America: what now?
In the immediate wake of the presidential election in the US two believers give their thoughts. While writing about America their words speak to the nations.
Give Us a King
by John L. Terry, III
As I watched with anticipation, the results of yesterday’s election my mind traveled to a time in history when the children of Israel, who tired of looking to God as their source and no longer wanted to be set apart as a nation under God. “Give us a King” they demanded.
I Samuel 8 (CEV) (5)…Now we want a king to be our leader, just like all the other nations. Choose one for us!” (6) Samuel was upset to hear the leaders say they wanted a king, so he prayed about it. (7) The LORD answered: Samuel, do everything they want you to do. I am really the one they have rejected as their king. (8) Ever since the day I rescued my people from Egypt, they have turned from me to worship idols. Now they are turning away from you.
(9) Do everything they ask, but warn them and tell them how a king will treat them. (10) Samuel told the people who were asking for a king what the LORD had said: (11) If you have a king, this is how he will treat you. He will force your sons to join his army. Some of them will ride in his chariots, some will serve in the cavalry, and others will run ahead of his own chariot. (12) Some of them will be officers in charge of 1,000 soldiers, and others will be in charge of 50. Still others will have to farm the king's land and harvest his crops, or make weapons and parts for his chariots. (13) Your daughters will have to make perfume or do his cooking and baking.
(14) The king will take your best fields, as well as your vineyards, and olive orchards and give them to his own officials. (15) He will also take a tenth of your grain and grapes and give it to his officers and officials. (16) The king will take your slaves and your best young men and your donkeys and make them do his work. (17) He will also take a tenth of your sheep and goats. You will become the king's slaves, (18) and you will finally cry out for the LORD to save you from the king you wanted.
But the LORD won't answer your prayers. (19-20) The people would not listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want to be like other nations. We want a king to rule us and lead us in battle.” (21) Samuel listened to them and then told the LORD exactly what they had said. (22) “Do what they want,” the LORD answered. “Give them a king.”
As a result of choosing a king to lead them, the nation found itself in bondage to a king who sought to do things his own way, and to turn from the principles and precepts upon which the nation was founded. Wealth and resources were redistributed. The nation became weak and vulnerable, and found themselves attacked on all sides. The people got what they wanted, and discovered too late that choices have consequences.
Nearly half of America chose to continue to era of Big Government spending and an agenda that includes the continued murdering of the unborn, support of non-traditional (homosexual) marriage, lackluster (sic) support for the nation of Israel and an entitlement mindset that Government is the source from which money and resources should flow.
Our history is full of examples where other nations have chosen a similar path only to see their power and prestige fade as their nations dissolved into obscurity. If the lessons of the past are not heeded, the past will repeat itself in the future. It appears that for the time being, America is going down that path.
We choose our choices, but consequences happen as a result of choices made.
America has chosen…what will be the consequences?
and by Joel C. Rosenberg
We are at a very vulnerable moment. I can't say that the implosion of America is imminent. But how much longer will God be patient before He decides to judge us for 54 million abortions, a celebration of homosexuality, rampant heterosexual immorality, marital affairs, separations, divorce, the implosion of whole families, rampant pornography, unprecedented murder and violent crime rates, massive deficits, unfathomable debt, and a weak, increasingly apostate Church?
Just as we are living on borrowed credit, so we are living on borrowed time.
If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.
And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.
"Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, 'This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.'
But they will reply, 'It's no use. We will continue with our own plans; each of us will follow the stubbornness of his evil heart.' " (Jer 18:7-12)
There are some branches of Christian thinking which suggest that the days of the prophets and God judging nations belongs to history alone. However this is a very dangerous mindset as it focusses entirely on our future and fate as individuals (in or apart from Christ) to the exclusion of the collective and corporate component of our lives within and amongst nations (under God).
While God has, in our day, supremely revealed Himself to us in Jesus Christ (Heb 1:2) God has given fallen man the means of discerning the Almight in our world (Ecc 3:11; Rom 1:19-20; Rom 2-14).
He has also revealed His character and His sovereign will and purposes in His word – available to anyone who wants to pick up the Bible and read it. So we are indeed 'without excuse' (Rom 1:20).
Dr. Luke tells us: "From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us" (Acts 17:26-27).
In the light of God's general revelation and set alongside HIs very specific and ultimate revelation (through Christ) we do not live without the capacity – as individuals and nations – to know the mind of a wholly-righteous God who has set His statutes amongst us that we might, if we so choose, live in an ordered society aligned with His ways.
Whilst the days of the OT prophets who spoke the very oracles of God are indeed over, the principle that we can alternatively be blessed or suffer (as individuals and nations) through aligning ourselves – or not – with God's eternal statutes most certainly still applies.
Nations (Gk. ethnos; people groups) will ultimately worship God (Zech 14:6; Rev 15:4), and are and will be judged by God (Matt 25:32-33; Rev 19:15: they can be blessed by God (Ps 33:12) and can be deceived by the devil (Rev 20:8).
In the courts of heaven the correlation between God's gracious mercy and His righteous judgement is ever in extremely fine balance. And indeed sometimes His mercy is expressed in and through judgement.
Pray God that we might turn back to him.
Through the prophet God spoke to ancient Israel:
"If you will return, O Israel, return to me," declares the LORD. "If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray, and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, 'As surely as the Lord lives,' then the nations will be blessed by him and in him they will glory."
But the above truth is not the whole truth; and the futher utterances of the prophet Jeremiah call for very sober and sombre reflection.