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|America on the Road to Ruin||06/19/2009|
To repent is to turn from the
To repent is to turn from the
Both the Old and New Testaments clearly reveal the path to a joyful and bountiful life, as well as the grave warnings of the prophets whose message was far too often rejected in the days in which it was delivered.
The prophet Isaiah, in reference to the chosen people of God, said, "Arise, shine; for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising."1
We are at a crucial point in human history for the church to reveal the liberating truth of our mighty God. According to the apostle Paul, the events that occurred in the history of Israel serve to instruct us in this day and age.2 It was God who supernaturally delivered His people from the bondage of slavery in Pharaoh's Egypt. God led them from harsh servitude, miraculously removing every obstacle and promising them a land that flowed with milk and honey, more fertile and productive than anything they had ever imagined. The Israelites followed His presence as a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day in pursuit of the promised land.
Interestingly, our founding fathers also fled the bondage of oppression, often escaping the tyranny of religious rule, in pursuit of a land of promise. The risked their lives to follow God and explore possibilities of freedom.
When we observe the journey of Israel, we find them wandering in the wilderness because of fear and unbelief. The majority did not believe God's promises. Of the twelve men sent to evaluate the prospects of following God's direction, only two gave a good report. Today, I wonder if eight percent of our people would believe in the possibility of a positive future if our nation returned to God and followed His plan.
I know that a remnant seeks to whole-heartedly follow God's promises instead of men's fears. We are never satisfied living in bondage to the systems of this world. Deceptive oration and crafty manipulation by a determined enemy can never destroy the purpose of God and the potential fruitfulness in our lives when we choose to follow Him unconditionally.
The Israelites eventually entered the promised land after defeating, through the power of God, those who sought to destroy them; but it did not take them long to return to the ways of Egypt. They openly confessed that although they were in the promised land, they were still slaves.3 Though they had been physically freed from their wicked masters, they remained bound to the ungodly thoughts and wicked ways of their former land, under the control of worldly powers and rulers.
As I pray for our nation, I am reminded of Isaiah's observations of the people of God when he asked, "Who is as blind as my own servant or as deaf as my own messenger? Who is as blind as those at peace with me or as blind as the servant of the Lord?" He said, "Your ears are open, but you don't hear. You are trapped in caves. You have become prey with no one to deliver you."
Why did this happen? Isaiah said that they were given up to spoil and to plunderers because they sinned against God. They did not walk in His ways and did not obey His laws, so God's anger poured out and set them on fire, burned by the power of the enemy, and they didn't even recognize what was happening.4
Our nation and her people are burning with out-of-control appetites and unrealistic demands. Successful people who never notice the needs of others are totally caught up in a web of deceit and held captive by the cords of their own iniquity. Isaiah said to the people in his day, "Your hands are defiled the blood of the innocent, your lips speak lies, your feet run to evil and quickly shed innocent blood. You don't know the way of peace. You have no justice and your paths are crooked."5
This "way of peace" does not refer to meaningless truces signed with the enemies of freedom; he's talking about inner peace that only comes from God.
When people reach this desolate place, they are unable to hear truth when it is spoken directly to their face. Much of America cannot recognize truth. It's certainly not coming from many major news sources; they tend to ignore it or distort it. We must ask God for a spirit of discernment to discern the voices and sounds of the age.
The prophet Jeremiah forcefully warned that we must recognize "an assembly of treacherous men." These people, God says, "have bent their tongues for lies. They are not valiant for the truth on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil and they do not know Me."
Jeremiah says that you can't trust others because they deal craftily and deceive their neighbors. He said that we live among deceitful people who refuse to know God. Their tongues are deadly arrows that speak of peace to their neighbors, but secretly set an ambush for them.6 The most dangerous deceivers are those who think they are speaking truth and fail to recognize the error of their ways.
We live in a day when our many leaders have ulterior motives. They work to secure a place of power for themselves with false promises to the voters. They say one thing in public, but work in private to pursue their personal agenda.
Jeremiah had such a broken heart that his "sorrow was beyond healing." His heart was faint as he cried out for the people asking, "Is not the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not within her? Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, with foreign idols?"7
He said he wished that his eyes were a fountain of tears that he could weep day and night for his people.8 He wept because the health of the nation was not restored. I join Jeremiah with his broken heart for America and the free world.
Earlier in this great prophetic book, Jeremiah inspired the message I am sharing when he said, "Has a nation changed gods when they were not gods? But My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.... For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water."9
This is a picture of America today. We are creating problems that will be handed off to our children and grandchildren. If we continue on this course, we will dig a pit of debt from which we will never recover.
