Deuteronomy 28:43-44 is a passage from the Old Testament that takes us back to a covenant between God and the Israelites. This passage is part of the blessings and curses pronounced by Moses on the Israelites. It was a conditional statement that depended on obedience or disobedience to God’s commands. You remember, the Big 10!
(Deuteronomy 28:43-44)1NIV New International Version Translations – “The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail.”
In this context of God’s covenant with the Israelites, it was a warning of the consequences of disobedience. Should the Israelites turn away from God and His commandments, they would experience a reversal of fortune, with foreigners and strangers rising above them as part of God’s judgment. We can take from this that God takes sin seriously! When He finds it in His people, God chastises and disciplines them for their disobedience! Like any good parent, God applies discipline to correct bad behavior. He does this individually as well as nationally. The question before us, therefore, is whether God still cares enough about His world, our nation, to discipline His creation, to discipline us.
If you believe that there is a God who is still active in our world, we would expect to see His footprints in our history. The warnings in Deuteronomy offer a glimpse of what God’s discipline might look like. Each of us must reconcile the many periods of foreign oppression, wars, and even exile for some, as to whether these are but part of the fulfillment of the warnings in this passage. The world has been told many times that obedience to God’s commands is essential for its well-being. When people turn away from God’s guidance, they may find themselves in a state of decline and subservience, both individually, as a community, and as a nation. Is there evidence that this is happening today?
There are three things this verse in Deuteronomy tells us we should see in our nation if its warnings are relevant. These are:
- An “invasion” of foreigners from abroad!
- The “control of wealth” shifting to the foreigners!
- A shift in “power,” away from our nation’s people to foreigners!
The Hebrew word used for “foreigner” is “ger,” an alien. To help us with our definitions, let us establish that to be a foreigner or an alien, one must be a person born in or coming from a country other than our own. “No one from the east or the west or the desert can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another “(Psalm 75:6-7). The previous Psalm helps us to understand part of the caution in Deuteronomy. A nation’s success or prosperity is not dependent on anything in their nation or any natural advantages or resources. It is not based on any human skill or special power a nation might hold. It is dependent on God alone. The foreigners in Deuteronomy are doing more than visiting. They are integrating into society, living among the citizens of that nation. The question only you can answer is: Are we being invaded? Over five million people have entered our country illegally in just the past two years. Estimates are over 16 million in total. We do not know who many of them are, or the reasons for their entry. (See Lostpine’s Study: Immigration and the Bible – Lostpine).
Next, we need to look at who will have (at least control of) the money! The question here is whether the hard-working citizens are the ones in control or is it the “invaders.” When you are a lender, you are wealthy and in control. A borrower has lost control of their resources. In other words, God has taken their wealth from them.
(Proverbs 22:7) – “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
This is a link to the National Debt Clock. Please click on it to see the real-time debt of our nation (https://www.usdebtclock.org/). Sitting now at over 33 trillion dollars, that is over a $578,000+ liability for each citizen that must be paid back someday. The debt is so large that our children and grandchildren will receive our lack of financial discipline as their inheritance from us. It will take many generations to pay this debt. From a Biblical perspective, Deuteronomy reminds us of the importance of treating strangers and sojourners fairly and justly. The consequences, however, of our debt are just one example of our society’s failure to uphold these principles. Are those entering our nation being misled by promises of great riches? Are the citizens who have created this great country watching their wealth being squandered by our leaders? Should some of those “foreigners” choose to become citizens, they also will share in the debt. “Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.” (Proverbs 22:26-27). Foreign wealth continues to influence our elections and justice system.
The question at hand is whether the people in our country still have power. The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution begins with the famous words, “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union…” This opening statement underscores that the Constitution is a product of the people’s will and seeks to establish a government that serves the people’s interests. Our Constitution established a system of representative democracy, where the people elect representatives to make decisions on the people’s behalf. This is evident in the structure of Congress (House of Representatives and Senate) as well as state and local governments. The Constitution includes a process for amending the document, which allows for changes and additions based on the evolving will of the people. The first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, protect the people’s rights and liberties. Only you can answer the question, are the people still in charge? “They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail” (Deuteronomy 28:44). As a reminder, the American Revolution was fraught with currency control, taxes, debt, eventually a complete attempt to remove colonial freedoms. It was a costly road to travel down.
What do you see on the horizon?
Population Growth is driven primarily by births and immigration. Like many other developed countries, the United States has an aging population. The baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age, placing pressure on healthcare, social security, and the labor force. The lack of clear immigration policies is having a substantial impact on the composition and growth of the population. The U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse, with significant growth in Hispanic, Asian, and multiracial populations. Population shifts within the United States have begun as people seek better economic opportunities, job markets, and concerns over personal safety. Natural disasters and climate change will also influence population shifts. For example, some coastal areas may see population declines due to sea-level rise and increased vulnerability to extreme weather events. These, by the way, are real events. What is controversial is how humanity can impact them.
The U.S. Constitution has three areas that describe the solution. They are:
- Article I, Section 8: This section grants Congress the power to levy taxes, regulate commerce, and make laws necessary and proper for the execution of its powers. These powers are given exclusively to Congress, not the bureaucracy, and are to be exercised on behalf of the people. They are subject to the people’s input through fair elections.
- Article II: The President, whom the people elect through the Electoral College, is the head of the executive branch of government and is accountable to the people.
- Article III: The federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court, interprets and applies the Constitution, ensuring that the government’s actions are in line with the principles and rights protected by the Constitution. The judiciary does not create laws or alter the U.S. Constitution. Only the “people’s representatives” do! Unless the laws are justly and fairly applied, our Constitution offers nothing to the benefit of the people.
Governments must exist to serve the will and interests of the people they represent. The Constitution outlines a process and system of government in which the people retain the power to elect their representatives, participate in the amendment process, and hold their leaders accountable through democratic processes. But let’s go back to the beginning. It is also all about sin and who is in charge. We must, as a nation, bring God back to our families, schools, and governments. God’s Truth must rule again! We must find leaders who have humble hearts and can lead us back to God. We will not win without God. We cannot win without God! But with God on our side, how can we lose? “Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. ~ William Penn
(Psalm 60:12-13) – “Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. With God, we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.”
- What are the issues before our nation that you see?
- Ideas to Explore: Are you happy with the status quo? Is our present debt a problem? What do you see as the risks of uncontrolled immigration?
- Why do you think our nation believes that it can survive without God’s assistance?
- Ideas to Explore: Ungodly leadership, removal of God from society, the love of self and sin, the influence of destructive people, a declining educational system, biased media, please add to the list.
- Do you think our nation still believes in God?
- Ideas to Explore: Where is the evidence?
- Can existential threats such as climate, immigration, debt, energy, war, and even racism be solved without God?
- Ideas to Explore: The American Revolution, and the creation of the U.S. Constitution were all done with full reliance on the providence of God. Can peace and prosperity exist without God?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations