“Eventually that entire generation died and was buried. Then another generation grew up that didn’t know anything of God or the work he had done for Israel.”
– Judges 2:10 MSG
The cry throughout our land the last few weeks has been a consistent “with all the millions of people we have in this country, how did we end up with these two as our only choices?” The answer to this question is a fairly simple one – we “The People” have allowed it to happen.
While that answer may be a blinding flash of the obvious when viewed through the lens of the Primary Season, the reality is that we have ended up where we are because of seeds we have sown as a nation over the course of the last five decades:
- We allowed it to happen in 1973 when the Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade
- We allowed it to happen when as a nation we have stood by and witnessed in silence the murder of 58 MILLION unborn babies since that 1973 decision
- We allowed it to happen in 1962 when the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Engel v. Vitale to remove prayer from public schools
- We allowed it in 1963 when the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Abington School District v. Schempp to no longer allow Bible readings in public schools
- We allowed it to happen as we’ve belittled and devalued the importance of marriage in our society
- We allowed it to happen with the invention of “No-Fault” divorce that now stands as the law of the land in 49 of 50 states
- We allowed it to happen as we’ve watched the number of out-of-marriage births skyrocket to almost one in every two births as a nation
- We allowed it to happen as the number of fatherless homes in our country in 1960 (approx. 11 million) has grown to over 33% of all homes in our country today
- We allowed it to happen when we removed corporal punishment from the schoolhouse and replaced it with counselors and “safe places” for emotional expression in fear of hurting someone’s feelings
- We allowed it to happen when we replaced dinner around the table with TV trays and remote controls
- We allowed it to happen as we have dumbed-down at least two generations of individuals and turned them into zombies walking with their heads down buried in their iPhone
- We allowed it to happen when we placed convenience over sacrifice in the way we live our lives
- We allowed it to happen as we went through our days more concerned about the cause of Blake and Miranda’s divorce, than we are about the neighbor down the street that is struggling to put food on their table
- We allowed it to happen as we’ve driven our children from ballfield to ballfield on Sundays teaching them that the god of (feel free to plug in your sport of choice here) is more important than the God of the Universe
- We allowed it to happen as we’ve been more concerned about preparing our kids for Harvard than we are about preparing our kids for Heaven
- We allowed it to happen as we have idolized the gospel of prosperity over the Gospel of Christ; as we’ve allowed our church houses to become concert halls led by rock stars and not hospitals for hurting and injured people seeking a Great Physician.
- We allowed it to happen because we have failed to tell our children about Jehovah-Nissi, Jehovah-Jireh, Jehovah-Rapha, Jehovah-Rohi and Jehovah-Shalom
- We allowed it to happen because we have forgotten our first love (Rev. 2:4) and replaced it with the love of the god of Self
- We allowed it to happen because even though we have a clear picture of what happens in a Godless society, we have not learned from history and are repeating the immoral behaviors of the nation of Israel during the time of The Judges
Over the last few weeks, I have spent an inordinate amount of time studying the Old Testament and the history of the nation of Israel around the time of The Judges and the eventual Kingship of Saul that the people demanded. Through that study, it amazes me how those times parallel who we are as a nation today. It also amazes me how the leadership of our country has – for the most part – been a reflection of who we are as a country; just like the nation of Israel’s desire to have a king that was a reflection of their country.
In Judges we read how there would be peace and prosperity in the land when a righteous and Godly leader was given to the people by God. On the high end, that time may have been as much as 80 years (Ehud) or as little as six years (Jephthah), but after each judge there was a period of time that the nation of Israel “…did what was evil in the sight of the Lord...they forsook the Lord and did not serve him.” This phrase – or some form of this phrase - is mentioned in Judges 2, Judges 3, Judges 4 and Judges 6 and each time I read that phrase, I could not help but think of how our country has done what is evil in the sight of the Lord; we have forsaken the Lord and do not serve Him.
Eventually, the nation of Israel wanted a king to rule over them, someone that looked like them and someone that let them look like the nations around them. They wanted someone that would allow them to “be like the nations around us,” 1 Sam. 8:20. Even though Samuel tried to show the elders their misguided path, he still took their request to God and again, as I read this I could see God saying the same thing to our country today…“Go ahead and do what they’re asking. They are not rejecting you (Samuel). They’ve rejected me as their King.” – 1 Samuel 8:7 (MSG).
As we have rejected God, we have turned into a nation of ego-maniacs that believe that there is only one way to do something – MY WAY! We have no patience for anyone that differs from our opinions; we have no time for someone’s opposing view even though they just might have a better way of accomplishing a goal or task. We’ve become a nation that has dignified and aggrandized sex, drugs, pornography, cussing, alcoholism, lying, cheating, public displays of lewdness, disrespect of authority including law enforcement, clergy and political leaders and all other behaviors that we allow into our living rooms each night when we turn on any cable channel, or turn a book like 50 Shades of Grey into a New York Times Bestseller!
When we look at all of these behaviors that are mirror images of who we have become as a country over the last half-century, are we still shocked that the two presidential candidates we have to choose from to be our next leader are two people that embody today – or have embodied in their past – many of these characteristics? As my dad used to say, “be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.”
In the end our nation is not going to be saved by Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or anyone else in Washington. The only way that our nation will be saved is the way that every person, tribe and nation has been saved for the last 2000 years – through the blood of Jesus Christ. Radical change is something that must start at an individual heart-level – not at a national level. It starts in my house and your house. We will return to a nation of greatness when our houses once again become houses of prayer; houses that have a mom AND dad present that are more concerned about their children’s eternal destiny than their children’s collegiate destiny. Houses that understand that real “facetime” is when we sit at the dinner table praying, reading God’s word, eating together, sharing stories about our day, teaching life lessons that will stand the test of time. Houses where more time is spent at the table or in the kitchen than in front of the TV or computer watching the latest reality hit show or sporting event. When we turn our houses and neighborhoods back to God, we will then be able to make the changes needed to get our church house back to God. When we do that, we will then make changes that will turn the local schoolhouse and courthouse back to God, the statehouse and eventually the White House.
Regardless of who we decide to put on the throne in Washington in two weeks, the real decision that we all must make is who rule on the throne of our hearts today? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
I Choose Now!