Righteousness Exalts a Nation
Chris' Corner -- Sunday, July 4, 2021
When the first settlers came to the shores of this continent, they were looking for freedom to practice religion as they saw fit. Because of their deep religious beliefs in God, the framers of our constitution and general laws of the new republic used principles from the Bible. These men were not ashamed to pray publicly and reference God and the Bible in their speeches. From those early days to this very time, our country has been called a “Christian nation.”
The idea of a Christian nation sounds good to those of us who trust in God and believe His word. However, the designation “Christian nation” can only be partly true. Not all of our country’s forefathers were believers in God, and those who were did not hold to the same religious viewpoints. When it comes to a “Christian,” we need to let the Bible define who is or is not. From the beginning, Christianity has never been in the majority in any nation, ever.
From the foundation of our republic, there was enough righteousness in the leadership and citizenry for God to show favor upon us as a people. We have enjoyed His great blessings for 245 years. The scriptures give the reason. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…” (Psalm 33:12). “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
Even if we use “Christian nation” loosely, we must see how far we are from that ideal in today’s world. Not only have we become morally bankrupt, but the face of religion has also changed dramatically. Instead of standing guard as the watchmen on the walls, religions give in to the pressures of what is popular; the immorality of fornication, adultery, and homosexuality, and gambling, not to overlook the murder of millions of unborn babies.
God determines right and wrong (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Galatians 5:19-21). We must decide if we stand with men or God. When the high court threatened Peter and John to stop preaching Christ, they said, “we must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). Long ago the psalmist said, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).
This brings to mind another phrase we like to use, “God Bless America.” As a sinful nation and disobedient to God, we can hardly expect any blessings from Him. There may be a chance if we repent. God told Solomon, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Although applied to Israel, the principle is the same for any nation, then and now.
May we never forget God is in control. He sees. He knows. He can turn the tide of misfortune if and when we repent. Jeremiah wrote, “The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it” (Jeremiah 18:7-10).
Remember, “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.” Christians must strive to be the beacon of light in this dark world. Our country is growing dimmer as we slide further and further away from God (cf. Matthew 5:14-16). Perhaps through us, more will turn and repent, increasing the number of that “righteous remnant” that may save our country from the wrath of God.