Yesterday, I wrote about “Forgetting Our Heritage”. While we can quibble all day about whether or not the USA is a “Christian nation”, it is disingenuous to ignore that our forefathers based our government on what they perceived to be Christian principles. Yet, today’s history books have virtually taken a giant eraser over anything that mentions “God” or “Christianity”.
I also mentioned that David Barton of WallBuilders spoke on this topic for the podcast Focus on the Family. His emphasis was very different, but he did mention how when ancient Israel forgot God, bad things happened to them. He even used that as an example for what can happen to our nation today!
OK, he fell short of what some of us would call a warning message, and I’m sure he doesn’t understand that many in the USA are descendants of ancient Israel, but it is still a sobering reminder of the importance of the righteousness of a nation.
We in Church of God (COG) circles often talk about national leadership and how important it is. Our leaders can take us down a path of prosperity and success, or they can take us down the road to ruin. We also talk of how God often sets up leaders according to what we deserve. A righteous nation is much more likely to have a righteous leader, while a wicked nation is much more likely to have a wicked ruler.
One thing I want to talk in more depth tomorrow is the fact that just because God does not deal with wicked people right away does not mean a group of people is righteous. In other words, a lack of immediate punishment is not an indicator of God’s favor. The caricature of God sitting up in Heaven with lightning bolts in His fist ready to zap people at the first sign of transgression is highly inaccurate and unbiblical.
However, let us not forget that righteousness will bring automatic rewards. We need to focus in on the fact that God setup His laws and decrees for our benefit, both individually and collectively. It is hard to get an STD when you are chaste, for example. Blessings can even extend to those around us. On the other hand, the fruits of wickedness can bring misery to all around us as well.
When we are wicked, we allow wicked rulers to take hold of the land and lead us collectively down the path to ruin. When we are self-seeking, then aren’t we more likely to put in charge people who seek their own? When we are righteous, though, we aren’t very likely to put up with unjust rulers. When we are loving, kind and just, how much more likely are our rulers to be loving, kind and just? We get the type of rulership we deserve.
Can this principle be applied to a church?