"If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth." (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)
|Rabbi Lapin, author of the book America's Real War:
`Well I think that people asked themselves, "How is it possible that elsewhere in the world there are nations that live in poverty, in horror, in brutality, in violence? Something must be wrong there." No, wrong. That is normality. What was created here in America is the extraordinary thing, and they should have been asking, "What made America the way it was?" and then they would be able to answer it. Unfortunately, prosperity in the post-war period made people think that our blessings were completely de-linked from the biblical origins of the country. And they began down a path that trashed traditionalism in any form whatsoever and worshipped at the altar of futurism and progressivism, and, little-by-little, religion began to be viewed as an obstacle to progress. It's only now that we are beginning to fully reap the whirlwind.'
For PDF or mailed copy, see CGOM. Excerpt from an interview with Michael Farris
Rory Ries: Could the text above, from the Scriptures, be referring to the United States of America - perhaps the most powerful nation on this planet? Any time another country is being invaded or there are problems within, the U.S. may be called to intervene and hopefully resolve the problem.
Has God set this land apart at one time for some reason? It's a land enriched with minerals and bountiful produce. One can travel from the beautiful coasts to the vast and fertile plains and to the majestic mountain ranges - all in one nation. Some have even considered this land as being the Promised Land. The United States feeds much of the world. No other nation has its abundance of produce and no other nation has been able to supply as much food as we have done over the last century.
Could we be reaping the benefits and the blessings promised to Abraham and his descendants millennia ago? Even though we have done nothing to deserve these blessings? That's a possibility and if so - how long can we go on reaping where we have not sown?
A Nation Blessed
What a great time it is to be alive and living in the United States of America. A land of peace and prosperity. Many still consider this the land of opportunity as thousands board their home-made rafts hoping to cash in on that opportunity. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is still a living motto within the borders of such a great nation.
Unemployment is at an all-time low and many businesses struggle to fill their vacancies. Interest rates are down and it's a great time to buy a house. Recently, gas was at the lowest price it has been in over twenty years. The crime rate is down. Divorce has levelled off to 50%. A shrewd investor can make a killing in the Stock Market and the President has resolved the Budget crisis.
We are certainly a nation blessed. Have we not been loyal and obedient to God? President Clinton recently acknowledged the people of the United States as being a good people. Who can be against us if God be for us?
A Hypocritical Nation
But there's a real dilemma here and we are going to try to make sense of what is really going on.
God hates sin - and yet this is a very sinful nation. Can God bless sinners when they are rebellious and stiff-necked and refuse to listen to Him? Is there a contradiction in what God says about who He "I bless and who He will curse? Let's look at what God Himself says to us.
"God can not be mocked" (Galatians 6:7). He hates sin and evil. (Psalm 45:7, Psalm 97:10, Amos 5:15, Romans 12:9) How is it, then, this nation is being truly blessed almost beyond imagination?
What may look good on the outside may not be how it looks on the inside. Many spend thousands of dollars on face lifts and body tucks to keep a young appearance. However, each of us is ageing and dying and there is not a whole lot we can do about it. Could America, could our nation, be experiencing the same thing?
Congress and President seem to be doing a good job. Yet this same President lies and commits adultery, and Congress includes liars, thieves, adulterers, and h**ls. And the American people have said they don't care what the leaders do as long as they keep the economy on track.
The breakdown of the American family has caused nothing but hurt and suffering. "God hates divorce!" (Malachi 2:16) Crime is down, but we have also spent millions on building more prisons. A new killer is on the streets - and he's just a child. Kids are now killing kids at an alarming rate. God hates violence and murder! (Proverbs 6:16) Diseases ran rampant. We arc no longer a productive giant and are now a service-oriented nation. Food supplies have dwindled mainly because of bad weather and many in prosperous America are hungry and homeless. The inner structure is being eaten away by a more dangerous disease than cancer: we have forgotten God and now rely on ourselves and our greatness.
Then how is it this country is so full of prosperity? We mentioned a possible answer earlier. But we can also look at another possibility. What may look appealing to the eyes may not be appealing at all. Didn't the fruit look pleasing to Eve's eyes before she ate it? Satan, man's unseen adversary was there with her helping her see the fruit in a totally different way (Gen. 3:1). He was there tempting Jesus and showing him all the splendor that he could have if he would only bow down to him (Matthew 4:8). Satan has a way of making something ordinary look appealing to the sight. We can be fooled and bite into something that may be rotten on the inside.
The Jews were complaining to God how He was blessing the heathen and how God was with them (Malachi 2:17). They even questioned God and questioned His character. Should we do the same? We know what God says and we understand how God looks at sin. We cannot allow ourselves to fall for the trap Satan has set.
Malachi (ch. 3:13-15) goes into more detail. He wrote, "You have said, it is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out His requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape".
The people believed that mere external worship of God was enough to gain His blessing. They felt "it's all in vain worshipping God and suffering for God while the arrogant and those who may not even acknowledge Him appear blessed. This is just another ploy to get us to throw in the towel. What's the use if I overcome sin when God blesses the sinner? I might as well sin and reap the blessings". We cannot allow ourselves to think like that!
A time is coming, however, when our nation will be weighed in the balance of God's judgment. The prophet Malachi continues: "And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not." Jesus Christ will return and he will know his sheep. He will know those who have kept His word.
Christ told the Pharisees they were like whitewashed tombs, beautiful on the outside, but on the inside were dead men's bones and everything unclean. (Matthew 23:27) Could America be just like the Pharisees, whitewashed tombs? Beautiful and clean-looking on the outside, but death and ugliness on the inside.
Don't be mistaken or misled by the appearance of greatness and prosperity. Examine carefully what is really going on. Our nation is filled with evil and wickedness. Christ will expose all evil and all wickedness and will draw those to him who have remained faithful and who have served him with loyalty and honor. Those who have not fallen for Satan's tactics and those who have not succumbed to his schemes will be rewarded.
God hates all evil and all sin, and will not be mocked. He blesses those who live in obedience to Him and curses those who rebel and who, seek for themselves glory and honor.
America has inherited God-given blessing and prosperity: "Blessed of the Eternal is his land, with the precious things of heaven, with the dew and the deep lying beneath, with the precious fruits of the sun, with the precious produce of the months, with the best things of the ancient months, with the precious things of the everlasting hills, with the precious things of the earth and its fullness..." (Deuteronomy 33:13-17).
Enterprise and effort have produced from this unearned inheritance undreamed prosperity. Will we lose it, throw it away, because we failed to heed God's warning:
Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments..., lest when you have eaten and are full and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up and you forget the Lord your God ... then you say in your heart 'My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth. And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth (Deut. 8:13-20)
This warning message is timeless!
The grandeur that is modem America is being spoiled by the sin that lies at the heart of the nation. As the prophet Isaiah wrote: "The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores" (ch 1:5-6).
Our English-speaking nations share a common heritage. Our prosperity is God-endowed - but now hangs by a thread. There may just be time for us to change before the judgment of our sin falls - the fruit of our rejection of the divine Law.
As a nation we must change, turn to God, repent of our wickedness. If not the nation, you personally can turn your steps to Him. Through Jesus the Savior of mankind you can enter a personal relationship with your Creator.
To comment on this article or request more information, please contact James McBride by e-mail at the comment form below.
For PDF or mailed copy, see CGOM. Excerpt from New Horizons Volume 4 Issue 2, November/December 1999. Edited by James McBride of the Churches of God, United Kingdom.
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