A Short Story
Written by Dr. Rick McGrath, Ph.D.
As history has been written, continues to be written, and will one day be written, historians will record Americaís decline. When they do, many historians will make comparisons between ancient Israel and America. ďWhat does ancient Israel have to do with America, you ask? ďItís simple!Ē Both were a nation by God and of GodĒ; To get a better understanding, it is necessary to take a journey into the past first to glimpse into the future.
Ancient Israel, the kingdom of Judah, was Godís chosen nation. The bible records ancient writing telling us that God favored Israel. God said, These are my people and I am their God. I will live amongst them.Ē Israel was under Godís protection. He lead them out of the bondage of slavery and into the promise land. Israel and God had a covenant. As long as they lived by his commandments, walked in his ways they would be under the hedge of his protection. As time passed, Israel who was truly blessed with every good thing began to forget their foundation, their purpose. A purpose that made them special in every way. They understood that as long as they worshiped God they would be the most blessed people on the earth. They also understood that if they turned away from God that he would remove their blessings and they would experience calamities from curses.
Gradually, though they were still using Godís name, but the meaning of God took on less and less meaning. They began to merge God with other gods of surrounding nations. At first, it was very subtle, eventually becoming purposed. Israel began taking God out of every part of their lives. They finally rejected the very standards in which their great nation was built on. They began to replace their spirituality with sensuality, holiness with profanity, and righteousness with self-interest. To put a final disconnect to their relationship with their God, they sacrificed their children to the gods of Molech and Baal. They had regressed to sacrificing their own children.
God being a merciful God, who wanted to hold back his just hand against his people Israel sent prophets to warn them to repent from their ways. Come back to him and live by the very values that were given. Instead, the people of Israel didnít want to hear let alone listen to Godís messengers. They took to running them off or worse tried to kill them. The life span of a prophet once they spoke for God wasnít promising. Prophets of the time understood this. We can reflect on the prophet Jonah who heard Godís message to go to Nineveh to give Godís warning. Jonah ran away from his duty and wound up in the belly of a whale. Though he finally repented, the point is prophets knew the dangers.
Biblical text lists prophet after prophet warning Godís people, pleading with them to return to God least they suffer the curses and judgments God sent the prophets to tell them. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, Hosea, and Amos all pleaded with Israel. Turn away, come back! Israel refused. So God had to use a stronger hand to try and get Israel to wake up. Around 732 B.C., God removed his hedge of protection from Israel. Their defenses were no longer invincible and unbreakable as a nation, now no longer protected by God had a crack in it. They suffered attack after attack.
Likewise with America. Like ancient Israel, America was conceived and dedicated to the will of God at itís birth. When the Colonists broke away from the Kingís rule, they saw America as the New Israel, Israel of the New World. They broke away from the bondage of the King to be set apart from the old ways of the world. A new land dedicated to God, and Godís principals.
The early Americans understood their success and fall would be based solely on their relationship with God. Success was going to be based on following the ways and commandments of God as it was in the time of ancient Israel. They believed that America would become the most prosperous, the most influential and strongest nation ever. No other nation in the recorded history of the world has reached the heights that America has reached.
America was Godís vessel to redeem, to be a tool of Godís purposes to give light to the world. America was the new promise land. A land that would give refuge to the poor, and a new hope to the oppressed. Itís purpose and mission was to confront tyranny, to stand up and fight the evil hand that threatened the earth. America as prophesied by itís forefathers would become the most prosperous, powerful and revered nation ever. America was truly blessed abundantly by God and America understood that. We honored God in our songs, in our anthems, our very declarations that we have written. We are one nation under GodÖ. When much is given, much is expected. When blessed as much as America has been, much is expected by the one blessing America. God!
Like ancient Israel we have replaced God with all kinds of idols. We donít call them idols anymore because when we think of idols it creates a thought of statues, golden claves and the sort. Our idols are those of tolerance of everything against God. Idols of greed, comfort, success, money, sexual immorality, self worship and so on. America has fallen asleep and has forgotten the very foundation on which it was founded. Our standards and values are no longer there. Those things that we called evil and wouldnít tolerate we now find acceptable.
God no longer matters. He has been removed from our way of life. Removed from government buildings, schools, the mention of God. There was a time when we displayed the ďTen Commandments.ď Like ancient Israel we have removed them from public view. Children are taught sexual immorality, prayer no longer welcome not only in classrooms, but on school grounds. Songs that are sung at graduations are cancelled in fear of insulting other cultures. Our National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance to our flag as one nation under God stripped. Most children today can not recite this. Replaced from our way of life the very things we were proud to showcase. We even sacrifice the lives of our children through abortion. In ten short years after removing prayer from public school, America legalized the killing of their unborn children. While ancient Israel had sacrificed thousands, America has killed millions. The blood of the innocent are on the hands of the nation. As a nation we will be judged. We are called to be holy as God is holy.
God has been trying to get America to wake up. America refuses to listen. Like Israel, God will continue to try and wake America up. It could be argued that 9/11 signaled something significant for the American nation. Has God tired of Americaís blatant disobedience? Has he removed his hedge of protection from America by allowing our great nationís defense to be penetrated and our battles lost? A nation that once was victorious in standing against the tyranny of evil, we struggle sacrificing thousands of lives in battle. Our prosperity vanishing and as a nation we are no longer revered. We look out and call other nations the axes of evil. As the rest of the world watches us and judges our actions, our way of life and our purpose of making war on other nations, theyíre calling us the axes of evil.
As in the time of ancient Israel, America has a chance to repent, to turn back and return to God. Only time will give us the answer. Will future historians record that America, like Israel had a chance to listen and act on Godís message and once again become the nation of moral standards and values that it was founded on or will history report like Israel, America was destroyed and itís people taken away?