I get updates from the Center for Christ and Culture. The beginning of this one got me thinking.
In this heightened political season, there are many, including some Christians, who believe the fate of the nation rises and falls on the outcome of November's presidential election. That is not to say that politics and elections are inconsequential–the nation prospers from good leaders and suffers from the inept–but are government and political leaders really the hope or ruin of a nation?
I started thinking about the rise and fall of nations in the Bible.
1. The nation of Israel rose or fell depending on the heart of the people (which was usually significantly influenced by the judge or king). When the people followed the LORD with all their hearts, they (as a country) prospered. When they rebelled, the LORD sent the Philistines, Moabites, or Assyrians to oppress them.
2. Some nations that didn't fear the LORD at all were given great power to fulfill His purpose. This usually entailed oppressing the Israelites so that they would repent and turn to the LORD. After the Babylonian captivity, the Israelites did not return to idol worship. The Greeks gave the "world" a common language and the Romans built roads. Both of these factors were important for the spread of the Gospel.
I think that today the LORD's nation is the Body of Christ. This nation is declining because even Christians are not seeking the LORD. I think that any nation will prosper the more their individuals seek the LORD. I also believe that if God has to ruin this nation to get our attention he will.
I encourage us all to pray prayers of national confession. Here is part of mine.
O LORD, I confess that as Christians in the United States of America we have allowed evil to gain ground and we have not aggressively taken ground for the Kingdom. We do not strive for excellence, but are OK with offering you a living sacrifice of mediocrity. In fact, mediocrity is promoted because excellence makes people look “out of touch”.
We are destroying the innocents and their blood and souls are crying out against us! We allow children to be killed so that we can be more materialistic, more sexually immoral, and more self-centered. We have allowed our children’s souls to be destroyed at day-cares and public schools for the sake of money and fitting in and because of apathy. We have not kept our promises to stay married and have gotten divorced for no scriptural reason. Because of divorce our children have suffered yet again.
We have not trusted in your scripture to be inerrant and so have allowed our children to be taught that they came from hydrogen gas and will turn to dirt when they die. We have allowed them to be taught that they are soulless animals acting only on instinct and intelligence. Because of this many of our children lose faith or never find it. We have not trusted your scripture to be inerrant so we have become pluralist saying Judaism and Islam are both paths leading to you.
We Christians have not been God-seekers, but only God-accepters. We have become dependent on preachers for our Bible knowledge, youth ministers to develop faith in our children, and programs to bring people to you. We do not embrace you as Lord, but only accept you as savior. So there are thousands of churches that are full of physically mature people who have been Christians a long time and yet are not mature spiritually and do not participate in the harvest of souls. O LORD, change the face of your church. Only that will change the face of our country.