Will Our Country Be Ancient Israel or Nineveh?

And there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this is new"?
It has already been in ancient times before us. - Ecclesiastes 1:9-10

One of the great things about the Bible is that it gives us guidance for the future by showing us the past.  As we begin 2021 we find ourselves at a crossroads as Americans.  Both of the possible paths we can take have been tried before so we know what fate will await us depending on which we choose.

The first option is to choose a path that was taken by ancient Israel in the Old Testament.  Israel started as a great nation given prominence by God under the leadership of Kings David and Solomon.  They then fell into idolatry and wickedness, were split in two, and throughout their history were rebuked and given warnings by God through His prophets such as this one by Jeremiah:

‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; I will not cause My anger to fall on you.  For I am merciful,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not remain angry forever.  Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the Lord your God, And have scattered your charms To alien deities under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord. – Jer. 3:12-13

The Israelites did not heed the warnings of the prophets and continued to rebel against God.  The consequences were harsh.  God removed his hand of protection from them and allowed the Babylonians to conquer the nation, destroy the temple in Jerusalem, and carry the people off into captivity. 

The second option is from another place talked about in the Old Testament, Nineveh.  You may recognize Nineveh because it is known mostly from the famous Bible story that we heard as children where Jonah is swallowed by a whale.  Many of you probably do not remember the rest of the story.  Here is a refresher.  Jonah was called upon by the Lord to, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.”  (Jonah 1:2)  Instead, Jonah decided to board a ship heading the other direction.  God sent a storm.  Jonah realized that the storm was because of him so he told the sailors to throw him overboard, and God sent a great fish to swallow him.  Jonah prayed and God had the fish vomit him onto the shore.  Jonah finally went to Nineveh and warned the city that they would be overthrown in forty days.  Sounds familiar, right?  Those stories almost always ended with the people rejecting the prophet’s warning and God destroying the city, but the story of Nineveh ends differently.  The people of Nineveh believed God and repented.  Jonah 3:10 explains, “Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.”

As you can see, God is merciful.  Now I am going to put on my prophet hat and shout a warning to the United States.  Thus saith the Lord, our country is heading towards destruction.  You may think I am going to say that our country’s problems are due to bad political decisions giving Democrats too much power, and that is certainly true, but it is ultimately only a symptom of our situation and not the root cause.  The real reason for all of our troubles is the same as it was in the Old Testament; because we have turned from God as a nation.  Electing a great President like Donald Trump who enacts the policies that God wants in place is fantastic, but by itself that is only a temporary speed bump to slow down the decline of the United States. Winning an election is only a short term solution, as we now see.  The only way to really preserve America is for us to repent and turn back to God. 

We need a religious revival.  That is our one chance to avoid national destruction.  If we argue about political issues without having the same values in the first place, our side will struggle to win people over.  We have to first convince people that they need to get closer to God and embrace the values He imparts to us through the Bible.  Once that happens the nation will heal and thrive.  Think about it.  If an overwhelming majority of Americans turned to God and biblical values we would always elect pro-life candidates who value religious freedom, individual liberty, and support for Israel among other things.

Unfortunately, for now we are facing judgment from God.  He didn’t even have to do anything supernatural to punish us.  He is letting us rain down judgment on ourselves by giving Democrats power.  Joe Biden is our punishment.  He will likely cause more suffering than a plague of frogs ever could.   He has already promised to eliminate friendliness and smiles by mandating we cover our faces like we were under Sharia law.  He will almost certainly add crippling regulations to our economy leading to financial hardship for millions, especially small business owners.  In Israel God used attacks by foreign adversaries to judge his people and I fear that Joe Biden’s probable return to policies of appeasement toward terrorist nations like Iran will make it likely that they will achieve nuclear capabilities in the near future.  This could be a very dark time in our country.

We have a choice though.  As God says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  As you can see, we cannot avoid punishment without doing a couple of things.  First, humble ourselves and pray.  Second, we have to turn from our wicked ways.  That entails a lot of things. 

Usually when God spoke about wicked places in the past there were a few main areas that needed work.  One was violence and the spilling of blood.  That means we need to end the rioting and lawlessness that has gone on for a while now in our streets.  We also need to support our police who are trying to clean up the crime in our country.  It also means that we need to end the evil practice of abortion.  How can we expect to continue being blessed by God when over 800,000 babies are murdered every year?

Another major area of disobedience was sexual immorality.  That does not just mean the obvious offenses.  Yes, homosexuality is a sin that has become acceptable, and even cool in today’s culture.  This new trend of choosing your gender is also wrong.  As the line from the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Kindergarten Cop says, “Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina.”  However, sexual immorality also includes far more common things like sex outside of marriage.  In fact, 59% of Americans have cohabitated with a partner and 65% think that cohabitation is a good idea.  All of these things need to become unacceptable again.

There are many other things that are mentioned in the Bible like idolatry (putting other things ahead of God), stealing, dishonesty in business, and slander.  Obviously, in a country as big as ours we cannot completely eliminate these sins, but we can certainly change our outlook towards them and greatly reduce the behaviors.  Remember, God is merciful.  We can choose the path that Nineveh chose and heed my warning.  We cannot continue down the path we are on.  Repent and turn to God!