In the last post, I began my argument that we should take a good hard look at the dissolution of the ancient Kingdom of Israel for clues as to how a nation in covenant with God can find itself falling into apostasy and ruin. I see a lot of similarities between modern America and Solomon's kingdom of Israel. In this post, I will conclude my theory and then pray for our nation.
When we last left Solomon, he was nearing the time of his death and we had a pretty good picture of all the ways that he had enriched himself at the expense of his citizens. And we mustn't forget that Solomon defied God's command [in Deuteronomy 17:17] to refrain from marrying foreign wives. And he didn't just dabble in his rebellion, he flaunted it! The Bible tells us in 1 Kings 11:1, Now king Solomon [defiantly] loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women. The Lord became angry because Solomon began following the foreign gods of these wives, so God declared, "Because you have done this and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.". That became reality when Jeroboam, a member of the northern tribe of Ephraim met Ahijah, the prophet, on the road from Jerusalem and it was revealed to him that God would grant him favor, "[taking] the kingdom out of his (Solomon's) son’s hand and give it to you: ten tribes".
The prophet, Ahijah, effectively rendered God's divine judgment against Solomon for worshiping other gods and idols. These sins amounted to apostasy against God. So, when Solomon dies, and Rehoboam takes the throne, he has the opportunity to bring unity, reconciliation, and relief to the heavy burden of taxation placed on the people of the kingdom. When the people approached him for this relief, instead of listening to the elders who understood that granting relief from heavy taxation would result in a prosperous and happy citizenry, Rehoboam listened to his spoiled contemporaries who had grown up as recipients of the unfair and unequal taxation. They weren't about to advise the king to do anything that would decrease the riches they, too, were accumulating. This situation was in accordance with what was spoken to Jeroboam, so that God might fulfill His word spoken of by the prophet Ahijah.
I don't think it's too hard to see that our own government machine, and the politicians that benefit from their position in that machine, resemble Solomon, Rehoboam, and his counselors. To their way of thinking, taxing the populace is more preferential to sacrificing the monetary rewards of the offices they hold. Add increased taxes on top of an ever-expanding gap between the rich and the middle class and the poor, and you have an unhappy citizenry, just as Rehoboam inherited upon his father's death.
And let's not forget the military/industrial complex, which like Solomon's war machine of armies, horses, and chariots must be maintained and the machine constantly fed. Then there's the situation of wedding yourself to nations whose goal is to infiltrate and conquer. Sound familiar? And Satan is working in the midst of all of this, pulling the nations away from their original covenant and purpose. Greed, power, and self-enrichment soon develops into an appetite for more of the same, and serving God becomes a distant thought.
And that's what happened to the peoples of the kingdom of Israel. The people of the northern tribes aligned themselves with Jeroboam, who had been a great military leader during Solomon's reign, and they made him king. When Rehoboam heard of this rebellion, he prepared to go fight against King Jeroboam and his forces. But again, God used a holy prophet (Shemaiah) to speak to Rehoboam, the king of Judah, who said, “Tell Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and all the house (fighting men) of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people, ‘Thus says the Lord, “You shall not go up and fight against your brothers, the sons of Israel. Let every man return to his house, for this thing has come about from Me.”
Can you see that God may be doing the same thing with this nation? No one can doubt the acute division between the people of our nation. We've nearly reached a boiling point. But does God desire that this happen; or is He also calling us to "return to our homes" and resist fighting our fellow citizens because He is trying to call our attention to the ways in which we've deserted Him? Will we acknowledge our apostasy, or will we continue in rebellion?
Oh, Lord, let us learn from the rebelliousness that continued in the House of David! Do not let us be like King Jeroboam, of the northern kingdom of Israel, who doubted God's promise to him, and feared that if his constituents continued to go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at Solomon's Temple, their hearts would return to his son, Rehoboam, the king of Judah. So Jeroboam made two calves of gold for the people to worship, just as they had in the wilderness. Not only did he rebel against God's command to worship only Him, he appointed men as priests who were not from the tribe of Levi; he worshiped at "high places" and altars not sanctified to God; and held a feast, sacrificing to these golden calves at unholy altars, counterfeiting the holy Feast of Tabernacles, which was commanded by God.
The idol worship and apostasy against the Lord continued under the reign of King Jeroboam until "this thing (idol worship) became the sin of the house of Jeroboam to blot it out and eliminate it from the face of the earth" (1 Kings 13:34). The ten tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel would go into captivity by means of the invading armies of Assyria. The people would be carried to the nations of the world, most of them losing their identities as the chosen people of God. The nation of Judah didn't fare any better. They would also go to Babylon in captivity. But God knows who they all are, and one day they will return to their homeland (as they are beginning to do) in time for Jesus's return as their Messiah.
