I am often impressed by what the Bible said centuries ago and how it still speaks to situations we find ourselves in today. What Daniel said in a passage I read recently reminded me of America, even though he was talking about the nation of Judah–
We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
O LORD, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day…
O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. [Daniel 9:5-10]
Daniel looked back at the mess Judah was in and got a godly impression of how they ended up in a bad way. This led to his honest confession about sin. With regards to America, it seems like there is always some polling organization doing a survey every year showing Americans feel that our morals are getting worse. Even in the midst of the promising results in our recent elections, a Wall Street Journal/NBC news poll showed a majority of Americans still feel there won’t be a whole lot that will change in the political/legislative arena.
Like Daniel, many are wondering how we got where we are today and he tells us all we need to know. If we are honest with ourselves, we can see we are like Judah in that we have sinned and rebelled against God’s precepts and judgments. Our government, community, and business leaders as well as the general masses have not listened to what God has said in his word through his prophets and apostles.
God has shown himself righteous while our sins have resulted in “confusion of faces”, as Daniel puts it. This “confusion of faces” speaks of how we, like Judah, struggle with what direction our nation should go in and also speaks of how we bring shame by our actions. But this is what typically happens when God’s principles are rejected in a society. What happened to Judah is also an example of what happens to any society that rejects Yahweh–the destruction of that society is inevitable.
However, in the midst of Daniel’s assessment, there is a ray of hope and reason to be thankful. Daniel points out that even in the midst of man’s rebellion, Jehovah is a merciful, forgiving God. Even when we get caught up in our sinful ways, God does not immediately give us all the punishment we deserve. He gives us time to turn down the path he wants us to walk in. He stands by and holds back more severe punishment with the wish that we will humble ourselves by admitting our wrongs, turn away from our sinful behavior, and cling to his commandments. This is also what God does in our personal lives. As the psalmist said, “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities,” [Psalm 103:10].
And this is one of the things I am thankful for. We as a nation founded on godly principles and on God’s precepts, even in times when we have messed things up on a grand scale, have been shown God’s excellent mercies and our nation still has great promise. I pray that God’s patience with us will result in positive spiritual results that he is pleased with, especially in the continued spread of the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
So thank you, Lord, for your righteousness, mercy, and forgiveness toward us and for blessing these United States with a significant number of people who are devoted to you and to your true church.
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–