But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes, and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them… ~2Chron 7:19-20a
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
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? ~Psalms 27:1a KJV
Have you ever been gripped by paralyzing fear? Most people would say “Yes”. Yet we suffer from anxiety and fear needlessly. God wants us to take it to Him right away. His Holy Spirit brings instant peace if we cast our cares upon Him.
There are many mornings that I pray for God’s guidance during the day, and then by noon I am feeling frustrated, scared, or stressed for whatever reason. It took a long time, but I am finally learning to stop and ask, “Please, Lord, settle my spirit now!”
Believe me when I say that He has never failed me when I ask Him. Within minutes I am wondering why I was so upset and fearful. Thank you, Father, for always being my rock.
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock. ~Psalms 27:5 KJV
15Hear and pay attention, do not be arrogant, for the Lord has spoken. 16Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings the darkness, before your feet stumble on the darkening hills. You hope for light, but he will turn it to utter darkness and change it to deep gloom. 17If you do not listen, I will weep in secret because of your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly, overflowing with tears, because the LORD’s flock will be taken captive. 18Say to the king and to the queen mother, “Come down from your thrones, for your glorious crowns will fall from your heads.” ~Jeremiah 13:15-18 NIV
Oh, America! Listen to God and not to vain, foolish politicians. Put your faith in the Lord and give Him Glory. Repent, pray, and watch His mercies and blessings rain down from heaven upon our nation again!
If God is calling you, He will open the doors. You can trust that He has already prepared the way. For one thing, He does not need your money, status, or anything but your willingness to serve Him. That is what gives Him glory!
I have felt called by God to do certain things when “doors” have suddenly opened, yet as soon as I prepare to walk through those doors, they immediately slam shut! I was so disappointed and frustrated until I realized that God was teaching me something.
The lesson for me was: It was only necessary for me to be willing to answer His call! Our Heavenly Father wants to know if we will show up for work!
He later opened new doors of opportunity and allowed me to serve Him. My new assignments were His most perfect plan for me.
Have you ever experienced God’s call? Have you been willing? Can He count on you to show up for work?