Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
As I reflect upon the first six months of 2020 with all of its calamities, these verses from Second Chronicles smack me square in the face. “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”—II Chronicles 7:13–14 (KJV)
An amazing attribute of God is that He will not force Himself upon anyone. He has given us free will to choose to believe in Him, to love Him, or to obey His Commandments. I fear that what we are experiencing today, in our land, are the consequences of a people who have turned away from God, particularly of Christians who have denied Christ Jesus. As He said, “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.”—Matthew 10:32-33 (KJV)
When society rejects God and His precepts, the Law or Commandments, evil prevails and there is lawlessness, depravity, debauchery, anarchy, and destruction. Although God allows sinners to suffer the consequences of their sins, He promises to forgive their sins and heal their land if they repent of their sins. The solution of our country’s problems appears to be quite simple; we must humble ourselves, turn back to God seeking His face, pray, and turn from our wicked ways. The choice is ours; we receive either His healing or His condemnation.
In addition, the time is running short for repentance. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God”—II Timothy 3:1-4 (KJV)
However, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.”—II Peter 3:9-10a (KJV)
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”—Matthew 24:6-10 (KJV)
Friends, it is not God’s desire that any of us be condemned but that all would come to repentance, receive salvation, and live. In addition, God will bring healing upon the land of the repentant.
“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.”—Isiah 1:2-4 (KJV)
Great words from Scripture of warning and condemnation to a nation, a people, who have strayed from God, who have become faithless and have lost their rightness with Him; also, these are somber words to our nation, as we have strayed from God and lost our rightness with Him. As Christian Americans, we ought to be greatly concerned about this condition as we celebrate the 244th birthday of our nation.
Our country’s current problems are a result of our failures and misguided actions; and because we have not learned, or refuse to learn, from the history of God’s people as recorded in Scripture. A godless nation condemns itself. God blesses and protects His faithful people; however, He also allows calamities to befall the unfaithful. Therefore, we can only blame ourselves for our problems! By removing God from our nation, we have become godless, cold-hearted, and barbaric. Just look at what happens each day, watch or listen to the news, see the violence, the hatred, the greed, and the injustice. Observe the total disregard of God’s commandments. Does it look or sound familiar? Have we heard the stories before?
Well, if we spend any time with the Scriptures, we know that there is nothing new; the news continues to repeat itself, a different year, a different setting but the same human actions. We would think that we, the people of God, would eventually learn our lesson; but we do not, we continue to turn our backs on Him, suffer the consequences of our sins, and wonder why.
Therefore, as a nation, we need to repent, to return to God on our knees, petitioning in earnest prayer for His mercy. I offer this prayer:
“Almighty heavenly Father, King of the universe, we thank You for the gift of our nation, founded upon the sacrifices and hard work of our forefathers, who pledged to one another their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for the cause of freedom and unity. You have watched over and guided this nation to be both strong internally and a blessing to the nations of the world. You are our source of Salvation and our Blessed Assurance. You will never fail us, for You are faithful.
“Lord, we ask You to send Your Holy Spirit to guide this nation to repentance, and bless our nation’s leaders and representatives as they work to resolve our manifold problems especially the divisions within the citizenry. Please give them Your Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, and knowledge to act prudently and in the best interests of all. Give Your peace and provision to all who are suffering at this time. Let them feel Your presence, protection, and Divine Mercy, for You alone are our hope. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen”
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. Psalm 33:12a
From the farewell speech of George Washington, the Father of our Nation, September 19, 1796:
It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion, and morality are the indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
In Christ’s service,