Anglican Morning Devotion for 27 November 2021 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”
(Psalms 33:12; all scripture quoted is from the king Jasmes Version)
I have had good friends and men of strong faith suggest that there are no Christian nations, nor ever has been such upon the face of the earth. I can understand their angst and frustration with the state of the world as we view it today, but I do not believe such a pessimistic view is credible or consistent with biblical truth. Just as there is no perfect Christian, there is no perfect Christian nation, but the character of a nation is defined by the collective character and beliefs of her citizens.
There is little doubt that the United States of America has been blessed to greater measure than any other in the annals of history. No other nation has been so favored by God in both battle and in the gift of Liberty and Justice. The Hand of Providence was overwhelming obvious in our founding as a nation and in the conduct of civil affairs from our inception. The greater the trust and faith in God of a nations people, the greater the blessings of divine beneficence. We have been a Christian nation, shall we return to that distinction?
If there is no Christian nation, what does the leading text from Psalm 33:12 mean? It refers not only to the nation as a whole, but to the individual faith of her people.
The leadership of a nation also reflects the character, or lack thereof, of her people. But nations are also blessed by Godly leadership. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Prov 29:2 (KJV) In a free society, the people generally choose rulers whose values reflect their own. When the rule of law has been corrupted and a people of valor fail to stand up to reform it, then despotism is at the gates of the nation.
When men loudly proclaim that ‘nothing has changed” in our society – that perversions have always existed at the present level, that disrespect for authority has never waxed less than today, that hedonism has always lived in the hearts of our people – then you will know that the Serpent of the Garden still speaks lies! We have descended in America into a morass of wickedness in which good is called evil, and evil is called good. There are subjects today that are discussed openly that would have resulted in prison time in my younger day. America has forgotten our Source of power. It does not lie in our collective power and goodness as a people, but upon our trust and reliance upon God Almighty to be the Sovereign of our souls and the Author of our Liberty.
Good King Josiah ruled in Israel at a time when Hilkiah found the Book of the Law given by Moses in the Temple. He gave the Book to Shaphan to read it to the King. “Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 19And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes.” (2 Chronicles 34:18-19) The King was much repentant at the hearing of the Law of the Lord and how far from it his people had fallen from observing it. He told his scribes, “Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book.” (2 Chronicles 34:21) The Lord had mercy on the nation for the duration of the rule of Josiah because he walked in the ways of the Lord after King David had done. Judah was spared the destruction it deserved for the duration of Josiah’s rule.
On another occasion, commander of the Assyrian army – Rabshakkeh under King Sennacharib – entered Samaria and took her cities, and broke down the walls of Lachish and ravaged her inhabitants. He then approached Jerusalem and threatened their trust in the Lord claiming the Lord had no power to save. King Hezekiah, a righteous king, repented in sackcloth and sent to Isaiah for a word from the Lord. We know the rest of the story. The Lord sent word to King Hezekiah that He would send a blast upon the Assyrian Army besieging Jerusalem, put a ring in Rabshakkeh’s nose, and draw him back to Assyria by the very way he had come. Next day, the men looked from the walls of Jerusalem and observed the Assyrian army laying dead upon the field.
God considers offenses against His own people to be an offense against His Divine Dignity and will intercede on the part of His people. Are we, today, the kind of people that we were two hundred years ago, one hundred years ago, or even fifty years ago? Does our trust in God justify His intercession on our behalf as He has done from our ancient founding as a nation among the nations of the earth? Time will tell. We MUST repent.