Friday, August 5, 2016

America // Israel

Friday, August 5, 2016
What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws.  They deprive the poor of justice and deny the rights of the needy among my people.  They prey on widows and take advantage of orphans.  What will you do when I punish you, when I send disaster upon you from a distant land?  To whom will you turn for help?  Where will your treasures be safe?  You will stumble along as prisoners or lie among the dead.  But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied.  His fist is still poised to strike.   Isaiah 10:1-4(NLT)
Many Christian people (preachers especially), are fond of comparing the United States to Israel; we are called The New Israel.  In fairness (especially to the preachers) we do share many similarities:  a struggle for independence, a blessed, rich land, power, and a history of Godly purposes (albeit that similarity is also fading in modern America).

So, let’s just allow the premise for a moment and ask the question:

If America and Israel are two peas in JHWH’s pod, would the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob treat the USA any differently than ancient Jews?

My computer’s grammar-checker questioned the period at the end of Isaiah’s first sentence:

What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws.

Windows 10™ wanted to make it a question:  tell me about the sorrows, please.  Instead, that text is a declarative statementOh my goodness, what sorrow is going to leap on the leaders of my people who don’t lead with integrity!!!!  No asking; just God telling!

Fast-forward 2,776 years from Isaiah’s Jerusalem to today’s Washington.  If America is the New Israel, what would JHWH say if invited to speak in prime time at the Republican or Democratic National Committees’ conventions?

Would the message change?

Short answer:  I don’t think so!

I believe the lack of integrity in American politics has placed us in the same boat with ancient Israel; we stand in imminent danger of the hand of judgment for our sexual sins, our mismanagement of God’s resources, our failure to love our neighbor as ourselves, and an arrogance that says we are always right.

If we want to accept the mantel of being JHWH’s New Israel, we had better get used to the idea of just how repugnant our culture is to a holy God, and how ancient Israel got taken to the woodshed for just such an attitude of believing they could just live like they wanted, and not how the LORD required.

For You Today

No matter how the leaders act in Washington, here are the believer’s marching orders:

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
    and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8(NLT)

You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…have a blessed day!


[i] Title Image:  By Raymond1922A (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons & Lokal_Profil, via Wikimedia Commons

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