At a recently concluded Bible conference at Albany Bible Church, a former student of this writer and who is now a prominent attorney in Florida asked me if our nation could turn around and once again recover its greatness.  Though there is always that hope, and Scripture reveals God sparing judgment at times, the same Scripture tells of destruction and God removing nations and placing its citizens under bondage to an outside power. It is clear that there is a serious malady in our nation.  Violence is on every hand, at times, just looking for an excuse to explode.  There are unsecured borders, criminal activity abounding as gangs migrate to smaller communities to intimidate the residents and exploit those who lack meaningful purpose and positive direction in life. The economic sector is as volatile as nitro glycerin.  Homes having two parents are rapidly diminishing from the scene.  Greed and corruption are seen in many facets of government and business.  There is increasing disrespect for law, and the importance of a strong military presence to insure peace and protection is being undermined. These above mentioned issues are a reality but are not the cause of the decline of this nation.  The Word of God speaks of such conditions because of the breakdown in the spiritual fiber of a nation. When the Word of God is doubted as Truth, neglected as mere stories and myths, and ultimately abandoned, God’s divine consequences are set in motion as a gracious effort to bring the nation back to Him.  This places most of the responsibility upon those who claim to be Christians.  An example is given to us in the Old Testament of God’s judgment on Judah. The wicked king of Judah led the people into idolatry worse than that of the Canaanites.  Scripture tells us … “And he [Manasseh] did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD dispossessed before the sons of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "In Jerusalem I will put My name." For he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.  And he made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD provoking Him to anger” (2 Kings 21:2-6 NASB).  “Thus Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the sons of Israel. And the LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention” (2 Chron. 33:9-10 NASB).  God’s judgment fell on Manasseh and we read … “Therefore the LORD brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains, and took him to Babylon.  And when he was in distress, he entreated the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God” (2 Chron. 33:11-13 NASB).  He set about to restore the spiritual vigor of the nation.  Pastor Daughtry, speaking at the conference, noted, that the nation of Judah had passed the point of no return.  Their “Manasseh moment” had come too late.  While that generation would be spared seeing the destruction of their nation, and the effects of a spiritual revival under Josiah would result in a national reprieve, God’s judgment would ultimately fall on the nation.  Perhaps we in this country can only pray for a reprieve; perhaps our Manasseh moment has passed. I trust not, but only God knows.  But He has promised that … “if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14 NASB).

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