So obviously most of America is spewing with news of the recent riots in Baltimore. As I see the “post vomit” of the news and all the hateful words and racist comments being passed around social media, I can’t help but feel defeated. In response, I can’t help but ask God why in the world is this happening in America of all places.
God made something very clear to me this morning.
He made it clear that this isn’t new for the human race. We have been doing this since the bible days, and the only similarity that links us to the people then is SIN. Yeah that’s right I said it. People don’t like to be called out for their sins, hence the reason people hate Christianity, but regardless WE are all sinners. That’s not what I came to talk about though.
I came to share a story from Nehemiah, a book in the bible. It comes from chapter 9. The people of Israel have just been released from enslavement AGAIN and for those of you who do not know, the Israelites were God’s chosen people. He loved them and He freed them from enslavement in Egypt to bring them to the Holy Land. On their way from Egypt God guided them and performed miraculous things to prove to them that He was with them. To name a few, before escaping Egypt God brought horrible things into being for the Pharoah of Egypt, who didn’t want to release the slaves. God sent locusts to eat all their crops, He turned the waters into blood, and finally He had all the firstborn sons killed to convince Pharoah to let His people go. Finally he agreed, but as the people left soldiers followed. God split the seas for the Isrealites to cross, swallowing up the enemy as they followed. He also guided the people by a cloud during the day and a fire at night so they could find their way.
Even as God did all these miraculous things to free the people and bless them with this land, the people turned from Him. They even worshipped a golden calf instead of the God who had PROVED Himself undeniably to them. They blasphemed Him and in stubbornness and arrogance they paid no attention to His commands.
So our merciful God, being just, had to give consequences for their disobedience. God allowed the people to wander for 40 years. Even though that generation would not see the holy land God promised, He sustained them with manna from the sky and water from rocks. He also never let their feet swell, shoes tear, or their clothing wear out.
Then God allowed them to conquer nations and take over the promised land. He made their descendants plentiful as the stars in the sky. He protected them from their enemies and He have them cities and homes fortified with goods.
Again they were disobedient to Him. The Isrealites turned their backs on the law and killed the prophets who tried to warn them. So God handed them over to their enemies, who made them suffer. Again and again they repeated this process.
So in this particular story this generation of Isrealites have been saved from enslavement again and God has mercifully restored them to their land. The people have realized their sin and stand before The Lord fasting and confessing while they are being reminded of the law.
The people cry out to God saying, “So now today we are slaves in the land of plenty that you gave our ancestors for their enjoyment! We are slaves here in this good land. The lush produce of this land piles up in the hands of the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They have power over us and our livestock. We serve them at their pleasure, and we are in great misery.”
This my friends is America today. If you haven’t seen the pattern yet, we are the Isrealites. God has given us this country and He gave it to us initially as a blessing, but we have turned from Him. Now being the just and fair God He is, we are being turned over to our enemy for suffering. The only problem is the enemy is ourselves. We are out here fighting and killing our own people. God is trying to awaken this country and make it turn back to Him and follow His commands, and until we do we can expect great suffering.
I just thank God for His mercy today. I also thank God for the end of this chapter where the people make a covenant, a solemn promise to obey God and turn from their sins. America, we have the solution, and most of us have it in our homes. Usually it’s left dusty wasting away on a bookshelf. I encourage you to open your bible today and read the story in Nehemiah chapter 9. I also pray that we Americans will turn from our sin and will follow the example of the Isrealites and agree to obey God today before we all have to suffer.