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Warning Signs Of Our Demise As A Great Nation


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+ As I watch Americans tolerate the use of torture, the unjustified war, the support of the brutal & illegal occupation in Palestine, the growing gap between rich and poor, the increasing destruction of the environment, the tolerance of homelessness and poverty, the many addictions keeping so many of us enslaved and weak, the use of the death penalty, the easy access to guns and many other abuses against creation and life, I wonder if we will survive. Oh, we probably will survive in some form but somehow, some day, we are going to be humbled and it may be a very painful humbling. Israel of ancient times was so humbled. Many starved to death or were violently killed. Many of those who lived lost everything. It was horrible. Americans have a false sense of security believing that our military and our economy are invincible. And God is on our side. That’s what the ancient Israelites believed.

 

Many prophets of ancient Israel including Isaiah and Amos and Jeremiah pointed out that Israel was in denial and that “the Day of the Lord” would come and would be a dark day indeed. Their warnings are a major part of the Bible. But they were ignored when they were doing the warning. The rich and privileged of ancient Israel were smug and self-assured. The rest fell victim to the entertainment offerings or were kept silent through the usual intimidation methods of the empire. Israel before its fall was still an empire although its land and wealth was nothing like it had been under Solomon centuries before.

 

The United States today appears to be at the top of its game in many ways but the cries of the tortured and abused and neglected and oppressed and impoverished can not be ignored forever. God hears them. God is always listening to the victims of the planet and is always acting on their behalf. This message is found throughout the Bible and throughout history. Moses was empowered by God to liberate the Israelites from slavery because God heard their cries and acted to end their suffering. That’s what God does. God blessed Israel and made it a model nation. But when it stopped acting like the model nation it was supposed to be, God blessed other nations and allowed Israel to be brought down.

 

God has most certainly blessed the United States and made us a model nation. But we now seem to be repeating the mistakes of history, believing God will protect us no matter what. The Bible makes it clear that God doesn’t work that way. History teaches us again and again that God does not work that way. Will we ever learn this lesson? I wonder. I think we can learn this lesson. I hope we can learn this lesson. I love my country and I long for the day that we will reclaim the mission of being a model nation for the planet. I hope we can learn the lesson without a lot of pain. The signs, however, are ominous. For many, the pain has already begun and few who do not yet feel the pain seem to care. This indifference and apathy is what the prophets of ancient Israel condemned as do prophets of every age.

 

The seeds of our potential destruction were planted even before our formation as a separate nation 230 years ago. Many Americans were already determined to force out the Indians from all land east of the Mississippi. It didn’t take long before many Americans believed we had a “manifest destiny” to reach the Pacific and eliminate or repress any Indians or Spaniards or Mexicans or anybody else who stood in our way. Then, we laid claim to control of the entire Western Hemisphere. Then we laid claim to control of the whole planet and this has now become a reality. No nation has ever gained so much control of the planet. For many, this is exhilarating and a good thing for us and maybe even for the planet. Others, including me, believe this is a big mistake. We have a mission to be a model nation, not a controlling nation. Controllers use intimidation and propaganda and violence and denial. Modelers use cooperation, compassion, tolerance, education, awareness, gentleness and humility. Let’s return to our God-given mission to be a light to the world as a nation of gentle and humble and compassionate and determined peacemakers rather than killers and intimidators and torturers and repressors.

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