By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
A healthy nation may not seem within grasp in a world of chaos, division, hatred, and lack of unity, but when God is put first it is possible. As hatred is funneled into the picture it often creates more in return; thus breaking any chance of reconciliation.
Scripture reveals: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (or kindness), goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (or self-control): against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22). The makeup of all these virtues contribute towards a healthy nation but first it takes having the love of Christ in one's own heart and life.
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).
We see a world in chaos because of its divorcement from the things of God; including His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is willing, and waiting, to bring His peace that the world cannot bring. His invitation:
I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door (that of one's heart), I will come into him, and will sup (or dine) with him, and he with me (with an inner peace flowing into one's heart that man cannot give) (Revelation 3:20).
God's Word reveals some of the things that the world offers; and is experiencing on a grand scale, that offsets any notion of a healthy nation. They are called the works of the flesh which include hatred, wrath, strife; to name but a few, of the 17 listed in God's Word (Found in Galatians 5:19-21).
The ungodliness of man has surfaced to include works that have come from the pits of Hell to deter a healthy nation concept under God's protective umbrella or covering. There is no rewinding of the clock to make its mechanism work properly without the benefit of God's helping hand!
In 1516, Sir Thomas More wrote of a place called Utopia, a perfect society, on an imaginary island; in the social, political, and moral aspect. Many who are tired of the turmoil, suffering, and raging of our present day culture would love to have such exist.
Jesus said: Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions (or dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:1-3).
An Arabian proverb noted: He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. A healthy nation is one of hope; and unhealthy nation diminishes such hope.
When all else fails; when hope is lost due to present circumstances, it is time to embrace the God of hope; and His gift to mankind (the Lord Jesus Christ), towards the salvation of man. An Anonymous contributor said: Health is not valued till sickness comes. Sometimes it takes a sin-sick world to bring one to realization there is something obtainable that is past present circumstances.
There is a hope that exceeds the earthly trials of everyday life. There is an expectation that far exceeds the reality of today. A healthy nation will spread its tentacles of success through the Gospel message; an unhealthy nation will attempt to suppress such hope, as it holds its people in bondage to its every whim and desire.
Those who choose to go down the path of an unhealthy nation will one day face the swift judgment of God; unless repentance comes into the picture. Scripture tells us: The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (or suppress) the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).
An inroad to health is offered in God's Word: I wish above all things (or pray in all things) that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers (3 John 1:2). Apostle John was addressing an individual he deeply loved and cared for; wishing for his physical, as well as spiritual health, which extends even to those of today!
Scripture admonishes the believer to trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (or make straight) your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to your navel (or strength), and marrow (or refreshment) to your bones (Proverbs 3:5-8).
The Lord, in speaking to Moses, revealed what would make a healthy nation: If you diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, and will do that which right in his sight, and will give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that heals you (Exodus 15:26).
Later, Joshua, God's replacement for Moses as leader of Israel, said: If it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood (or the Euphrates), or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).
Joshua was identifying the recipe for a healthy nation; by serving the Lord; for the people had already indulged in servitude to an array of false gods. Scripture reveals their answer: And the people said to Joshua, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:21).
For a healthy nation to exist prompted an additional step: Therefore put away the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel (Joshua 24:23). If they were truly repentant of their past deeds; then a removal of temptation was needed, to withdraw from their past with God being their only source of worship.
The Lord in speaking to King Solomon, after the building of the Temple of God, said: If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
A Bible commentary noted: While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. A Bible commentary noted: This verse stands as a high expression of God's loving readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people.
The prophet Hosea attempted to lead his people towards a healthy nation, saying: Come, and let us return to the Lord: for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has smitten (or stricken), and he will bind (or bandage) us up (Hosea 6:1). The prophet led his people in a prayer of repentance; with a plea for restoration to God, a much needed prayer for many once godly nations today!
God's Word gives emphasis towards the virtues of a healthy nation. It constantly warns against drawing into the vicious net of an unhealthy nation that walks in a path of destruction. Scripture reveals: A wicked messenger falls into mischief (or trouble): but a faithful ambassador is (or brings) health (Proverbs 13:17).
Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones (Proverbs 16:24). God be merciful to us, and bless us, and cause your face to shine upon us: that your way may be known upon the earth, your saving health (or salvation) among all nations (Psalm 67:1-2).
The hazards of an unhealthy nation can be found in many lands that have chosen their own path; without the benefit of a Savior. They attempt to settle all differences through the power of their own strength; rather than the power of God to sustain and nourish them.
Ungodliness has surfaced that far exceeds the Pre-flood days of Noah, the Sodom and Gomorrah era, and Babylon the hold of every foul spirit. There is a Satanic hold that has embraced many; bringing lustful pleasure to the forefront, accepted by those who are not wise towards its destructive ways. There are unhealthy nations who are seeing the spread of such, with little or no effort to remove such an influence, as it grows as a cancer that continues unabated.
The beginning of healthy nation, or individual, lies in repentance; realizing the unhealthy reign of evil; being uncomfortable in its continuation, willing to do something about it; seeking help from God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, towards deliverance of mind, body, and soul from the ugly grip of sin.
Scripture reveals: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). If any man sin, we have an advocate (or intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation (or atonement) for our sins; and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2).
A healthy nation grasps hold of God's Word; promulgating its truth to all. Jesus said: Go, and teach (or make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (or that of God's Spirit): teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world (Matthew 28:19-20).
Scripture reveals the fruitfulness of God's Word: For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth; it shall not return void (or empty), but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it (Isaiah 55:10-11).
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