Is it Time to Listen to Jeremiah?

When Israel was consistently unfaithful to her God, He sent prophet after prophet warning of judgment. Finally, He sent Jeremiah.

Jeremiah has always been one of my favorite Biblical personalities because he is of that more Romantic temperament that weeps over bad news but stays the course. But he was seen by his people as unpatriotic.

I can’t help but think of Jeremiah when I think of my country, which I love. Prior to 9/11 it was common to hear Jeremiads in the evangelical press about God’s coming judgment on America for her many sins.

Her abortion sacrifices were compared to the children offered to Moloch. Her homosexuality was compared to Sodom and Gomorrah. And so on.

Some things that were talked about less: her godless striving for a centralized State (cf. God’s warnings to Israel when they wanted a king and his response to David for numbering the people) and her murderous foreign policy.

Our fear of the Soviet Union after WWII convinced us that we had to have the most powerful military the world had ever seen with the most elaborate spy network ever imagined. Maybe we did.

But we compromised our integrity in so many ways and in so many places that we are no longer the same kind of nation. We meddle in affairs wherever we come up with any national security excuse to do so.

We are fundamentally a frightened nation who cannot trust in God to keep us safe and secure and we are making an awful mess of it ourselves. On the right, this fear seems to have become the test for whether one is patriotic.

On the left, it’s a resisted necessity – protested on the streets but lived on in the family room.

Many things have eaten the heart out of our country. The one thing that is big enough to bring us down is our foreign activity.

What will happen next? Nobody, especially not the CIA, knows. Except this: having sown the wind, we are reaping the whirlwind.

I said before that prior to 9/11 we heard plenty of Jeremiads. Once, after 9/11, I was in a meeting where America’s foreign policies came up for discussion. I pointed out that it may be that God is sending judgment.

The room was all Christians. The response was icy. I was surprised. It seems obvious to me that we are a nation confused. It seems obvious to me that we have lost our way.

But now that the consequences about which my parents warned me since I was a child might be actualizing, it’s unpatriotic to suggest that God might be letting His statutes and counsels and law play out.

Yes, it’s depressing. It’s an awful thing watching a loved one die. But I don’t see us making it if the household of God doesn’t stop preaching about the sins of the world and start repenting of her own sins.

I worship a God of mercy and grace, but I must say, we’ve had so many chances already. Why would we repent?

Anyway, all this was triggered when I started reflecting on this article, and I think in political terms he’s probably right. Putting an end to the American Empire is the only way the American Republic can thrive in the coming century.

Take a look. Like Daniel, let us repent for the sins of our people, but first, let us repent for our own sins.

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