JEREMIAH 7:3-7: “This is what the LORD of the Heavenly Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Change your ways and your deeds, and I’ll let you live in this place. 4) Don’t trust deceptive words like these, and say, ‘The Temple of the LORD, the Temple of the LORD, the Temple of the LORD,’ 5) but rather, truly change your ways and your deeds. If you truly practice justice between each person and his neighbor, 6) and if you don’t oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, and don’t shed an innocent person’s blood in this place, and if you don’t follow other gods to your own harm, 7) then I’ll let you dwell in this land, the land that I gave to your ancestors forever and ever.” (ISV)
OBSERVATION:America stands at the crossroads. This is the thought that rushed to my mind as I read these verses from the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah was proclaiming the Word of the Lord to a rebellious nation (Judah) who was falsely trusting in their heritage and position. They were the chosen people of God, and they had the Temple. Surely judgment would not come near their door!
I think the Church in America may be in danger of having the same attitude as the Nation of Judah. We trust in our religious surroundings, and in our national heritage. Surely judgment will never come near our door. Yet, this is a false hope and assurance. We cannot hope in things that are made of brick, wood, stain glass, or tradition. We cannot take ease because our flag is made of red, white, and blue, and we have been victorious for these many years. David proclaims in the Book of Psalms,
- “The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.” (Psalms 33:10-12 NKJV)
We are not saved by our history, by our military, by our economic status, or by our false security in piety. A nation is only preserved when God, the Creator of the Universe, is Lord! This is how our nation began. The founding fathers knew this principle and it is evident in all of our founding documents. Yet, just like the nation of Israel and Judah, time and time again we drift away from this truth. And just like Judah we cry – “America, America”(“The Temple of the Lord, The Temple of the Lord”), as if this alone will save us. David goes on to write,
- “No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.” (Psalms 33:16-17 NKJV)
I am not a doomsayer. I am an optimist by nature. I always believe in, always hold out for, the best to come to pass. Even now I am praying for a great awakening in our land. In reading the history of past great awakenings, the spiritual condition that existed in America was just as bad as the one that exists today. God is full of lovingkindness and great mercy. Judgment is His strange work, and restoration flowing out of repentance, is His heart. Yet, we cannot simply cry out “Peace, Peace” – when there is no peace. We must call all men and women to seek the Lord, while He can be found.
God did not preserve His own Temple simply because it was built in Jerusalem. The nations of Israel and Judah refused to repent, and the glorious Temple that Solomon had built finally laid in a rubble of burnt wood and broken down stone. Ultimately America will repent – or America will cease to be the America I have known and loved throughout my lifetime. Like Jeremiah it grieves my heart, and I do not write this warning lightly, or with any satisfaction.
I realize that repentance is not the job of our nation as an entity. Repentance is the job of the individual. Repentance begins with my heart and life! Lord, search me this morning and try me. If there is anything in my life that is displeasing to You, grant me the grace to turn from it in true humility and repentance, and turn fully to You. Help me to love only You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Bring revival to my heart, and let me be a flame of Your love that ignites others to turn to You in their lives.
LORD, BRING A GREAT AWAKENING TO OUR LAND ONCE AGAIN!
In Jesus Name!