"An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so!"
The following comes from a Bible study I am involved in, called Lord, I Want To Know You, by Kay Arthur. In referencing this Scripture, Ms. Arthur gives us this background ...... "The kingdom of Judah had refused to listen to God's words and had walked in the stubbornness of her heart. She had gone after other gods to serve them and bow down to them (thereby becoming useless!). The whole nation, except for a remnant, had corrupted themselves. The corruption had spread even to the top, polluting the priesthood. No longer could God accept them. Her had to call their sins to account. Judgment was certain. Nothing except repentance and a return to righteousness could stop it [the judgment]."
Now this Scripture applies to the ancient kingdom of Judah, but it could just as easily be describing America in the twenty-first century. That's what is so utterly amazing about the Bible! It speaks to believers throughout history. God has written a manual for how we are to relate to Him, and we are to learn the lessons provided within its pages and avoid the pitfalls and sins of historical mankind. But do we take heed? Of course not! We repeat the same patterns and receive the same discipline.
The United States was founded on Godly principles and He was recognized as having used His "Divine Providence" to establish this country. The first immigrants to this nation gave voice to their faith and worshipped the God who delivered them to this land of freedom and opportunity. Like Joshua, who led his people to take possession of the land of Canaan, there was victory when our Founding Fathers relied on His divine intervention to win the battle for our independence.
But then we've acted like ancient Israel. After Joshua's victory in the Promised Land, there came generations "who did not know the Lord.... and they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers." We have done the same. We have raised up generations the last few decades who have not known the God of their fathers. And we are paying the price.
Israel suffered for several hundred years (350 to be exact) until they finally rejected God "from being king over them" (1 Samuel 8:7). They wanted the prophet Samuel to appoint a king for them to judge them "like all the nations". Can you imagine? They had been made a nation above all others; the apple of God's eye. Yet they wanted to relinquish that special relationship to become equal to lesser nations.
Have we not done the same? Do we not have leaders who are telling us we are not "exceptional"? That we need to bring ourselves down to the level of other nations? But I declare that God didn't intend for the United States of America to be "like all the nations"! We have been the light of the world and the holy grail for every freedom-loving immigrant since our Founding. God intended for us to serve His purpose!
Yet, Jeremiah's words in today's Scripture ring true for modern America. The prophets, and those who command the ears of the people, are predicting and promoting a false direction for this country. We are headed the wrong way! And a growing number of priests, our church leaders, are not teaching the Gospel according to God's standards. They are preaching their own doctrine; taking the Divine Word and lowering it to fit man's agenda. And we love it! We want our ears "tickled", not reprimanded.
The result of following this course will be as it has always been. Judgment will come. God will not ignore our national sins. Corruption has spread throughout the land and unless we repent, as ancient Israel did so many times, return to God's ways, and live according to His standards, then we will suffer His righteous judgment. We need to continually be on our knees!