The title for this blog post is a portion of the Septuagint translation of Psalm 30:5. The rest of the verse reads, "weeping shall tarry for the evening, but joy shall be in the morning". I sense that we are in the midst of great weeping in this nation [and the world], and it may be difficult for some to even imagine that joy could exist in the morning. After all, people's lives have been turned upside down by sickness, unemployment, separation from family and friends, and fear of an unknown future. The truth is, none of us know how long this night of mourning is going to last.
I think a lot of people in the world can identify with David when he wrote this Psalm. I believe he perfectly describes our national psyche [before this chaos dawned] when he writes in verses 6-7, "I remember boasting, “I’ve got it made! Nothing can stop me now! I’m God’s favored one; He’s made me steady as a mountain!” But then suddenly, You hid your face from me. I was panic-stricken and became depressed." Can any of you identify?
We, in this nation, have lived a blessed life -- yes, there have been grave injustices in our history, and we still are far from perfect! We have a lot of work to do to overcome our sins, transgression, and iniquity. But so far, this is still a land of opportunity! I agree that the Beast System is desperately trying to establish itself, and the Christians who are awake can see the handwriting on the wall. But we must also admit that we have been complacent and content in our prosperity, and comfortable in a form of faith that didn't require much of us. Too many of us thought that just calling ourselves "a Christian" was enough to get us through this life until we could go to Heaven. Any difficulties would surely be short-lived because, after all, we live in America and God loves us, right? Like David, we thought we had it made and God would keep our path steady and sure. But now, it may seem as if He's hidden His face from you, too. Suddenly, this easy, grace-filled American life doesn't seem so stable. It's as if our anchor has come unmoored.
And all this makes me mindful of the history of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Once a unified nation; the apple of God's eye, and His chosen [favored] people, Israel suffered much because of their sins and rebellion. After the death of King Solomon, the nation split into two kingdoms, Israel [as the northern kingdom] and Judah [the southern kingdom]. The kingdom of Israel eventually was taken captive by the conquering nation of Assyria and its people scattered across the world. The kingdom of Judah found itself caught in the midst of continuing wars between Egyptian, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires, followed by subjugation to Persian, Greek and Roman conquerors. Although the kingdom of Judah no longer exists, God's promise to Abraham that through him, "all the families of the earth will be blessed" has found its fulfillment in Yeshua, Jesus Christ, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
But we cannot ignore the fact that Israel and Judah's rebellion against God was not overlooked by Him. Our God is a Holy and Righteous God; He will not tolerate continued rebellion. He shows us that over and over in the Bible, as His righteous anger falls on those who stubbornly persist in disobedience and following their own ways -- even if they are the apple of His eye. We can see by Judah's history of repeated cycles of rebellion, idolatry, and restoration, that YHWH is patient in allowing us to recognize our rebellion and to right it. But we can also discern that He is a just God, and He will not turn a blind eye to repeated offenses in which repentance is absent.
Both the nation of Israel and Judah paid a price for their repeated rebellion. As a 2009 article titled The Experience of Israel and Judah: A Lesson For Today informs us, "Israel [the Northern kingdom] was at the height of her power under this king. The period was one of great wealth, luxury, arrogance, carnal security, oppression of the poor, moral decay, and formal worship. The moral declension and spiritual degradation of the people were appalling." Furthermore, Judah followed in Israel's footsteps, and the article tells us they often lapsed into rebellion and idolatry; "they mocked God’s messengers, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against His people and there was no remedy" (2 Chronicles 36:16).
Sound familiar? Not every citizen of America meets those qualifiers, but we cannot ignore the social, moral and spiritual failings of this nation. We cannot say, "But I live a good life... I love God and worship Him in righteousness... surely God will not turn His back on me... we are a Christian nation!" But does the fruit of this nation bear witness to those claims? How do you think God looks upon us as a nation that consumes and exports pornography and child sex trafficking? How deep is the stain on our land of the blood of 60 million murdered babies by the abortion industry? How, in a land that is so rich and prosperous, are the poor getting poorer? How does He look upon our greed and idol worship of money, property, technology, fame, and worldly power, while rejecting the foundational principles of the Bible in our homes, businesses, and government?
How can we expect to escape judgment, when God, in His Sovereignty, let Israel and Judah, reap the errors of their ways? What has been the excuse of the Church as we find ourselves sliding down an ever steeper hill of moral decay? It's not enough to say we were in Church every Sunday! It's not enough to say we prayed for our nation! We were to stand up and challenge each and every move of the Enemy of God as he advanced his plan to eradicate the authority and supremacy of God Almighty in the United States of America. We were supposed to rise up in our identities as true sons and daughters of our mighty God, and bear semblance to His mercy and righteousness and justice!
Yet, here we find ourselves in a civil and moral battle with our fellow countrymen. There are plenty of prophets in the Body of Christ warning us of these things and the way we should go. Are our hearts truly prepared to take those steps? Can we wake up from our slumbering spirits and join forces in the spiritual realm to fight alongside the heavenly host to conquer the invading Anti-Christ spirit and his hordes? I can't imagine how terribly weary the angelic warriors are, waiting for us to get in the fight!
I want to finish by saying that I know I've painted a pretty miserable picture of the state of our Union, but I'm afraid when you look at the fruit we've produced, it's starting to spoil. We don't come off looking too much different than ancient Israel and Judah. I know God is not pleased with us and we deserve His anger. But I also know that He is a God of promises, and He does not break them. Yes, we must repent -- not only ask for forgiveness of our grievous sins, but change the way we think about what our purpose and responsibilities are to His Kingdom while we are here on earth. And then we must put on that spiritual armor that we've left rusting in the corner, and get in the fight! We can bring down the strongholds of the Enemy, and we can cast down all the evil imaginations that are being used to go against the knowledge of God. If we truly trust in the Lord, then let us sink our spiritual roots deep into the soil of this nation, and nothing the Enemy brings against us can uproot us. He promises to never leave nor forsake us, and He promises to heal our land if we seek Him and turn from our wicked ways. There is hope in the Lord's promises. Do not give up now and there will be joy in the morning!
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.