Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? ~Jeremiah 2:5
Today is July 4, and this year marks the 242nd anniversary of the United States’ Declaration of Independence. Fifty-six brave men signed their names to this declaration that they and their families would not live under the bondage of tyranny and oppression. They risked everything they had to declare that they would be free from an oppressive government, heavy taxation, and religious dictatorship. In the USA, we have a freedom unparalleled by anywhere else in the world. We have a form of government that strives for balance through the executive, congressional, and judicial branches. However, this country, which for the most part at one time was a God-fearing country, has become a country far from God. America is no longer anything that bears the semblance of a Christian nation. It is a pagan nation filled with false gods, idols, and a pluralistic mindset. Our devotion this morning centers on the question God asked in Jer. 2:5.
We see a nation that is blessed.
“Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord,” vs. 3. Israel was a nation blessed above all nations on the earth. Israel was a theocratic nation ruled by God alone. God redeemed them out of Egyptian bondage and slavery, brought them miraculously through the Red Sea, provided for them faithfully for forty years in the wilderness, led them into the land that He promised them, and gave them safety under the shadow of His wings. They were a peculiar people—the people of God. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance,” Ps. 33:15. Let us remember that these blessings are undeserved, and are all because of God’s grace and goodness.
We see a nation that is backslidden.
With freedom comes liberty that must be kept under check. Israel mimicked and followed the idolatrous examples of worship of the pagan nations around them. They invited these pagan practices into their worship by getting too close in their relationships. The first commandment forbids worshipping other gods. God knew that while coming out of Egypt, His people would be tempted to drift into idolatry again. The people practiced blended worship by worshipping God in pretense at the prescribed times of national observances, but worshipping the false gods of the heathen nations in their homes and on their rooftops. Idol worship comes with a shift in values, lifestyle, and consecration. Israel decayed into a nation that rejected God. They became unthankful for God’s blessings and salvation. They became belligerent with the prophets who preached to them to repent from their sins. They raised up pastors and prophets who preached messages that suited their lifestyle choices. God’s Word was despised, His worship was watered down, and His glory was defiled. They became a nation that was backslidden and far from God.
We see a nation that is berated.
“Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?” In essence, God was asking them, “What did I do to you that led to this backslidden rebellion?” “What did I do wrong?” Further, God told them, “Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” vs. 11-13. “What did I do wrong to you that you have gone so far from Me?”
That question is what God asks of America corporately, and to you and me individually. This morning, let us be thankful we are saved, are forgiven, and live in America. Let us take a moment to pray for America and its return to God through the churches and in our homes. Pray for revival, and remember the promise found in 2 Chron. 7:14.
Have a revived God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalm 106-107