Tuesday, September 13, 2016
A horrible and shocking thing has happened in this land—the prophets give false prophecies, and the priests rule with an iron hand. Worse yet, my people like it that way! But what will you do when the end comes? Jeremiah 5:30-31(NLT)
Whenever Jeremiah entered the room it was never a sign that the party was about to kick the fun level into high gear. Known as the weeping prophet, he was probably not invited to many frat parties or fundraisers anyway. However, when JHWH sent a prophet to do his job it wasn’t for a few laughs or just an evening’s entertainment to please the crowd. A prophet’s words were meant to send a wakeup call!
These words of Jeremiah’s should have done the trick.
In that day the leaders of Israel were corrupt and falsely proclaiming to the people that even though the sins of the nation were a stench in God’s nostrils, everything was OK and the false prophets were agreeing with the leaders. The people didn’t need to worry, everything was under control…go back to sleep, it’s all good.
Thirty years later Ezekiel echoed Jeremiah’s warning:
“This will happen because these evil prophets deceive my people by saying, ‘All is peaceful’ when there is no peace at all! It’s as if the people have built a flimsy wall, and these prophets are trying to reinforce it by covering it with whitewash! Ezekiel 13:10(NLT)
The leaders of Israel didn’t listen to Ezekiel any more than they listened to Jeremiah. The party continued, with the people lulled into a deadening white noise of how invincible we are, and how great we are, and we are just fine…go back to sleep.
Largely there is the same kind of flamboyant charlatanism on the political scene in America today. We are supposed to trust our leaders to lead us in the ways of freedom and justice. We are reassured because the party conventions are slick and showy, proclaiming that it’s all good…and we should go back to sleep for another political cycle; not to worry!
But, back to reality – God is looking down at both the malaise of the citizenry in America and the disingenuous chicanery of political bigwigs clawing their way to the White House with mud-slinging in every direction, and JHWH shakes His head; whatever happened to the promises of Plymouth Rock?
From One Nation Under God[ii]:
Alexis de Tocqueville was the famous 19th century French statesman, historian and social philosopher. He traveled to America in the 1830s to discover the reasons for the incredible success of this new nation. He published his observations in his classic two-volume work, Democracy in America. He was especially impressed by America's religious character. Here are some startling excerpts from Tocqueville's great work:
Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things.
In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.
Religion in America...must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief.
I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion – for who can search the human heart? But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.
In the United States, the sovereign authority is religious...there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.
In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people...
Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent...
I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors...; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.
Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.
America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.
The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.
If indeed America is to be “great” again, it will not be because we are led into great djeals with other nations, or more organized government run programs; greatness is too connected with goodness to fall victim to sleeping while the new emperors prance around naked.
God may be patient, but there is an end to every road that leads away from Him. America’s greatness will be found in returning to God…and in no other way!
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