The Last Days of a Great Nation

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Monday, October 21, 2013:  Jeremiah 37:1-38:28

Now King Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned …  But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land gave heed to the words of the Lord which He spoke by the prophet Jeremiah.  Jeremiah 37:1-2 (NKJV)

Zedekiah was the last king to rule in Jerusalem.  The Babylonian captivity swept him and Judah away ending the succession of kings that began with David.  Never again would a human king rule over a national Israel.

God brought needed judgment to sinful Israel.  In so doing, He set the stage for the advent of the true Prince, the true King.  A new kind of King would arise to fulfill the grand vision of David’s rulership.  His Name is Jesus.

God was finished with Judah as we knew it in the Old Testament.  He had something bigger and grander in store.  Like changing from one garment to another, God laid off national interests and replaced them with His global Body of Believers called the Church under the rulership of King Jesus.  This had always been His plan.  In the Old Testament we see it as types and shadows — prefigurements of the glorious people God was raising up out of every tribe and nation.

Jeremiah began to prophecy about this transition.  Zedekiah and his cohorts refused to listen.  They were mired in their own intensely present dilemma.  They could not imagine that God had anything bigger in store.

This idea grips me.  In the annals of history, God has raised up one nation after another to serve His mission of world evangelism.  We have seen nations rise and fall.  Germany, France, England, Ireland — these are but a few.  Today, perhaps the Chinese church is the greatest gospel standard-bearer of our day.

Is God through with America?  I certainly hope not!  I love my nation.  I cherish our heritage of biblical fidelity.

I hope that God will preserve our land.  I hope that His prophetic word over our nation is not similar to the one that Jeremiah spoke over Jerusalem.  I want to believe that God can yet again raise up a great gospel witness for Himself in our land.

It is time for us to hear from God.  He is still on His throne despite the daily negative developments that unfold before our eyes.  What if (God forbid) our nation should fall under the judgment of God?  I am so thankful the Kingdom of God will never fail.  It will never falter.  His Kingdom will know no end.

There comes a time when the patience of God runs out.  It spells the end of a nation.  We need not think that America is immune from such a thing.  Instead, we claim the promise of God that says, “If My people who are called by Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways.  Then, I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land.” (II Chron. 7:14)

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