Saturday, October 11, 2008


I recently received an email by a good brother that said "All we have to do is pray for our nation, and God will spare us! He is just waiting for us all to pray together." It closed with "We must invite God to the fray!"

The brother who sent this means well but he needs to look also at the fact that God is the Author of history—He brings blessing and judgment. The question I want to ask is: "Why should God be good to America?" In at least the last four decades this country has spat in His face, denied His grace, and turned to abominable and evil secular humanism. Sinful psychology has ruined our court system, our schools, and our homes. Abortion, homosexuality, drugs, feminism, and other sins are ruining our society. Certain foreign cultures have infiltrated, have destroyed our laws, imported ways that are foreign to the founding principles that were at one time biblically based.

Why do we believe that "God only must be good to us"? Or argue, "God can only do good for America!" With all due respect my friend does not believe in the sovereignty of God and the fact that He has not counseled with us as to what He must do with this once great nation! To say "We must invite God to the fray" implies that He is upstairs with His arms folded, and that He is impotent in handling His own history! He is not! It also implies that He is helpless and that He must wait on us before He can act!

Do we not believe that collectively as a nation we deserve His judgment? Why do we think He can only be gracious? Someone has well said this little ditty:

"God has a line in the sand before us unseen, that line crosses every path, but there is also a hidden boundary that lies between God's patience and His wrath!"

Are we so ignorant of the Word of God that we fail to remember that He can send to us evil for our sins by His angels? He did just this with Israel when they were in the wilderness. And upon Egypt, He sent the hailstones and bolts of lightning to kill their cattle (Psa. 78:48). "He sent upon them His burning anger, fury, and indignation, and trouble [by] a band of destroying angels" (v. 49). And, "He leveled a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, but gave over their life to the plague" (v. 50). Why do we think He cannot act this way again with a sinful nation. God is the Author of all of history. All wars, all plagues, and storms, come from His hand as a judgment upon evil men. And unfortunately, the righteous of that nation will also suffer, being part of that culture.

The case of the prophet Jeremiah is apropos for America today. The people of Israel were living out their full-blown evil ways. They challenged Jeremiah and mocked him when he said "It is hopeless!" (2:25a). Then they answered: "No [it is not]! For [we] have loved the aliens, the strangers, and after them [we] will walk" (v. 25b).

In their sin, the Jews thought they were free to do as they pleased. God asked: "Why do My people say, 'We are free to roam; we will come no more to Thee'" (v. 31). They then denied their sinful ways. They did not think God would be angry with them. Jeremiah speaks of them and says: "You have said, 'I am innocent; surely His anger is turned away from me'" (v. 35a). God replied, "Behold, I will enter into judgment with you because you say, 'I have not sinned'" (v. 35b).

Just as with America today, the people of Israel in their sin still thought of themselves as being wise. And they argued that they still followed the law of God. Jeremiah asks: "How can you say, 'We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us'? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made [what they write] into a lie. The wise are put to shame, they are dismayed and caught [in their lies]; behold, they have rejected the Word of the Lord" (8:8-9).

America's shepherds, the nation's pastors and politicians, have become dumb! Jeremiah writes about Israel's leaders: "For the shepherds have become stupid and have not sought the Lord; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered" (10:21). And as with America, the people of Israel no longer wanted to hear from the Lord. They threatened Jeremiah and said: "Do not prophecy in the name of the Lord, that you might not die at our hand" (11:21). In other words, they promised to kill him if He mentioned God's name and prophesied what He said about the nation's evil ways.

Of Israel, God said:

Why then has this people, Jerusalem, turned away in continual APOSTASY? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return. I have listened and heard, they have spoken what is not right; no man repented of his wickedness, saying, "What have I done?" Everyone turned to his course, like a horse charging [wildly] into the battle. (8:5-6)

The word APOSTASY is the Hebrew word meshoovoh that means to be faithless, to defect, to commit apostasy. This describes America today. We are a nation that has departed, moved away from the truth, and spat in God's face!

The wayward Jewish people did not believe they could be judged for their sins. Jeremiah accuses them of "lying about the Lord" (5:12a). They said, "Not He; misfortune will not come on us [from Him]; and we will not see sword or famine. And the prophets are just as the wind, and the word is not in them" (5:12b-13).

American believers should always be praying for this nation, but interestingly, Jeremiah was told to stop praying for Israel. It was time for judgment and not blessing. God told the prophet: "As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you. Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?" (7:16-17). God continues: The fathers are burning fires to the gods "and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out libations to other gods in order to spite Me" (v. 18). The Lord adds: "I will not listen when they call to Me because of their disaster [coming upon them]" (11:14). "Do not pray for the welfare of this people" (14:11).

Finally, God says: "When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them. Rather I am going to make an end of them by the sword, famine, and pestilence" (14:12).

The people will someday ask, why has God forsaken us? Jeremiah is to answer: "It is because your forefathers have forsaken Me, … and followed other gods and served them and bowed down to them; but they have forsaken Me and have not kept My law. You too have done evil, even more than your forefathers … walking according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to Me. So I will hurl you out of this land into the land which you have not know …" (16:10-13).

On this passage the Jewish Rabbis write: "Instead of being warned and deterred by the evil of former generations, the people have wandered still farther along the path of APOSTASY. Their guilt is therefore greater and the penalty more severe."

Believers in the Lord, be prepared! Our greatest moment of witness may be just before us, as this nation faces a wrath from God never before conceived! –Dr. Mal Couch