I am thrilled by that phrase. But a question arises in my mind, "Are we really?"
It's a sobering thought, isn't it?
I am deeply concerned about our great nation. And I am NOT speaking about politics here. Because no matter what your political affiliations are, as a Christian, you've got to be dismayed about the spiritual health of America.
I look beyond the political climate. Look at our culture, our morals, our values, our priorities. We are skewed and twisted – falling woefully short of God’s standards. Under God? Obedience might as well be a four-letter word…
It makes me sad, it makes me mad – and it makes me more than a little scared.
What's this country coming to?
Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" was an extremely timely passage, I thought. It's from the book of Malachi:
"'I am not pleased with you,' says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, 'and I will not accept your offerings. But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer…pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,' says the LORD…'But you dishonor my name with your actions…'" (Malachi 1:10-12)
Let's start with a little background on Malachi.
He was the last Old Testament prophet, and he preached about 430 B.C. The Israelites had returned to their homeland from exile, and the Temple had been rebuilt for almost a century. However, the people were losing their enthusiasm for worship. There was apathy and disillusionment because the Messiah had not arrived. Many of the sins that had led to the downfall of Jerusalem in 568 B.C. were still being practiced in Judah.
Malachi courageously confronted the hypocrites with their sins. He portrayed a graphic dialogue between a holy God and His hard-hearted people.
Though today's verses were originally directed at the priests, I think there's a universal message in there that can be applied to our country, too.
Are we callous about sin?
Are we apathetic about injustice?
Are we obsessed with our own pursuits?
Are we worshiping the idols of fame, fortune, and power?
Are we self-centered and proud?
Are we hypocrites?
Malachi dedicated himself to proclaiming God's message to his countrymen. He tried to give them a spiritual *wake-up call.* They didn't respond.
And then God was *silent* for more than 400 years. The heavens seemed closed to the nation of Israel. They heard nothing from God…
…until He sent His Son.
Sometimes I wonder – is God issuing us a warning? Are we on the brink of punishment? Are we testing His patience, and taking His favor for granted? Are we abusing His mercy?
God deserves our very best – our honor, respect, and faithfulness.
Where is our country on that one??
Where are we, as individuals, as believers?
Take today to evaluate the depth of your commitment to Christ. Test the sincerity of your worship. Ponder the direction of your life.
Are you a person who lives – under God?
I pray for a revival for our nation, a turning back to the God who has blessed us. I pray for the tide of pride and sin and corruption to be reversed. I pray for our leaders and our people. I pray…
But, I'm starting with me.
Lord, help me to honor You and Your name. Enable me to offer You pure offerings that are sweet and pleasing to You. Give me courage to proclaim You to others. And may I never dishonor Your name by my actions. Lord, help me to remain devoted to You – first and foremost, above all else…
Lord, let me live – UNDER. GOD.
What are your thoughts on the state of the union? How about the state of your own heart?
"When in doubt, search God out!"