In this same message, Jeremiah asked, "Have you not done this to yourself by your forsaking the Lord your God when He led you in the way? But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile?"10
"Why are you going back to the bondage from which you were freed?" he asks. Jeremiah called for the people to turn from their harlotry, which was far more than sexual immorality. He meant loving something other than God. Putting anything before God is immorality and idolatry. In this same message, Jeremiah challenged, "Where are your gods which you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you in the time of your trouble; For according to the number of your cities are your gods!"11
In America, we put far too many things ahead of God. God is not opposed to joy; it is one fruit of the Spirit. He is not opposed to comfort; that is a gift from God. He offers us a shield of protection. He says that He is a mighty fortress, a shelter from the storm, and provides us with armor to help us withstand all of the deception of the enemy.
Sadly, the majority of our population, including many professing believers, cannot hear the truth. We deal with the wrong problems and offer the wrong answers. As a result, we are headed for bondage. Every citizen of the United States could become a bondservant to the ever-increasing, out-of-control federal government. It is happening so rapidly that people are actually being led to believe that it is an act of compassion, but it is actually an invitation into a pit of destruction.
I still believe that most Americans desire to do what is right. I believe most Americans want to be their brother's keeper. They want to assist the suffering, alleviate pain and care for their neighbor. But they must be involved in effective programs where compassionate people express love firsthand. Every week, the viewers of LIFE Today refuse to be divided by partisanship, sectarianism, denominational prejudices or their own self-absorbed potential indulgences. They unite behind outreaches around the world because they see that these programs actually work. They are not run by politicians or uncaring bureaucrats; they are run by people who genuinely care. Remember, it was not FEMA that effectively dealt with the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina. It was the people in the church, neighbors, friends, families and ordinary Americans that went into the devastated areas to help bear the burden.
If you look at the practices and promises of federal government and their failure to function effectively over the years, you will know that if we continue on this road to ruin, we are just like Israel headed back to Egypt. We are creating programs that, like broken cisterns, will not hold water. With false promises, we are hastily creating massive government programs that cannot be sustained. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are bankrupt. And even now, a health care program similar to those that have miserably failed in every country where they have been tried is being thrust on unsuspecting Americans.
I am crying out from the depths of my soul, "God wake us up and help us get off this road to ruin!" I know God hears my prayer and I urge others to join me in prayer for God to turn us around before it is too late. Our nation's leaders have refused to acknowledge their foolish role in the current economic crisis. The corrupt Fannie May and Freddie Mac contributed heavily to the credit crash, even though they had 200 government regulators overseeing it. When any regulator did raise a red flag, he or she was berated, mocked and belittled by those in power, including members of Congress.
Government programs will always fail when in bed with the private sector. At this very moment the feds are hooking up with major corporations and taking them over, placing them under the oversight of unqualified leadership. We are witnessing unscrupulous payback of the supporters of candidates or parties and the penalizing of opponents. The poor among us are going to suffer even more as rapid-fire legislation is passed that will encumber the productive wage payers with unbearable tax burdens. Opportunities, small business growth and jobs will disappear.
Khrushchev said that Soviet power would not have to crush us, because we would fall into their hands like overripe fruit. Abraham Lincoln said, "At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."12
We must take terrorists' threats seriously and remain vigilant to protect the innocent, but there is another threat that is more dangerous than terrorism. America cannot continue to turn her back on God. We cannot continue destroying the lives of the unborn, advocating unnatural affections, trusting in our man-made institutions and generally mocking the principles of God. We must willingly return to the unshakable foundation of God's Word. It cannot be imposed on us (or anyone else) by outside pressure. It must be the result of an inner transformation. Those who have already experienced it must let the light of Christ shine so brightly that He will draw men to himself. We must elect leaders with strong convictions because they reflect our own convictions. I am not advocating a new power base; I want to see the greatest power impact every base and every person with liberating, life-giving truth. We must reacquaint ourselves with the profound and positive faith of our founding fathers, which produced the greatest nation on earth today.
I still believe the world is waiting to see the family of God perfected in true unity of spirit -- not sameness or a false sense of equality wherein men try to make all men equal by penalizing those who have become in some way more successful, but a true spirit of unity and harmony that reveals the greatness of God. Just as Jeremiah mourned for his beloved people, Betty and I weep in prayer for our nation. For nearly 50 years we have shared life and love with those who suffer all around the world. It breaks our hearts to witness the adverse effects that bad decisions will have on those in need and the unbearable burden placed on our grandchildren.
Author: James Robison
Editor: Randy Robison
Word Count: 2365
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Soul of a Nation, The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.
Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net . Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.