Egypt’s royal family as the grandson of Pharaoh. His revulsion to injustice erupted into a lethal attack on an Egyptian man he found beating a Hebrew worker. This act came to Pharaoh’s attention, so Moses fled for safety and became a shepherd in Midian, a region several hundred miles east of Egypt on the other side of the Sinai Peninsula. We do not know exactly how long he lived there, but during that time he married and had a son. In addition, two important things happened.
The king in Egypt died, and the Lord heard the cry of his oppressed people and remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This story may be found in Exodus 2:23-25. This act of remembering did not mean that God had forgotten about his people. It signaled that he was about to act on their behalf. For that, he would call Moses.
There are many stories about Moses, the deliverance of the Hebrew people, who later become known as the Israelites. Moses was a prophet and intercessor who led them out of Egypt and through the desert for forty years.
Even after God delivered the people of Israel, and during this time of God’s protection and provision, the people when left alone turned back to idol worship. Moses would lead the people into repentance, and God would have mercy on them, creating a recurring nation of righteousness, idolatry or slavery, humility & freedom or blessing.
Moses continues to encourage and lead the people on their journey. At one point Moses sends 12 spies out to check out the land. Ten come back afraid and the other two Joshua and Caleb come back with conflicting reports. Ten say the giants are two big for them, Joshua and Caleb say, “there is milk and honey” and God’s promise of freedom and prosperity.
Fear overruled fighting and the Israelites begin their 40-year journey of wandering in the dessert. Eventually, Moses passes away and Joshua takes over. His fearlessness has not diminished, and he begins to seek the LORD for victory over the inhabitants and God’s enemies who were in their land. After all, to be a great nation, you had to have some land.
In the book The Fourth Turning the authors Howe & Strauss describe four Type Generational Circles.
I found this one in the Old Testament intriguing:
- First Turning: is a Prophet: Moses (Prophet),
- Second Turning: a Nomad: Golden Calf (faithless),
- Third Turning: a Hero: Joshua (heroic), and
- First Turning: an Artist: Judges (administrative).
Imagine the Israel Post today and the headline: The son of one of the slaves in Egypt, becomes the successor of Moses.
Joshua who was son of Nun was born in Egypt as a slave. His freedom was promised by Yahweh, the God whom the Hebrew people worshipped and served.
He was most likely between 30-40 years old when they fled. He knew the price of war. Freedom was worth it, and he was part of the prophetic generation, led by the aged Moses.
Joshua was a hero, a sojourner, an alien refugee along with the others who escaped Egypt.
When Joshua took the place of Moses as Israelites’ leader, he would have been nearly 70 or 80 but he had not lost the taste of freedom and felt it was worth fighting for.
Joshua led many war campaigns to reclaim the land that God had promised to his ancestors.
And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. The New Living Translation says the LORD told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses.
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “*Do not be afraid of them. By this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel as dead men. Then you must *cripple their horses and burn their chariots.”
In Joshua 11:4 it is said about this area where Joshua led the armies:
All these kings came out to fight. Their combined armies formed a vast horde.
And with all their horses and *chariots, they covered the landscape like the sand on the seashore.
- Historians believe that Hazor was the most powerful of all of these cities being located along the main trade route. The main highway to travel from Egypt to Europe or the western part of Asia ran through Hazor; so, this city was probably rich through trade along this route.
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
Where is America in all of this?
“One reason why the cycle of archetypes recurs is that each youth generation tries to correct or compensate for what it perceives as the excesses of the midlife generation in power. For example, Boomers (a Prophet generation, whose strength is individualism, culture and values) raised Millennial children (a Hero generation, whose strength is in collective civic action). Archetypes do not create archetypes like themselves, they create opposing archetypes. Your generation isn’t like the generation that shaped you, but it has much in common with the generation that shaped the generation that shaped you.”
― William Strauss
No matter what recurring alternation, siècle of war, peace, slavery or freedom we are in, we can remain steadfast and unmovable because God is able to save, deliver, and heal our individual nations and families.
But the most important story behind the story, is that one day time as we know it will end. We will either be called home to stand before the LORD, or Jesus will return again, as it has been prophesied and repeatedly spoken of for thousands of years. As we read in the Recurring Alternation Part 1, we do not know the date, the time or the exact reality, but we can rest assured, that it is part of God’s great plan to redeem mankind, and the earth in order to stop these siècles of freedom and slaver, as well as war and peace.
You are of great value to the Father,
from ashes to beauty…
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In Recurring Alternations Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, I give information about the different turnings, and siècles as described in the book The Fourth Turning by Strauss & Howe. In Part Three we see recurring patterns of alternations in recent and today’s current events. I would love to hear and respond to your comments.
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