Having sown the wind for generations, is America now reaping the whirlwind? Our institutions are in chaos; our youth are in bondage; our churches are in decline; our government is in turmoil, and our foreign policy is in retreat. Moreover, our nation is experiencing astronomical debt, disease, anxiety, sexual confusion, agricultural calamity, and increasing foreign influence. These are the same corrective judgments God promised to use to draw Israel’s heart back to Himself (Deut. 28:15–48):
- Curses, confusion, and frustration in the peoples’ endeavors (v. 20)
- Disease and illness (vv. 21–22, 27–28, 35)
- Poor harvests, famine, and drought (vv. 22–24, 38–42)
- Military defeats (v. 25)
- Anxiety (v. 28)
- Oppression and robbery (vv. 29–34)
- Ridicule and mockery by other nations (v. 37)
- Increased foreign influence (v. 43)
- Increased debt (v. 44)
How is it that our nation is perpetually frustrated in these same ways, regardless of which political party is in power? Perhaps the reason we cannot seem to resolve these problems is because they are the consequence of our national war with God. As such, the solution will never be found in government, the judiciary, or in social justice reforms. They may simply be the consequence of God gradually removing His hand of blessing and protection from our nation.
These issues provide a kind of litmus test to help nations evaluate their spiritual condition. Habitual patterns of national difficulty encourage us to question whether they may be symptomatic of a spiritual ailment. Even disease and natural disasters may have a supernatural origin (Eze. 14:12–20; Amos 4:6–11). Rather than dismiss such difficulty as ordinary, or as the result of poor political decisions, we ought to be discerning enough to recognize that God may be attempting to capture our collective attention, hoping that we will respond in humility and once again draw near to Him.
This is illustrated in God’s lament over Israel:
What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem,
the city of violence and crime!
No one can tell it anything;
it refuses all correction.
It does not trust in the LORD
or draw near to its God.
Its leaders are like roaring lions
hunting for their victims.
Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time,
who by dawn have left no trace of their prey.
Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain.
Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God’s instructions.
But the LORD is still there in the city,
and he does no wrong.
Day by day he hands down justice,
And he does not fail.
But the wicked know no shame.
“I have wiped out many nations,
devastating their fortress walls and towers.
Their streets are now deserted;
their cities lie in silent ruin.
There are no survivors—
none at all.
I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now!
Surely they will listen to my warnings.
Then I won’t need to strike again,
destroying their homes.’
But no, they get up early
To continue their evil deeds.
Therefore, be patient,” says the LORD.
“Soon I will stand and accuse these evil nations” (Zeph. 3:1–8a).
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