Oh America, America...
By: Gary Hutchens
Toward the end of His ministry on this earth Jesus mourned over the spiritual condition of the city of Jerusalem, which was a representation of the nation of Israel as a whole (Matt. 23:37-39). He came to Israel as the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Savior (Isa. 53; Matt. 1:21-23).
As the Apostle Paul stated, God had prepared the blood line of Israel to be that through which He would send the Savior into the world. And, God prepared the Jewish mindset, by giving them the law of Moses and the prophecies, to put them on watch, to be looking for the prophesied Savior to come (Rom. 9:1-5).
God’s plan was for the Jews to spread the gospel message of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus throughout the world (1 Jn. 4:14). They were to be the springboard from which Christianity would spread. Instead, the vast majority of them rejected Jesus as their Savior and instigated His crucifixion (Acts 2:22-24, 36). This was also prophesied (Isa. 53:3). Their leadership was corrupt, and many of the people cared more about their social standing than their dedication to their Savior (Jn. 12:42-43).
Jesus lamented, mourned over the very people He was sent to call to repentance and to come to Him: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37).
The title of this article is, “O America, America...” That’s not a typographical error. It’s meant to show similarities between Israel of that day and the state of our nation today. Our leaders are not physically killing God’s prophets, but there is a progressive movement, decades long, to push God and the Bible out of the public and social mindset.
Prayer is frowned upon and, in many cases, legally challenged in public school settings, where our children are being molded to become the leaders of the next generation. Children have been disciplined for taking a Bible to school and privately reading it during their free time. References to God, Christ, the Bible, Christianity have steadily been legally removed from any public setting that has any identity with government.
Jesus went on to say, “"See! Your house is left to you desolate;” (vs. 38). That pretty well
describes the continuing degrading of our moral character as a nation. More and more people are turning away from God through their lifestyles, and our culture is suffering the consequences. Immorality and wickedness have become normalized.
Jesus then said, “for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” (vs. 39). At the end of vs. 37 He expressed His sorrow that He longed to gather the people to Him as their Savior, “but you were not willing!” Today, an increasingly smaller percentage of Americans want to follow Jesus. He told the Jewish people they would see Him no more until they were ready to accept Him as the Savior.
In the next chapter (Matt. 24), Jesus prophesied the destruction of Israel as a nation. Within forty years the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem, and Israel ceased to exist as a nation for almost nineteen hundred years.
What if God were to turn His back on America? God is light (1 Jn. 1:5-6), the source of all true goodness (Jas. 1:17). When a nation removes God from their national conscience, the darkness of wickedness and evil naturally moves in. That is happening on an ever-increasing scale in our nation right now, before our very eyes. We are not self-sufficient; we need God to sustain and continue to bless us. It’s time that we as a people wake up and recognize that God does not need us, we need God! “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.” (Prov. 14:34).
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Gary L. Hutchens