By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
A divided nation is placing itself in peril if reconciliation does not come into focus. Disunity impairs growth of any nation while unity opens the door for growth. Division is difficult to overcome when both parties involved are dogmatic in their stand with no sign of relenting.
The first division mentioned in God's Word was with Able and Cain. A divided nation is no different; for where there is ill-feelings (as on Cain's part) there is little chance of reconciliation.
Scripture reveals that Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain (his brother) was a tiller of the ground. Abel's offering to the Lord was more excellent, than that of Cain's because it was the right kind of offering (required of the Lord) and made with the right heart attitude.
Cain's was not according to God's criteria for an offering; was given a chance to make the right kind of offering, but was rejected with Cain becoming jealous and angry toward his brother. Had Cain accepted God's offer; changed his disposition towards the situation at hand, that which had transpired would have been quite different!
The result is recorded in God's Word: And Cain spoke with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him (Genesis 4:9).
A Bible commentary noted that Cain's action begin a long history of human violence and man's inhumanity to his fellowman. Cain's insolence and arrogance were evident in his curt response to God's question, Where is Able your brother?
Cain's insolence and arrogant manner left no recourse but to suffer the consequences for his ungodly deeds. Scripture reveals that he become a fugitive (wanderer) and vagabond in the land; further punished in the fact that when he tilled the ground it would no more yield her strength (produce) (Genesis 4:12).
It become impossible for Cain to continue in his occupation as a farmer; increasing his punishment for failure to be reconciled to God or Able his brother, rather having his blood on his hand. A divided nation can suffer a similar fate.
A divided nation invokes chaos, hatred, destruction, and even murder; both physically and through character assassination. The underlying cause of division is increased in intensity when failure to unite is in evidence. Failure to unite becomes as an open sore that continues to fester; if adequate action, is not taken to prevent such.
Scripture reveals: Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered (restored) (Jeremiah 8:22).
A Bible commentary noted: The prophet Jeremiah is overcome with grief for his people because their sins were as wounds; incurable unless repentance played into the picture. A divided nation suffers such a fate; unless the healing balm of Gilead is applied and closes the wound caused by the division.
Scripture tells of those who would alienate from the truth thus bringing division into the picture: They zealously affect (court) you, but not well (for the good); yea, they would (want to) exclude you, that you may affect them (be zealous toward their cause) (Galatians 4:17).
A Bible commentary noted: There were those who were wooing the Galatians but not for the right reason, but with improper intentions. They wanted to cut them off from the truth to court their own evil designs.
A divided nation performs in like manner towards its own selfish gain; with no regard for the people as a whole. The term division implies that one severs into two or more parts; to cause to separate, to disunite in opinion or doctrine, to make hostile by setting one another at variance (at odds) with each other.
The term variance (strife or discord) is noted as one of the works of the flesh. Scripture reveals: For the flesh lusts against the Spirit (Spirit of God), and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things you would (Galatians 5:17).
They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions) (Galatians 5:24). At conversion every believer renounces the life of sin, and its wicked passions, puts on Christ, and walks according to God's Word. Thus a divided nation needs to turn its attention to reconciliation through a godly status; for the balm of Gilead (a healing) to be applied.
Scripture reveals: If a kingdom (nation) be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand (Mark 3:24-25). A Bible commentary noted: A government, in which there is a disagreement; where one part is opposed to the other, cannot continue in a flourishing state; and the same holds true of communities, cities, and families.
We are seeing much contention, in many avenues of life, that furtherance of such action can only bring continued deterioration rather than a healing. The road of recovery lies in God, and the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ.
A Constitutional Convention was deadlocked and in bitter controversy. Benjamin Franklin rose and made the following plea to the delegates: I have lived a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth; that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall on the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?
We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this; I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings in our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed in business.
Scripture reveals: When a strong man (fully armed) keeps (guards) his palace (estate), his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he takes from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divides the spoils (plunder) (Luke 11:21-22).
A divided nation status does not leave one in a state of peace for it opens the door for intruders that would disrupt and plunder such a status. The world cannot entertain peace; without the Peace-Giver. Jesus said: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).
A divided nation concept flourishes when there is division in the political arena which promotes disunity, mistrust, and a lack of coming together to work out various governmental policies. When God is left out of the equation; a nation always suffers loss. There is a bitter conflict that only increases the division; with a lack of harmony very much prevalent.
A divided nation not only suffers in its leadership ability but the people being governed suffer from the lack of proper leadership working for the good of the nation. Godly leadership and guidance from on high will enhance the growth of any nation; with God's blessings being poured out on it.
A divided nation status is readily identifiable by watching global news coverage that brings current events speedily into one's view. There are those who are discontent with leadership that places undue burden on the people. There is leadership attempting to change the status of a godly nation towards acceptance of ways contrary to God's Word.
There is violence that did not previously exist, to such a volume, due to increased lack of care for others; as long as one obtains what was once unlawful, but made lawful in our present day environment and culture revolution. There is a hated towards others rather than a loving relationship towards one's fellowman.
Scripture reveals: This know that in the last days (which we are in) perilous times shall come (2 Timothy 3:1). Evil men shall wax (grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them (2 Timothy 3:13-14).
God has a standing invitation towards any nation that has withdrawn from His mercy and grace: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
A Bible commentary noted: While this promise was originally given to King Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. It is a high expression of God's loving readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people.
Scripture reveals: The fruit of the Spirit (that of God's Spirit) is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22). When such qualities are in evidence racism is not a factor, sinfulness not practiced, and love versus hatred displayed.
A divided nation places an additional burden on those living for Christ; but despite this, the believer is to: Let your light (testimony) so shine before men (those of the world) that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
A Bible commentary noted: The Christian's life is to clearly shine forth in the darkness of human depravity. Darkness is the absence of light; and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness.
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