I've given you all this history for a reason -- are you able
to see the downfall of the ancient kingdom of Israel; a division that would
result in two nations, both of which eventually find themselves in open
rebellion to God and thrust into captivity to invading armies? Perhaps that
rebellion is the ultimate cause of all nations that become lost to history.
Will it become part of our history? We can certainly see the similarities with
where we've been and where we are headed... a nation that came into existence
because men fled religious oppression, and as God's people, felt called to
America as their Promised Land.
But increased prosperity and power in the world comes with a price. And our citizens are burdened with heavy [and inequitable] taxation. Our leaders have forgotten the promises of God and the purpose this nation was established. They have listened to bad counsel and lost sight of the needs of the people, while enriching themselves. They have gotten into bed with foreign governments, and have abandoned their obligations to their own people. Like Solomon, they have developed comprehensive and costly programs that result in a depleted treasury and mounting debt that is heaped on the backs of the citizenry. Solomon had multiple palaces built for himself; our politicians own multiple homes. The similarities are glaring!
And the biggest renunciation of the One who set the boundaries of this nation according to His plans that we honor and uphold His Kingdom on earth, is this abomination ... In order to set aside their rebelliousness against the God who founded this nation (yes, go back and read Part One's citation of Deuteronomy 32:6-9), our law-makers remove Him from His position of authority in our government, our schools, and our way of life. The apostasy is as apparent as it was in the days of Solomon. And, if we are not deliberate in restoring it, our path is due to mimic the downfall of the kingdom of Israel.
Our nation is already divided, and millions of people have been led astray. They worship idols of self, destruction, and death. It's apparent in our policies of abortion, the handling of Covid protocols for the elderly, and in the growing influence of ideologies such as socialism and communism. Our status as a nation upholding the principles of God is in dire jeopardy of being lost. Invading armies are watching us closely to see if we will be able to survive as a unified and strong nation.
And, yes, I hear the voices of today's "prophets"... some declaring that "revival is on its way" and "Jesus will deliver us from this chaos" ... while others warn that our sins are catching up with us, and our God is a righteous God who will not tolerate the evil of aborted babies, nor honor our free will choices to remove Him from all that is at the heart of this nation. So, what do you think? Will we follow in the footsteps of the kingdom of Israel? Or do we still have time (and the will) to return to being a God-fearing nation who can forgive our brothers and sisters for the evil we've done to each other, and restore our hearts and spirits as a Godly nation? Are we still entitled to the inheritance that God gave us when this nation was founded, as it is stated in Deuteronomy 32? And are we able to look in the mirror and see ourselves in the Light of Jesus? Do we have Leaders who are still clean in heart, mind, and spirit to lead us out of this darkness and division? I pray that we can look at the lessons of Solomon and the divided nations of Israel and Judah.
One thing is crystal clear: God does not tolerate the transfer of the honor and worship that is due Him to any other being or object [or philosophy or ideology]. And He has no problem, in His Sovereignty, of disciplining a nation by sending it into captivity -- or even removing it altogether. Do I think America could play a part in transforming the world into the Kingdom of God? YES! But not as long as we ignore the commandments of our Holy God. And that goes for our government, our citizenry, and our churches. We all have to take some responsibility for where we find ourselves. I just pray that we recognize our sins before it is too late, and that we come together in true and authentic unity, harmony, and solidarity. We are on the edge of either divine restoration or diabolical destruction. Now is the time to get in the game if we are going to save our nation!
So, it is only fitting that I ask you to join me in the following prayer that is inspired by Asher Intrator, who leads a Messianic ministry in Israel. He has been leading a group in prayer for America, and I ask that we come together in agreement with them as they pray for us: We feel led to come together to stand as one family with the United States of America. We cannot let go of what God has gripped us with -- America was birthed out of covenant with the Lord. She has justice and righteousness engraved in her foundations. While our hearts are at rest, as we trust in Him, we take our place as His ambassadors on earth, declaring that the kingdoms of the world will become the Kingdom of God. Despite any earthly differences, we want to rise higher, pray for this godly nation, and declare that the Lord's purposes and dreams [for America] will be fulfilled. Who can stop the Lord Almighty and His family? So, we come together to stand with America as a representation of His heavenly government.
And all God's children said, "AMEN"!
Acts 17:26-27 And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories. This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.