I believe that more and more Christians recognize that we are very near the Last Days, if we have not already entered them. Yet, I also perceive that many American Christians, are choosing to place their hope in what they understand to be a special covenant with God at the founding of our nation. This is largely based on the declaration of Reverend Robert Hunt, Chaplain of the expedition that founded Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. The expedition dedicated our country to the glory of God by planting a wooden cross in the sand, and praying: "We do hereby dedicate this Land, and ourselves, to the People within these shores with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to raise up Godly generations after us, and with these generations, to take the Kingdom of God to all the earth. May this Covenant of Dedication remain to all generations, as long as this earth remains, and may this Land, [along with England], be Evangelist to the World. May all who see this cross remember what we have done here, and may those who come here to inhabit join us in this Covenant and in this most noble work that the Holy Scriptures may be fulfilled".
A most noble and God-honoring dedication it was, and like the covenant God made with Abraham, these first founders of our nation hoped for the same promises of a Land, descendants, and blessings. But I think it is important to understand that God's covenants are unilateral, not bilateral. In other words, covenants with God are not made between two equal parties, consisting of God and man. It is God who initiates a covenant, determines its elements [or components], and confirms His covenant with humanity. We are recipients of any covenant God might choose to make with us; we are not contributors or partners of the covenant.
Man cannot simply declare a "Covenant of Dedication" with God and assume that God has established it. On the other hand, I do not doubt that God was pleased with such a Dedication and that as long as this nation remained faithful to such a declaration, that we might expect to retain the Land and receive His blessings. In that sense, we [the United States of America] must ask ourselves these questions regarding our self-proclaimed Covenant with God ... Does God ever abandon His covenants in the Bible? Does God provide for both blessings and curses within His covenants? And finally, is the current state of our nation because WE have abandoned our founding covenant?
It is important to understand how the Bible presents covenant with God. In the Old Testament men "enter into" (Deuteronomy 29:12) or "join" (Jeremiah 50:5) God's covenant. They are to obey and "carefully observe" all the commandments of the covenant, and above all else "love the Lord thy God with all their heart, and with all their soul, and all their might". God's covenants were always a relationship of love and loyalty between the Lord and people He chose to represent Him. It is man's response to God's covenant grace and promises that contributes to the fulfillment of those covenants. We must understand that God not only makes/establishes and keeps the covenant, but man has responsibilities under that covenant.
So, what happens if we don't fulfill or carry out those responsibilities? If we don't follow His commands and principles; or if we follow after other gods; or we don't give Him all our love and loyalty? Does He simply forgive us and maintain the covenant? I maintain that this nation has failed Him on all those fronts. I am not condemning the faithful servants of the Lord who have remained in personal covenant with Him, but we must remember that the rain falls on the just and the unjust, and what God has to say about the sin of a nation affects us all.
In that vein, there are a couple of Old Testament Scriptures that we should keep in mind. We know that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments as precepts of blessing His covenant with the nation of Israel. But it didn't take long for them to break their vow to be obedient, which resulted in the curse of the covenant: And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you” (Exodus 32:9-10). Again, in Deuteronomy 28:58-64, God gives this stern warning: “If you are not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God, then the Lord will bring on you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions, afflictions severe and lasting, and sicknesses grievous and lasting. And he will bring upon you again all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. Every sickness also and every affliction that is not recorded in the book of this law, the Lord will bring upon you, until you are destroyed. Whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, you shall be left few in number, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God. And as the Lord took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the Lord will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it".
I know this is the God of the Old Testament, but it is the same God of the New Testament and I believe He views disloyalty and sin the same today as He always has. In Jeremiah 31, God announces that He will make a New Covenant “with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” Remember, it is important to recognize that this covenant is created directly with the people of Israel, not with people of all nations. Contrasted with the Mosaic covenant, this New Covenant will be “within them,” and God will write it “on their heart.” Therefore it is very significant for God's chosen people, Israel. Under this unconditional new covenant with Israel, there will not be a need to teach the Law, because each man will have the opportunity to know the Lord when he calls upon His Name, and He will forgive their sin.
There are blessings and curses associated within the boundaries of His covenants. And we are "heirs" of the covenants God made with Abraham, Moses and David. We are partakers of this new covenant, with the opportunity to receive the blessings if we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and the Messiah -- or we can expect judgment if we reject the conditions of the Covenant and the ways of the Lord.
He hasn't changed how He views covenant, and whether we receive blessings or curses for being in covenant with Him, is dependent on us, not God. He is ALWAYS faithful to fulfill the promises of His covenant IF we remain in obedience. He never abandons the covenant, and we are only cursed if we abandon Him. It's been the same since the beginning of time and the Creation. He is a faithful God, but He is also a God of Judgment. He is willing to restore His covenant with us, if we are willing to repent and return to Him. Whether this nation remains under His protection and blessing depends on our renouncement of our sinful ways and a desire to return to the ways of the Lord.
God has a plan for these Last Days. The plan has never changed. It is just as He stated in Jeremiah 29:11 ... He knows the plan He has for us -- all who have faith in His Son -- and it's a plan to see us in a state of peace and well-being -- and not in disaster. It's a plan to give us a future and hope. It's the covenant [agreement, contract, commitment, pledge, promise] He initiated when He created mankind. It's His desire to restore us to that dedication to glorify Him that was made on our shores 415 years ago. That's a very short time in the history of the world. I pray that we do not abandon the resolution of our ancestors to dedicate this Land to the Kingdom of God, for as long as the earth remains. Father, restore us to that solemn promise!
Psalm 105:8 He remembers His covenant forever, the word that He commanded, for a thousand generations
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