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Monday, October 26, 2009

Godly Country

The Old Testament book of 1 Kings tells the history of Israel. It begins with a nation united under the King David, the most devout leader in the nation's history. But the book ends with the nation divided, and the death of Ahab, the most wicked leader of all. What happened?

For starters, the people failed to acknowledge God as their ultimate leader. They didn't submit themselves to Him. They didn't live life God's way. In fact, they got to the parent where they really didn't care what God's will for their lives - or their country - might be.

The Israelites also appointed human leaders who were not so godly and ignored God. Eventually they conformed to the ways of these ungodly leaders. (If the leaders ignored God, how would you think they might lead the people?)

Occasional wrongdoing eventually turned into a way of life for these people. They did what was not acceptable in the eyes of God. Put another way, their blatant wickedness could only be met by judgment from the holy God. He allowed enemy nations to rise up and oppose them. And then Israel, a nation that had historically and miraculously won so many battles and defeated so many enemies, began to experience defeat at the hands of their enemies.

So the moral to this story of course is that failure to acknowledge God as our ultimate leader is the first step toward national ruin.

Now, let's turn our attention to the United States of America. Am I the only one who sees the similarities in our history? The U.S. for so many years was God's chosen nation. We were led by men who respected and revered God. We defeated so many enemies in so many wars. In fact, we were instrumental in restoring Israel to statehood and even protect that status today!

But what have we done? First, more and more we've failed to acknowledge God's lordship in our lives and in our nation. Second, we've elected human leaders who are not so godly. Finally, our lifestyles have continued to migrate to something less than God's will for our lives or our nation.

Why on earth would we expect anything different than what Israel got ... when we take the same road that Israel took? I won't purport to know what God is doing with the U.S.A. I don't know if He's handing us over to our enemies as punishment for our wickedness. But it occurs to me that that is the character and nature of God.

Don't get me wrong. I understand that the U.S. is one of the most generous countries on earth. I also am fully aware that it has many, many godly people living in it. But as a nation, the godliness of some doesn't cancel out the wickedness of many.

So it occurs to me that God's punishment may in fact be what America deserves right now. And the only way to not be deserving of that (punishment) is for us to become a repentant country - turning from our sinful ways and acknowledging God in all our ways.

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