W R Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
Duration of a nation is ill-conceived if based on any other factor than the Word of God; for its greatness is not of its own merit, but its outlook towards the Almighty God. Duration reflects on length of life, durance of service, and permanence or not.
It was noted that it is estimated that the average duration of the world's great civilizations has been about 200 years. A study of these civilizations reveals that morality was not due to the lack of mental ability but to moral degeneration.
No nation can continue to ignore God, and sin freely, without suffering the consequences of such. No matter how blessed a nation has been; if it forsakes God, it faces His great displeasure.
Scripture reveals: Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he has chosen for his own inheritance. The Lord looks down from heaven; he beholds all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looks upon all the inhabitants of the earth (Psalm 33:12-14).
Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear (reverence) him, upon them that hope in his mercy (Psalm 33:18). This psalm is an expression of the joyful hope of the godly in the Lord. For those who hold such a hope; there is amply reward, but those who fail to do so fall into a category of reaping what they have sown.
It was noted that the nation is suffering from the corrosive immoral breath of the 21st century. The secularism, humanism, materialism, liberalism, and commercialism of our day has devastated the resources of security. The destiny of nations is still in the hands of a sovereign God; sin shortens the existence of both governments and individuals.
Unless we heed the lessons of history (Biblical instruction), a calamity can come that is even more devastating than the God-denying Belshazzar, and his drunken associates (Book of Daniel), who were weighed in the balance and found wanting.
A nation that weans away (withdraws) from the ungodliness of man strengthens the duration of a nation concept. There are many once godly nations that need to rise above their level of insecurity towards security in God. There is presently a flow of ungodliness, that is an abomination in the sight of God, having surfaced which previously would not have been considered, but is now proudly proclaimed.
Scripture reveals: Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush; therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit (punish) them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord (Jeremiah 6:15). Duration of a nation can be shortened by its people being rebellious towards God.
We are seeing an influx, in many lands, to disarray (throw into disorder) the nation under God concept; with a walking away from obedience to God's Word. There has been a movement to take a more firm footing in tbe ungodliness of man, as in the Pre-flood days of Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Babylon which was the hold of every foul spirit.
Duration of a nation, and the blessings of God, are dependent on obedience to His Word, as evidenced in the initial beginning of man in the Garden of Eden. There is an onrush towards destruction rather than receiving the blessings of God in many once godly nations.
Scripture reveals: It shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently to the voice of your God, to observe and do all his commandments which I command you this day, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations on the earth (Deuteronomy 28:1). Failure to observe and do the commandments of God would have precluded God's setting the nation of Israel above all nations on the earth.
Scripture reveals: And all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you hearken to the voice of the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 28:2). This refers to the blessings that would be conveyed, if obedience to God's Word was the primary factor of a nation, blessings beyond one's greatest expectation.
Scripture reveals: Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. The Lord will cause your enemies that rise up against you to be smitten (defeated) before your face: they shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways (Deuteronomy 28:6-7).
It was noted that many enemies come against Israel one way; in one body of large numbers, marching in order, in battle array; yet because of God's intervention, they would flee seven ways, or flee some one way, and some another, every way they could take to make their escape. There would be victory with the complete dispersal of their enemies; thus ensuring the duration of a nation, in this case Israel.
Are we seeing victorious moments today? Or, are we seeing devastation, record breaking disasters, pestilences, famines, and disarray, attack many nations throughout the world? Is the duration of a nation not in question with worldwide plagues, civil disturbances, unrest, and an array of ungodliness flirting with God's judgment on a daily basis? A world that has given over to the ungodly features of man rather than strict adherence to God's Word?
A world where the sanctity of life is declared invalid; with the killing of the unborn still in its mother's womb, and attempted mass annihilation of certain sects, including Christianity? The duration of a nation is weighed in the balance when man suffers from ungodliness and insensitivity.
Many once godly nations have drifted away from godly precepts; allowing filth and degradation to rule the land. It as noted that ancestors established the system of government on morality and religious sentiment. Moral habits, they believed, cannot safely be trusted on any other foundation than religious principle, nor any government be secure which is not supported by moral habits.
If truth is not diffused, error will be; if the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breath of he land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end (Daniel Webster). Many once godly nations are now feeling the effect of failure to heed, "What Thus Saith the Lord!"
Scripture reveals: And you shall not go (turn) aside from my words which I command you this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them (Deuteronomy 28:14). It was noted for one to depart from such as a rule, neglect and disobey, and go into practices contrary to them, being an abomination to provoke the wrath of God; rather than His blessings.
Israel had been placed above all nations; God's blessings abundantly poured out, but failure to keep His commandments, walking in their own ways, worshipping the gods of other nations round about them, would incur the wrath of God.
Scripture reveals: But it shall come to pass, if you will not hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you this day; that all these curses shall come upon you, and overtake you (Deuteronomy 18:15).
It was noted the three groups of punishment for disobedience would be: Internal calamities, such as death, despair, disease and decline as a nation; eternal judgments, such as defeat before the enemy; and the transmission of judgment (duration of a nation) towards the future, if a return to God was cast aside through the hardness of the heart. All these categories are being felt by many once godly nations who have withdrawn from a godly status; by allowing the roots of ungodliness to prevail.
There is an increasingly strong demand toward acceptance of ungodly traits that brings the duration of a nation into question; even a movement in the Church towards adoption of traits that God's Word condemns.
The prophet Ezekiel, in speaking the words of the Lord, said: Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane (unholy), neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from the Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them (Ezekiel 22:26).
Duration of a nation was sought, through the Prophet Ezekiel speaking the words of the Lord: I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Because of finding no one to stand in the gap for the land; the duration of a nation (Israel) was determined.
Scripture reveals: Therefore have I poured out my indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: Their own way (deeds) have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God (Ezekiel 22:31).
Scripture reveals: The fear of the Lord prolongs days: but the years of the wicked are shortened (Proverbs 10:17); this would apply to the duration of a nation concept!
It was noted that God who gave us life, gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties were the gift of God: Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever (Thomas Jefferson).
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