01/07/Th – A Nation in Crisis

1 Chronicles 1:34-2:17; Acts 23:16-35; Psalms 4:1-3; Proverbs 2:1-5

Psalms: “Answer me when I call, God, who vindicates me. You freed me from affliction; be gracious to me and hear my prayer. How long, exalted ones, will my honor be insulted? How long will you love what is worthless and pursue a lie? Selah Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭4:1-3‬ ‭CSB)

It has been suggested that Psalm 4 is paired with Psalm 3 – that both Psalms were written during Absalom’s rebellion against King David. Psalm 3 is a prayer for the morning and Psalm 4 is prayer made at night. Both were written in a time of national crisis. Over a course of time, Absalom (David’s son) endeared himself to the people of the nation… making empty promises and claiming that, were he in power, things would be so much better. Eventually, Absalom proclaimed himself king and an angry mob arose to force King David from power. As David always did in times of crisis, He lifted up his hands, turned his eyes upward, and cried out to the Lord. After all, it was the Lord who chose him as king… it was the Lord who forgave him and showed him mercy when He sinned… it was the Lord who saved him from so many afflictions in the past – so it would be the Lord who would vindicate him now. Instead of forcing his will and demanding his rights, David humbled himself and trusted in the Lord’s grace. You see, the people had taken their eyes off the Lord and placed them on the promising person of Absalom. Blinded by their own self-serving desires, they began loving what was worthless and pursuing a lie. By turning their allegiance to Absalom, not only were they insulting the honor of David, God’s chosen – they were insulting the honor of God himself. David knew that if He remained faithful to the Lord and did not fall into sin, the Lord would continue setting David apart from the masses… the Lord would hear his prayer… and the Lord would preserve his kingship.

In the United States, God does not choose our leader – the people do. President Trump was not, nor is not God’s chosen leader. President Elect Biden is not God’s chosen leader either. In this nation, as the people go, so goes the nation. The quality and nature of our leaders is a direct reflection of the character, priorities, and values of the people. Can those leaders become instruments in God’s hands to bring about His purposes? Yes. Can those leaders be anointed and blessed by God for leadership? Yes, they can, provided they humble themselves and seek the Lord and His righteousness. However, in this age and for the rest of eternity, the only King that has been chosen by God is Jesus Christ. He and He alone is the rightful ruler of our nation and the nations of the world. When we who call ourselves Christians… who claim to be the people of God and followers of Christ, turn our allegiance from God to others, we insult the honor of Jesus and we insult the honor of God. It grieves me to say that God has been greatly insulted in recent days. What must we do in this time of national crisis? Lift up our hands in surrender, turn our eyes to meet God’s face, humble ourselves, repent of our waywardness, and cry out to God for mercy and grace. God will hear the cries of His faithful ones (provided we are truly faithful) and will heal our land as He heals peoples hearts through their repentance and faith in Him.

Proverbs: “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, listening closely to wisdom and directing your heart to understanding; furthermore, if you call out to insight and lift your voice to understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭2:1-5‬ ‭CSB)

This is the voice of “wisdom,”speaking to his child – but we can infer (because God is wisdom and wisdom comes from God) that this is the voice of the Lord God speaking to all who would desire to be known as His. This truth is applicable for the lowest third-world poverty-stricken peon all the way up to those who have reached the highest echelons of political power and influence. God desires to be known and He desires to grace people with His life, wisdom, power and glory. However, God’s grace is extremely conditional. To receive His grace, we must accept His words, treasure His commands, listen closely to His wisdom, stretch out and open our heart to His understanding, and primarily pursue His word, will, and ways with devoted passion. Oh, if the people of our nation would repent and heed this advice… if our elected officials would repent and heed this advice… if those in power and influence would repent and heed this advice – then God would truly bless America – for America would be a nation that truly blesses God.

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