Today, the world is crazier. With the war in the Ukraine and China poised to do the same in Taiwan, one might ponder the question: does God ever give up on a nation? Does God have a red line for those who deliberately do morally wrong things? The question goes far beyond the acts of war around the world. We should also worry about our own nation. Is there a point of no return?
We have a sovereign God. This means that the designer and creator of our universe is also its supreme ruler. Worldly kings and queens, earthly monarchs, and presidents are powerless before God. However, no nation, or individual, is ever totally beyond hope. God can bring new life to even the coldest heart or the most rebellious nation.
Psalm 85 comes from about 520 BC, just after the Jewish nation came back from its exile in Babylon. The psalm begins with Jewish history:
(Psalm 85:1-3)1NIV New International Version Translations – “You, Lord, showed favor to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins. You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger.”
God had been angry with his people. After 70 years of captivity, the king of Persia beat the king of Babylon. Cyrus, the King of Persia, sent the Jewish people back to Jerusalem. After their return, things did not get better. They had not rebuilt the temple or restarted their worship. There was a drought so there was not much food. The people cried out and asked God for help.
(Psalm 85:6) – “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
God’s answer, in verses 8-13.
(Psalm 8:8-13) – “I will listen to what God the Lord says, he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly. Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.”
When people or a nation repeatedly disregard God’s ways and continually follow paths that are destructive and immoral, there is an eventual reckoning with God. It is paid by nations through conflict, social disruption, and war. It is paid as individuals through addictions, broken relationships, unhappiness, and even death. While the Bible warns, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. … Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction” (Galatians 6:7-8). Our response should never be to give up in despair. First, our response should be to ask God to bring revival to our hearts. We need a revival of love for Christ and His Word “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and. … love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31). It is time to pray for our nation, for other nations of the world, and especially for the leaders who hold the lives of their citizens in their hands.
(Romans 1:18) – “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,”
The wrath of God is admittedly not a popular subject in the world, and not even a very popular subject in the church. However, God’s wrath is central to any understanding of the gospel. God’s wrath is often thought of in the terms of catastrophic events. But what happens when God turns His back to a nation when God exercises the “wrath of abandonment.” Frightening to think that you might be abandoned by God. Your opportunity for salvation is past. The promised day of grace is over. What would the signs of abandonment look like?
A nation would be defining its sin, picking and choosing from God’s Truth. The people would be free to make all their own choices and bear the consequences of those choices. The freedom to sin would be fueled by the removal of God’s restraining grace. Sin can run rampant through a nation when there is no restraining grace. Sin becomes both the cause and effect of moral decay. Society no longer tolerates anger against sin. A nation’s society then feeds itself on sin and wants no one to deny its iniquities. Truth is suppressed. The last and most frightening thought is that human reasoning becomes so corrupted that it is crippled. The intellectual faculty can no longer function. The moral law of God written in the heart is crushed and replaced with cultural immorality. The human conscience can no longer function. Cancel Culture reigns supreme!
The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness against those who suppress God’s Truth. There is no more positive evidence of a corrupted, wicked abandoned society than when that society will not tolerate anger against sin. But God says people have a choice. Revive God’s Word. Allow the people to listen to it, learn it, and, most importantly, live it.
(Psalm 66:7) – “He rules forever by his power, his eyes watch the nations—let not the rebellious rise up against him.”
Genesis 1 describes for us not only the fact of an ordered creation by God, but also God’s response to His creation. Five times, God stands back and looks at His creation. Each time God says, “And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1: 4, 1:12, 1:18, 1:21, 1:25). And when all was finished and man and woman were created in His image, it says, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” God was pleased, happy with His creative effort. God will not destroy it. God desires to save it!
In times like these, it’s easy to lose focus and hope. God created us to know Him, love Him, serve Him, and spend eternity with Him. It is time to ask for His forgiveness. You know, the forgiveness that comes through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21) and His death on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Imagine our nation filled with dedicated servants of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Imagine our nation filled with people building their character, not on the cultural values of the moment, but upon the values of the perfect Word of God. Our nation can get there, that place of humility and obedience before God. It is time, WE NEED A REVIVAL!
- There are no Godly Laws against righteousness – Where do you see the assault on righteous behavior in our society?
- Ideas to Explore: Cancelling financial accounts of people just because of their views? Social Media censorship of conservatives? Jailing of dissidents without trial or specific charges?
- Do you see any laws created against righteous behavior?
- Ideas to Explore: First Amendment, Second Amendment, other Bill of Rights violations?
- While God holds out hope for everyone, do you think people can go too far?
- Ideas to Explore: What would you consider going too far for a society? How would you know if God has abandoned a nation? What are the obvious signs?
- Who should start the REVIVAL?
- Ideas to Explore: The people, how? The churches, how?
- What is the one greatest contribution you can make to our nation?
- Ideas to Explore: Pray, read and study the Bible, carefully consider your choice of leaders, do more research before forming opinions, trust God more!
- 1NIV New International Version Translations