Read: 1 Kings 18:17-40 (Read Again!)
As I said previously, I personally believe that America is under God’s judgment. In this series, I want to show how far we as a nation have drifted from our roots, from our Christian foundation. To do so, I want to compare our nation to the nation of Israel by going back to a time in their history when they were a divided kingdom. God raised up the Assyrians to attack and destroy the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. It is also important to note that the southern kingdom, Judah, was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C. King Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah in 589 B.C. In the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign (2 Kings 25), the Babylonian army broke through Jerusalem’s walls conquering the city.
After the fall of Jerusalem, the Babylonian general Nebuzaraddan was sent to complete its destruction. Jerusalem was plundered and Solomon’s Temple was completely destroyed. The survivors were taken to Babylon where they were held in captivity for 70 years. You would think the southern kingdom would have learned something from the destruction of the northern kingdom. But it just shows how rebellious mankind is and how stubborn our hearts are.
Our country is a lot like Israel. Think of Christopher Columbus as our Moses. Moses led the Israelites through the Red Sea, whereas Columbus led us through the Atlantic Ocean. On August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail. In his journal he wrote:
“At a very early age, I began to sail upon the ocean. For more than 40 years, I have sailed everywhere that people go… It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures…encouraging me continually to press forward…The fact that the gospel must still be preached to so many lands in such a short time, this is what convinces me.”
After the longest voyage ever made out-of-sight of land, Columbus discovered the New World when he landed in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492. I believe God had our nation in mind when He sent Columbus on this sailing expedition.
Our forefathers would follow 128 years later and settle in this new Promised Land. Another 150 years would pass before our nation would begin to take root. On July 3, 1776, the day after Congress approved the wording of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, on what he had shared in Congress, and with prophetic insight, declared the importance of that day:
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
On July 9, 1776, the Continental Congress moved to establish prayer as a daily part of this new nation. General George Washington, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, issued the order to appoint chaplains to every regiment. The order called on…
“Every officer and man…to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.”
John Adams wrote in his journal on February 22, 1756, forty years before he became the second President of the United States of America:
“Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited…What a Utopia, what a Paradise would this be.”
That was the hope and prayer of our second President. On March 6, 1799, President Adams called for a National Day of Fasting and Prayer.
I have a copy of The New England Primer. It was first printed in 1777, and it became our nation’s first textbook. For 100 years after its introduction, it was THE beginning textbook for students and was used until 1900. The Founders, as well as most other Americans, learned to read from The New England Primer and the Bible. This is how the alphabet was taught. ‘A’ In Adam’s fall we sinned all. ‘B’ Heaven to find, the Bible Mind. ‘C’ Christ crucified, for sinners died. ‘D’ the deluge drowned, the earth abound. ‘E’ Elijah hid, by ravens fed. By the way, this textbook was approved by the then Department of Education.
The Supreme Court Building was completed in 1935 in Washington, D.C. Engraved in stone above the head of the Chief Justice are the Ten Commandments with the American eagle protecting them. Moses is included among the great Lawgivers.
Just like Israel, our nation was established as a nation under God. For the record, I am aware that Israel was actually a theocracy and we are not! Nonetheless, just like Israel, we have gradually, over the course of time, turned away from God. In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court removed prayer from our public schools. In 1973, the Supreme Court’s historic Roe v. Wade ruling secured the right to legal abortion. Since then, over 60,000,000 babies have been murdered. And what do we call this right to have an abortion—choice. Pornography is rampant. Homosexuality is embraced by the church. And materialism has become our golden calf.
What happened? What is our problem? Our problem as a nation is that we have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed after other gods. This is our problem! So, let me ask you a question and give you a choice. Here is the question: How long will you waver between two opinions? Either follow God or follow the gods of this world system. This is the choice that lies before you and me. Look back at verses 20-21. Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah then went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. But the people said nothing.”
I wish everyone in America could read this message. Not because I’m an eloquent writer, because I’m not. But what I’m saying is the truth and America needs a wakeup call. That is exactly what God through Elijah was giving the Israelites—a wakeup call. Understand that God gives wake up calls because of His mercy! He could just destroy us. Why doesn’t God just destroy us? 2 Peter 3:9 states, “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God doesn’t destroy us because He is merciful. The question is how are we going to respond to his mercy?
Next week, we will continue to consider how America has turned away from God and has turned to idols that cannot save us or satisfy. Stay tuned! Amen!