What would be Isaiah’s message to America today if he were available for God to speak to this generation? The United States may not be specifically named or indicated in Bible prophecy. However there are strong parallels between our nation and Israel’s history.
The establishment of America was a series of miracles both in military victories and construction of a form of government superior to anything the world has ever seen. What followed was a period of unparalleled prosperity.
Like America, Israel came through a series of miracles to arrive in the promised land. Their prosperity peaked during the reign of Solomon, but morally and spiritually it was downhill from there. Moses cautioned them in his last memoirs against the danger of prosperity. He predicted that their hearts would turn away from the God Who had so miraculously blessed them.
When Israel was at the height of their prosperity, the leaders of surrounding nations came to see the blessing that God had poured out upon his people. They understood that it was because of obedience to God that they were so blessed.
America’s prosperity has also been a great blessing to the Kingdom of God. Using a powerful Bible, revivals turned many, many hearts to righteousness. That same prosperity funded a worldwide missionary outreach that went a long ways to fulfilling the scripture that the gospel would be preached to all nations. (See Matt. 24:14.)
However, like Israel, a few generations of that prosperity have led to massive idolatry in America. The idolized sexual pleasure of the sexual revolution that began about 75 years ago led to the legalization of a number of sins: abortion, approval of sodomy and same-sex marriage.
Other idols include materialism (he who dies with the most toys wins); evolution (God is dead, and it is up to us to save the planet); celebrity worship in both entertainment and sports, etc.
After Solomon, the Kingdom of Israel was divided into two major sections. One got almost immediately into idolatry. The other section maintained a semblance of worship for a few generations longer. But eventually God did what He promised: if they profaned His land with innocent blood and failed to maintain personal righteousness in humility before Him as Creator, they would be evicted from His land to be scattered among the nations.
We have no way of knowing whether America will follow Israel’s pattern in this regard. Under some rulers Israel would turn away from their idolatry for a while. Perhaps if we will challenge our churches to repentance, God will grant us a reprieve from the pattern of Israel’s judgment.
America just had a National Day of Prayer. It was commendable that many of our national leaders were prominent in the ceremonies. However in the speeches and in a search of the media articles about it, the word “repentance” was noticeably absent. We are quick to quote 2 Chronicles 7:14. However the phrase “turn from their wicked ways” does not seem to register with us. Yet that is one of God’s criteria for restoring His blessing.
With Israel, God’s mercy did not turn to judgment overnight. There were many warning signs. Famine, pestilence, and bad weather plagued their agricultural-based economy. Some of their prophets used extreme measures to get their attention.
America has suffered greatly in the last few months. Some would dispute whether it is God’s judgment. Yet it is hard not to notice that much of the suffering has been in areas where we have gotten farthest away from God.
These are sobering times, soul winners. The message of the Old Testament prophets was not very well received. But that did not deter them from their calling. Lady Liberty is groaning under the weight of our sin. But true repentance is the only thing that will lift that weight.
And the call to repentance is so easy with gospel tracts.