DEUTERONOMY 15:4-6: “But there will be no poor among you; for the LORD will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess— 5 if only you will strictly obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today. 6 For the LORD your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: What is the “Key” to a Nations prosperity and peace? Is it the domination of one political party? Is it the best educational system? Is it social equality? Is it wrapped up in the life of a charismatic leader? The answer is – it is none of these!
In our short history as a nation we have elected charismatic leaders, and we have elected leaders who seemed to muddle through their terms of office. Our nation was not founded on the principles of “leadership”, but it was founded on the principles of “morality”. One of our Founding Fathers, and the first President of our nation, put it this way in an address to the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in North America:
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of man and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?
And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?
(Source: George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. XXX, p. 432 n., from his address to the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in North America, October 9, 1789.)
This is exactly what Deuteronomy 15:4-6 is exhorting us to. There is no nation that has ever done this perfectly. The Nation of Israel surely did not, and it is evident that the United States hasn’t either. Yet, we see an alarming slide in our nation from its’ original inception and purpose to what it is today. As a nation that was originally founded on the “moral principles” of the Bible we have experienced unprecedented prosperity and protection in our short 200 years. However, as we continue to move away from these moral foundations, we find ourselves in an ever weakened position. We are now at the mercy of enemies who do not hold even their own lives as sacred. Our national debt continues to rise. We are no longer the ones who were lending, but we have borrowed against our future leaving our children and grandchildren a mountain of debt.
Is there any answer? Is there any hope? It will not be found in politicians or policies. It will not come through an election cycle. It will not be realized through social or educational reform. IT WILL ONLY COME THROUGH REPENTANCE! IT WILL ONLY COME WHEN GOD’S PEOPLE REPENT! While we go to church on Sunday, and then on Friday or Saturday night we go to the movies and watch “50 Shades of Grey” – there is no repentance! How far have we fallen?
The promise of God’s Word still stands true! Repentance does not start with someone else – IT STARTS WITH ME! Lord, turn my heart fully toward You and fully away from the world. May Your Cross be my call and my strength. In Jesus Name!
“Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.” (2 Chronicles 7:12-15 ESV)