American culture seems to have changed a lot in the past fifty years or so. The word “righteousness” may not even be in the vocabulary of some people, although the word “sin” is well understood. So what is meant by “righteousness versus sin”?
As always, we turn to God’s Word for wisdom. What does it say about righteousness anyway? Let’s take a look:
Righteousness is translated from the Hebrew word “tsdaqah”, which means justice, morality, or virtue.
And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness. ~Genesis 15:6
In the Bible (KJV) the word sin is translated from the Hebrew word “chatta’ah”, which means offense.
So what is Proverbs 14:34 telling us? A country is respected when its culture and laws are based on fairness, rightness, and morals. Other nations notice and seek alliances with such a people. God has blessed America with wealth and prestige since this nation was founded on a constitution that honors God’s laws.
So what has happened? Where are we now as a people? What is our crime rate? What is our global reputation? Is the United States of American respected around the world? We were once a great world power, but that has weakened in recent years. Why?
Could national sin be a factor, and should we heed the warning in Proverbs 14:34? Much could be said about moral decline in our country, yet God’s Word says “for ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. Since God Himself is righteous, and we were created in His image to be righteous (or like Him), there seems to be a big problem with “falling short of glory” (caused by our sin).
Faith without works is dead. ~James 2:20. What does that mean? To me, it means we are to live our faith as a lifestyle. Americans have and still do send aid, the gospel, military support and much much more to the entire world. Isn’t that works? What is our true calling as a nation? I have heard one minister state that God calls each person to serve Him in some way, but if a believer does not respond, over time God sets that person aside to live out a self-centered life. God’s blessings are withheld accordingly.
Does God also “set aside” nations who turn from Him? That is a chilling thought, but I wonder if America is not coming under judgment at this time. Our nation is declining so rapidly since 911, I am convinced that the solution is not political, but spiritual. We are so concerned about “political correctness” yet things just seem to get worse for our nation. What used to be called right is now wrong, and vice versa.
Where is our righteousness as a people? I pray for our national heart to change toward God instead of away from God, so our nation will not be a reproach, or covered in shame; may we then be described this way:
And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. ~Isaiah 54:13-14