Just before entering the land of Canaan and prior to Moses’ death, God instructed Moses to record Israel’s future history in advance and present it to them.
“Now therefore, write down this song…and teach it to the children of Israel…that this song may be a witness for Me…for I know the inclination of their behavior today, even before I have brought them to the land of which I swore to give them. Therefore Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the children of Israel.” Deuteronomy 31:19-22
The ‘song’ began with Moses proclaiming to the whole earth the righteousness of God.
“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth…for I proclaim the name of the LORD…He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32:1-4
But Israel would prove to be just the opposite.
“They have corrupted themselves…a perverse and crooked generation…do you thus deal with the LORD, O foolish and unwise people?” Deuteronomy 32:5-6
Moses admonished Israel to consider if they would deal appropriately with God after all that God would do for them.
“Remember the days of old…ask your father, and he will show you…so the LORD alone led him, and there was no foreign god with him. He made him ride in the heights of the earth…” Deuteronomy 32:7, 12-13
But Israel would take the credit for their great fortune.
“But Jeshurun (a cynical name for Israel meaning upright) grew fat and kicked…then he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation. They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods…of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten the God who fathered you.” Deuteronomy 32:15-18
Israel’s sins will not go unpunished.
“They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; they have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols.” Deuteronomy 32:21
Then the consequences of Israel’s apostasy will catch them.
“I will heap disasters on them; I will spend My arrows on them.” Deuteronomy 32:23
“For they are a nation void of counsel, nor is there any understanding in them. Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!” Deuteronomy 32:28-29
Israel will reap God’s justice in due time.
“Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them.” Deuteronomy 32:35
Israel, however, has one thing that America will never have and that is an unconditional and everlasting covenant with God that they will be His glory forever. That means that after Israel has suffered greatly during the tribulation (which is termed the ‘time of Jacob’s trouble’) they will be mightily restored. America has no such promise.
God provided Israel with blessings untold, but when they prospered greatly under God’s hand they did not give God the glory but rather boasted they had achieved their coveted status by their own effort.
Their success caused them to believe that they really didn’t need the Rock of their salvation. In fact they made gods of some of their blessings.
The parallels between Israel as a nation and America are profound. America’s leaders tout that America is the most exceptional nation on earth in terms of wealth and military might. We have made wealth one of our many gods.
Americans traditionally attribute individual wealth and success to personal effort just as did the Israelites. Both have overlooked the truth.
“…and when your silver and your gold are multiplied…and you forget the LORD your God…then you say in your heart, ‘My power…have gained me this wealth’. And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.” Deuteronomy 8:11-18
God is swift to deal with those who forget Him.
“Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them…I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.” Deuteronomy 8:19
America, are we listening?