The title words were spoken by God in approximately 700 BC. The nation of Israel had been divided into the northern ten tribes which maintained the name of Israel and the southern two tribes consisting of Judah and Benjamin who were called Judah. Israel was overtaken by the Assyrians in 722 BC while Judah was still sovereign. The reason for Israel’s downfall was they had cast off their God who had delivered them from Egyptian bondage and worshipped other gods.
“For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God…and they had feared other gods, and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before them…and also they secretly did against the LORD their God things that were not right…”
2 Kings 17:7-9
Shortly after the demise of the northern ten tribes God addressed the southern two tribes called Judah to encourage them not to follow in the steps of their northern brothers. And although Judah was engulfed in the same type of sin, God gave them opportunity to change their ways and avoid catastrophe.
“Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters…! They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward.” Isaiah 1:4
God went on to describe the sins of Judah and the condition of their heart. Then He spoke these timeless words.
“‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the LORD, ‘though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’” Isaiah 1:18
And then He offered them a choice and told them of the benefits of obeying or the consequences for disobedience.
“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword.” Isaiah 1:19-20
History confirms that Judah chose to disobey. They did not return to God and the consequence was that Jerusalem was flattened and the majority of the people of Judah were deported to Babylon (present day Iraq) for a period of seventy years.
Now fast forward to the present. How does America today compare with Judah? Are we pursuing policies that are contradictory to Biblical teachings? Are we involved in the same type of disobedience that led to Judah’s downfall?
Two of the major issues that we as a nation are involved with presently are the economy and foreign policy.
Relative to foreign policy, our strategy includes negotiating with Iran and trying to convince them not to pursue the development of nuclear weapons that could be used to annihilate the nation of present day Israel. As each day passes Iran is closer to their goal. Why would we as a Christian nation have any agreements or treaties with a nation that has as a primary goal to destroy the nation of Israel?
The nation of Israel has always been the ‘Apple of God’s eye.’ This great truth is seen throughout the Old Testament and is confirmed in the New Testament. Remember Jesus’ teachings. He was commissioned to go first to the ‘House of Israel.’
How about economic issues? Capitalism is endorsed by the Bible. In fact the description of the virtuous wife described in Proverbs includes entrepreneurial activities.
“She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard.” Proverbs 31:16
“She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants.” Proverbs 31:24
The problem arises when capitalistic success is the end goal and not the means to the end. Remember immediately after the 9-11 terrorist attack the strength and resiliency of America was measured by how quickly the stock markets would be up and running. That wake-up call was ignored.
Then consider the economic issue of being in debt. When the cost of administering this nation’s government exceeds the revenue collected a deficit results. When that happens we borrow money. We presently are indebted to China to the tune of approximately $800 billion and to Japan for another $750 billion.
“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”
The result of our excessive borrowing is that China is beginning to have major inputs on our other foreign policy issues.
Was our president right when he stated recently that we are no longer a Christian nation? Are we as a nation guilty of the same things that brought Israel’s temporary downfall?
“And you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth…” Isaiah 51:13
“Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the Rock of your stronghold, therefore you will plant pleasant plants and set out foreign seedlings…but the harvest will be a heap of ruins in the day of grief and desperate sorrow.” Isaiah 17:10-11
Perhaps it is the time to consider once again God’s invitation…
“Come now, and let us reason together…”