You have rejected us, O God, and burst forth upon us; you have been angry–now restore us!
God will never reject or turn his back on an individual that has put their faith in him. However, God has demonstrated that he can and will turn his back on a nation or group of people that have fallen away. The pattern in Judges is pretty clear: Israel sins, God gets angry, God sends prophet, Israel repents, Israel forgets, Israel sins again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
So the question that pops into my head (that I honestly don’t have a clear answer to) is this: Has God turned his back on America? Some preachers have pointed to everything from Hurricane Katrina, to the economic downturn, to the H1N1 virus as signs that God has become fed up with America and is handing us over to our sins.
I personally don’t think you can point to one thing and say for sure that God is using it to punish or forsake us. In the early 90’s there was a notion that God was using Aids to punish the homosexual community. A theory which I reject. We are not God, we cannot know what his motives or his ways are.
For the most part, I believe that hurricanes happen, economic markets go up and down, and strains of virus or disease cycle in and out of the greater population. These things have been happening for ages upon ages. Can God use them to carry out his will? Absolutely. Can we interpret these things properly without divine intervention? I don’t think so.
I’ve heard one pastor say that there is no mention of America in the Bible. No prophesy of a great power from the west. Nothing. Does that mean that the US will fall into a second rate afterthought by the end times? Maybe. But not necessarily. Again, consider the pattern in the Old Testament, this time in 2 Kings. God focuses on the way a King was or wasn’t faithful to the Lord. He skims over things our historians would write long books about. Take Jeroboam for example.
“As for the other events of Jeroboam’s reign, all he did, and his military achievements, including how he recovered for Israel both Damascus and Hamath, which had belonged to Yaudi, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?” 2 Kings 14:28
Perhaps America isn’t mentioned in the Bible because for all our wealth and power and military might, we cannot earn God’s favor or salvation without humbling ourselves (individually) before the Lord. God cares about our heart, not our might.
This country was founded upon principles pulled directly out of the Bible. Have we fallen so far out of God’s favor that he has turned his back on us or does he have a plan for us that we are unable to comprehend because we are mere mortals and he is God? Or is it a little bit of both? I don’t know.
Thoughts and feedback are welcome.