“Then the word of the Lord came to me [Jeremiah]…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.”
(Jeremiah 18: 5, 7-10)
Immediately following the horrible devastation that took place in this country on September 11, 2001, the national mourning was coupled in some quarters with shout-outs of “God Bless America!” Some of that, quite frankly, felt like jingoistic flag-waving and fist-shaking at perceived enemies. Anger, sadness, and frustration aside, I have long felt that the U.S. has been one of the most blessed nations ever (EVER!) and like all blessings, it has been a result of God’s grace alone. No nation has a right to God’s blessing. No nation can claim that as its legacy gift.
At best, asking God to bless our nation should be a sincere prayer, not some nationalistic mantra, and should always be preceded by a national stance that is God-honoring. Right after 9-11-01, I saw quite a few signs at fire stations, municipal buildings, store locations and even churches that stated, “God Bless America.” I believed it was more appropriate for us to post “America, Bless God” on our church sign for the many people who drove by on that busy street each day, which is what we did.
I still believe this is what the nation needs more than anything, that the nation blesses God, that we strive to please Him above pleasing ourselves, that we honor Him above honoring ourselves, and that we obey Him because…well, because He’s God.
If you read the quote from the prophet Jeremiah above, which trendline do you see us being on? In which direction are we headed?
Now, I know it’s human nature to easily see the fault-lines falling at the feet of others (people and groups), but I think there is plenty of responsibility to go around, including with those of us who call ourselves by His name. There are objective means to determine if our respective houses are in order. Let’s look to them and use them.
“He makes nations great, and He destroys them;
He enlarges nations, and leads them away.”
© Byron L. Hannon, 2022. All rights reserved unless otherwise noted.