CRYING FOR OUR COUNTRY
This morning I was awakened by a heavy heart for my country. Tears began to well up and had I allowed myself the time to dwell on the plight of our nation, I think I could have filled a pool.
Like the prophets of old, I cried out to God on behalf of the United States of America. The land of the ‘free and the brave.’ The nation whose people esteem ‘lady liberty’ as a symbol of freedom and justice to the rest of the world.
And then, the realization that we have become like Israel in the days of the judges. Scripture says, in those days, ‘everyone did that which was right in their own eyes.’ When there is no moral compass we all go astray. Even when there is, we choose badly and go our own way.
Luke 19 is an amazing chapter. The progression of stories in one chapter captured my heart this morning.
The Parable of the Talents. Jesus gave talents (riches and blessing) and when the one owner out of fear hid his talent and was not a good steward of his talent, it was taken away from him. I wonder if God in his loving justice is withholding or perhaps even taken away his blessing on the nation that was once a Nation Under God.
The Triumphal Entry. A coat was given to the followers of Jesus, so a donkey whose rider was Jesus could be trampled. Have my possessions become so tightly grasped into a clenched fist that I view the things that God has given to me as more precious and worthy than any path that life might call me. Jesus was on the path of suffering. Are we worthy of the calling to suffer for the name of Jesus?
The people shouted “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, peace in heaven and glory in the highest” The Pharisee’s did not like this and told Jesus to rebuke his followers. His response. “If they keep quiet the stones will cry out.”
JESUS WEPT. As (Jesus) approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it. ‘The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.’ Jesus was speaking of Jerusalem. Could this also be the day of reckoning for the USA?
I cannot imagine waking up every day to write a new chapter in Lamentations. Look at his 2nd chapter. Throughout the writings of Jeremiah, we read things like, ‘The Lord is like an enemy; he has swallowed up Israel. He has swallowed up all her palaces and destroyed her strongholds. My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within; my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city.’ Do you ‘feel’ like this as an American?
And then Jeremiah continues, ‘Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children.’ Have we lost our greatest weapon? I would suggest it is not a picket sign in protest, but a bended knee in prayer to the only One who can change the heart man.
Matthew 12:21,22 ‘A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not extinguish, till He leads justice to victory. In HIS name the nations will put their hope.’
Hebrews 11 attributes Abraham as a leader and servant of God. Abraham was the ‘father’ of the nation of God and we can learn from his focus. These were the words that demonstrated his success; ‘For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and building is God.
What are we ‘building?’ Larger homes, larger church buildings, platforms, larger empires….that according to Scripture will fade away! Do NOT lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. This world is NOT our home. Only two things last forever, the Word of God and people. Who are you investing in today?
1 Chronicles 29:15 ‘We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.’ This verse is not discouraging for believers. For to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. Are we living for the eternal. Are we willing to suffer and maybe even die for the cause of Christ. If we have nothing worth dying for then we have nothing worth living for.
2 Chronicles 7:14 ‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’
FATHER, like Paul in Ephesians 3, I bow my knee before you. Strengthen me by your Spirit in my inner man. Dwell (take residence once again) in my heart, purify my heart. And let me comprehend the height and depth of your love. Your love is not dependent on my material wealth. Your love is unconditional. Thank you for demonstrating that Love to me while I was in my worst sin.
Restore to me, to us again, the JOY of your SALVATION!