The title of my husband’s sermon Sunday was “A Nation on the Edge of Heartbreak” taken from 2 Chronicles 7:12-22. The passage deals with Solomon and the nation of Israel shortly after the completion of the Temple. The glory of the Lord fills the Temple, Solomon prays, fire comes down from heaven, the nation offers sacrifices, and celebrates the Feasts of Tabernacles for seven days. Then the Lord appears to Solomon by night with a warning.
“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Ch 7:13-14)
God promises Solomon that if he will walk before Him as his father David did and obey His commands and observe His statutes and judgments that He would, “stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.” (2Ch 7:18)
But, if Solomon turns and forsakes God’s statutes and commandments and goes after other gods…
“Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers…” (2Ch 7:20-22)
Israel was one generation away from heartbreak. I realize that America is not Israel. However, I could not help but see a striking correlation between Israel on the edge of heartbreak and our country on the edge of heartbreak. Consider the news reports, read the papers, follow the state of our country online. It is clear that we live in a very wicked and evil country, ruled by wicked and evil people. This is not to say that there are not good, godly people in our country and government. There is, but when we look at the sin of our land we can’t help but see that God must be grieved. Yet, His mercy is great. While we certainly have not deserved God’s blessings, He has given them nonetheless.
But will the blessings last? I believe we are living on the laurels of the past and sadly the godly heritage and biblical foundation that this country was built upon is cracking. The Psalmist states, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psa 11:3) The examples of destroyed foundations are many, with homosexual marriage and abortion being at the top. Another one that has chipped away at not only our freedom but the very foundation of this country is the latest ruling of the Supreme Court on the unconstitutional health care law. Justice Roberts surprised the nation with his vote. But what I found interesting was part of his explanation in which he said, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” Consequences – that’s not a word we talk about a lot, but if we would read the Bible we would realize that it is filled with consequences.
Do you remember when Israel rejected God by wanting a king like the other nations? God warned them through the prophet Samuel that a king would:
“…take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.”
“And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.” (1Sa 8:11-18)
People ask, “Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land…?” The answer is, “because they forsook the Lord God…therefore hath He brought all this evil upon them.”
Again we see consequences…
There is no doubt that we are living with the consequences of the previous election. The people wanted change and that is exactly what we got. And now we have gotten ourselves into a mess. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Rom 13:1) God has ordained government and He alone determines who rules. Sometimes, like the children of Israel, God gives us not what is best but what we ask for. Maybe, just maybe, we will learn. The cycle of sin always goes like this – abundant blessings, sin/rebellion, God’s judgment, and repentance/forgiveness. Then the cycle starts over again. Time and time again we have seen it with the children of Israel. Time and time again we see it in our own lives. The people of God need to humble themselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from their wicked ways. Will we be able to bear the consequences if we don’t?