Sunday, August 7, 2011

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - One Nation...Under God?

One nation.

Under God.

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!"


  1. Your post today sure does give me a lot to think about.

  2. Good Morning, Sharon! Yes, sobering thoughts, indeed. And something ever on my mind as I must walk about the marketplace and what I see hurts. This is our sesquicentennial celebration weekend. I hosted the vintage family photo exhibit of Vineland history at the library yesterday afternoon - wildly successful - looking at the images of what the average marketplace of the VIneland public looked like, and the activities they took part in fifty and 100 years ago was delightful. Some of the young girls in the photos were there in person - now in their 90's!

    After that, we went to the city carnival and bar-b-que where we assisted by selling the bar-b-que tickets for four hours - a front row seat to what our hometown public looks like today. I was weary with pain at the apathy, crudeness, lewdness, foulness, and indifference we saw - in the musisc played, the dance groups (what kind of th ings are these dance studios teaching our sons and daughters to do with their bodies??) and packs of youth with not a rational thought among them. Forgive me for my harsh censure. Different activities appeal to different cross-sections of the public. The folks at the carnival weren't interested in our unique Vineland history and the sacrifices, vision, and hard work of the people who had founded and built this town through the mid-20th century. How far we had come from the founder's original intent of a planned community where "peace, decency, beauty, and education" were a top priority.

    How far Israel - perhaps ourselves - had come - currently are - from the original intent of our Creator.

    Sorry for the rant. My heart breaks. Mayberry is no more - and I mourn the loss. Just never feel at ease in this century, you know?

    Love ya!

  3. I think the same....I used tot think everyone who said they were a believer felt like me. But it's not true.

  4. Hi Sharon:

    Yes, this country needs revival, but as Christians it has to begin with us. I think that many have become complacent (I'm often guilty). First we need God to revive us!


  5. Excellent post, Sharon! I do think that our culture have become callous about sin. I think that sin to many has become watered down in the name of "acceptance". But we, as believers, can be bright lights in a nation that has many dark places. As you said, I'll start with me. I also pray that I never bring dishonor to God. I pray that in all I do and say and think, I show the love of Christ to all around me. Let's pass it on...

    Blessings, Joan

  6. Your thoughts are very similar to my thoughts about America, Sharon. When people say "God Bless America" (especially people that you might just question their faith just a tiny bit) you wonder which God they are asking to bless America. Is it the true God you and me worship and know to be the only God or a God they have made in their own image. I am with you; praying for revival and let it start with me.


  7. I don't think we are - and I think that is what our problem is. We are trying to take God out of the United States.

  8. You know, your comments both blessed me, and saddened me. Kathy, first of all, you spoke such heartfelt, and yet heartbreaking, truth. No one does seem to care about the past - nor about the people and the VALUES that made this country great. Indeed, Mayberry is a thing of the past, I'm afraid.

    I am gladdened that so many of you understood what I was saying - and that you stand in agreement about what's wrong with America. We are the remnant that God will use - hopefully we can influence others, and make our mark against the tide of Godlessness in this nation.



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)