In the Day of Trouble
My heart is in anguish at the brokenness of my beautiful homeland. Once generally agreed-upon foundational truths, morals, and laws are no longer embraced, and are, at least, marginalized. Even being “patriotic” toward our America, or recognizing our history as one of the most generous of all the world nations, is disputed by many. America was never perfect, of course. It always had flaws, some egregious, but now we are expected to feel shame for the very fabric of our history.
A Nation Divided
However, I don’t. Instead, I feel sadness for how young minds are being taught to hate America despite the “light” it has been, and the causes it has fought for over its history. As Abe Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Our government cannot function because it is so polarized. Ideologues cannot compromise for the good of the people. Oh, no.
I believe we are “reaping the whirlwind” for removing God from the marketplace of ideas. We’ve lost core beliefs which people once agreed upon. Why? Many have turned their back on God, but have put humans in His place. Biblical truths are replaced with new cultural ideologies by those who are opposed to Christianity. We are expected to have “tolerance” for everything except biblical values and beliefs.
Finding Hope in God
What can we do when division and hatred overwhelm? I take comfort in the lessons gleaned from scripture. In Isaiah 37, we learn of a certain King Hezekiah who became aware of his enemy, King of Assyria. Oh, that one was a God hater, for sure. He wanted Hezekiah to believe God would not help him, and Jerusalem would be overtaken by enemy forces. To be honest, Hezekiah was also a bit complicit in this downfall because of his own rebellion. He was humbled in his difficult situation, and should have been.
However, his first reaction was not only humble, but wise. He went to the house of the Lord to seek God. Then, he sent some representatives to Isaiah, a prophet who personally heard from God. Hezekiah used a perfect word picture about the calamitous situation. “This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them,” Isaiah 37:3 (NIV). That is dreadful, is it not? Either the mother or the baby, or both may be lost! Hezekiah knew things were grim.
But some good news came back from the Lord: “Do not be afraid of what you have heard,” Isaiah 37:6 (NIV). Even after that the enemies attempted to persuade Hezekiah to doubt God. They said God would ignore their pleas. Hezekiah did what Believers in America should do at this juncture in American history. He took all the evidence (a letter), spread it out before the Lord, and prayed as earnestly as he knew how. He declared, “…You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth,” Isaiah 37:16 (NIV). “Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear.”
Though there were some years of resulting consequences for Hezekiah’s earlier rebellion, God did answer his cries. God was determined to preserve the remnant out of Jerusalem. “For I will defend this city, to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake,” Isaiah 37:35 (NIV).
I encourage you to pray with me over our nation. Pray to the One True God to have mercy even though America has turned its back on God as a collective. As we humble ourselves like Hezekiah, we can have hope, hope that God will spare the remnant of believers in America, though many have rejected Him. America was once a light to the world, “a city set on a hill” for others to see as a beacon of hope for the world. In Matthew 5:14-16, scripture tells us, “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” I pray for a return; I pray for America to be a light again.
Here is an older song by Chris Machen called “Bow the Knee.” It’s beautiful and the lyrics are a perfect fit. Listen and enjoy as you lay out your heart’s concerns before our God. Yes. “You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.” We ask in humility for you to forgive our nation, to heal our land, to pour your spirit out in revival so those who hate you cannot stand. We will glorify you and give you the praise. Amen.