From time to time, I read a passage of Scripture, an article, or hear a message that is so gripping and prophetic that I immediately call out for God’s mercy. The “Thought for Today” that I received from Chaplain Grant Wolf (www.ChaplainGrantWolf.com) for July 20th is one such article. He provides a beautiful explanation and time-line of the United States’ descent into complacency and immorality, and highlights God’s judgment that comes upon nations that turn from God. I sense the warning in his tone, and appreciate his recent sobering comments.
I hope you will take the time to read the article and allow God to speak to you through it.
July 20 Thought for Today – “The Fate of Nations”
The Lord is known for His justice.
The wicked have trapped themselves in their own trap.
The wicked will go down to the grave.
This is the fate of all nations who ignore God.
When we think of the word “nation,” we usually think of a geographic location with established boundaries, e.g. the United States. But the word “nation” refers to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent or history. In short, it is a body of people who inhabit the land; they are who God will judge.
The nineteen-thirties and forties were “hard times” for the people of the United States and much of the world. First, the nation went through “the Great Depression” and then World War II. It was a time of great stress and fearfulness, with most churches full every Sunday and many people looking to the Lord for their guidance, protection and comfort. Financially, few had money to spend during the depression. With everybody at work during WW II, people had money, but rationing and production concentrated on the war effort offered little to buy.
Finally in 1945 the war ended, the men came home from battle, and sixteen-years of pent-up needs came bursting through the seams. Colleges and universities were filled, new houses, appliances and cars were needed, and wartime innovations (plastics and plywood, to name two) brought new industries and full employment. The work-week shortened from six to five-and-one-half days, then down to five. Suddenly, with two-day weekends, money and cars, people began to “break out of their routines,” seeking adventure and excitement. With the advent of interstate highways in the late 1950s, people could go faster and farther than ever before – and they did, often leaving their extended families and old way of life behind. Walt Disney added to the enticement, introducing the nation to mega “amusement parks,” which began to replace National Parks and monuments as the “destination of choice.”
With their new-found freedom, people begin to ignore God. Weekends became “family time,” devoted to going to the lake, holding barbecues, just “hanging out” with nothing pressing to do. As our wants increased, more and more families became two-income families, and weekends became the time to get chores done. Sunday were a time to “sleep in, read the paper, have a late brunch, and just vegetate.” We became sports-minded families, either driving great distances to see “the game,” or following our children to various locations as they participated in tournaments. In short, we ignored God, replacing Him with “self.” Ignoring God and not knowing His word, we allowed government leaders, the liberal media, “political correctness” and other forces to creep in with ideas which have influenced our nation into the “trap” mentioned in the Psalm above.
In Mark 7:6-7, Jesus said this about the Jews: “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God. For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” While the United States is not Israel, I’m afraid we are in the same state as a nation that Israel was when Jesus spoke those words. Today, we have substituted “man-made ideas” for God’s commands, ignoring God in the process.
And as He said in Matthew 23:13: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” We must not let that be our fate!