#630: In Ruins
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Reflections by the Pond
November 18, 2013
"And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, 'Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?'"
1 Kings 9:8
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No voice breaks the stillness inside the musty dwelling. No activity of late has left its mark; decades have passed since life was here.
What happened here? This was once a house, a home; a family dwelt here, children were raised here. The warm aroma of Sunday roast beef once wafted through its rooms, Saturday night radio once played off its walls. Parents worked, children played in this house.
Once this had been a house filled with life, but what was once a home is now just a faded ruin.
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A journalist recently penned an article in which she bemoaned the history of the Jewish people, to which she belonged. Her position, flippantly stated, was that Jehovah had paid a cruel trick on the Jews: He had, thousands of years earlier, selected them out to be His chosen people, but then permitted them to be invaded, sent into exile, dispersed around the globe, persecuted, annihilated, and generally abused ever since. What was the point of it all? If that was what He had in mind, why not just leave them alone? Where was the percentage in being the Chosen of Yahweh if this was to happen to them?
One mourns the appalling state of journalism when a member of the fourth estate hasn't even sufficient curiosity to read the foundational book of her own people before making such comments.
God—the God, presumably this woman's God—repeatedly makes it clear that He would shower blessings upon Israel so long as they obeyed Him.
"Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God..."
But if they refused to hold up their end of the covenant, if they disobeyed, rebelled, worshipped other gods—transgressions all of which they committed, by the way, before the ink was even dry—then
"...all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out... The Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me... A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labors, and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually..."
The God of Israel established a covenant with Israel; His agreement was specific and detailed: Live according to My rules and your nation will experience blessings unheard of in the rest of the world. But live according to your rules and your nation will be destroyed, your lives miserable.
And Yahweh was good to His word.
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For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Unlike the nation of Israel, America does not have a covenant with Jehovah. We are a nation born of faith in Him, but it is not documented in God's word that He instigated our founding. Nor has He made us any promises. In fact, America is not mentioned at all, anywhere in Scripture—not even in the mysteries of the End Times. In the cosmic tapestry of God's economy this nation is but a footnote.
And, unlike with the nation of Israel, we have no evidence that God has turned away from us. But the evidence does show that, precisely like Israel, we are turning away from Him.
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What happened here? America was once a nation of morals, a principled nation. Children were raised where decency was honored, not ridiculed, and character was rewarded. The picture of the fresh-scrubbed family attending church dressed in their Sunday best was not just common, but respected. Now it is the punch line for a sitcom joke. Even the idea of a healthy and sound family unit is sneered at. The concept of a father and mother raising their own children in a loving, supportive environment is considered dated, even obsolete, and certainly unrealistic.
"Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!"
What was once a nation of decency and light is now just a fading ruin. America is now a place where the abnormal is being forced upon the populace as normality, where perversity is celebrated. Goodness and righteousness have become suspect. In America today not even the rule of man's law is honored, and far less the rule of God's law.
In America, God's light is being extinguished. God and His truth are being systematically stripped out of our culture. His eternal precepts have become not just subject to ridicule, but are being actually outlawed by the legal precepts established by a darkened society.
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But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
It may be too late for America; the days of this nation standing as a beacon of goodness, justice, and light may never return. The ruination of this country may never be reversed. America has no documented role in the chronicle of the End Times. We may no longer exist, or we may just be of no consequence.
But that does not absolve the individual believer of his or her responsibility to stand unblinkingly and unapologetically for God's truth.
It is never too late for the individual Christian to reject the dark, abnormal "norm." It is never too late for the believer to be a witness for the light.
The blessings of a civic society are but chaff in the wind, next to the blessings of holy God. The Christian is not beholden to the nation in which he dwells. The Christian is beholden to the King and Kingdom to which he belongs.
Therein dwells the true light, and it will not be extinguished by the ruination of that once-good land called America.