Would God punish a nation because they do not worship Him? Will America feel the wrath of God if we continue our current moral plunge? Many people believe our nation is a “Christian” nation, immune from God’s disfavor. However, the Bible shows us that even God’s chosen people, Israel, felt the wrath of God when they rebelled against Him and rejected His rule. Nevertheless, even amidst judgment, there is hope; this passage also shows us that there is forgiveness when we turn back to God and worship Him.
This story took place during the reign of King Josiah of Israel. The previous two kings of Israel, Manasseh and Amon, rebelled against God, worshiped false idols, and led the nation of Israel into grievous sins. Manasseh involved Israel in fortune-telling and other occult practices; he even went so far as to burn his own son as an offering to false gods (II Kings 21:6). The Bible says that Israel, at that time, was worse than the nations God had driven out of the land on Israel’s behalf (II Kings 21:9). Israel’s actions provoked the anger of the Lord (II Kings 21:6). Manasseh’s son, Amon, was no better. In fact, he was so bad, that his servants rose up and killed him.
Many of us would look at this depiction of Israel and say they deserved God’s wrath because of their evil. But, are we so different today? In our society, we see that:
• Abortion kills more than a million unborn children every year. Is this not similar to sacrificing our children at the altar of selfishness? Too many women look upon children as an unwanted burden instead of the blessing God intended it to be.
• Superstition and false religion are accepted without question in today’s tolerant society. Many reject God and His rule while accepting everything from crystal balls to séances.
• Many worship at the feet of the false gods of money, fame, sex, and a host of other manmade deities. Our society’s focus on things that rot and rust is tragic. We will sacrifice relationships, health, peace of mind, and a host of other foundational attributes as we chase the ever-elusive “American Dream”.
God judged His chosen nation for similar sins; can America hope to escape His watchful eye?
In II Kings 22, King Josiah recognized the sinfulness of the nation (v. 13) and the consequences stemming from that sin. He initiated actions that would turn the people back to God and, as a result, God held off punishing the nation during Josiah’s lifetime (v. 20).
Second Kings 22:8, 11, and 13 tells us that the guiding factor in Israel’s repentance was the Book of the Law (the name given to the Old Testament before it was called the Old Testament). When the people followed the Word of God, and worshiped the God of the Word, judgment was averted.
It is the same for our nation today. America is suffering the effects of rejecting God. The first chapter of the book of Romans tells us that everyone knows they should worship God, but many still rebel against Him. God has told us that He created us to be in a relationship with Him. We are to recognize Him for who He is and to worship Him as Creator of the universe. He even sent His Son to die on a cross to make it possible for us to have that relationship with Him.
Nevertheless, there are many who choose to reject, rebel, and disobey God. There is no reason to think that our nation will not experience the same judgment from God as did His chosen people. When will we learn? God created us to live a certain way and, when we do not live as He instructs, we suffer the consequences. The choice is ours: to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, body, and spirit or to reject God and attempt to run our own lives guided by our own desires and motives. One way brings us salvation and eternal life; the other seals us in our sin and promises on an eternity of misery.
God has given each of us the ability to choose.
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