By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
Longevity of a nation is ill-conceived if based on any factor other than the Word of God! The greatest of any nation is not based on its own merits but its outlook toward God. Longevity reflects on length of life, durance of service, and permanence or not.
A Sunday school commentary noted: 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 their mortality 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. 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 (or 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 to those who do not hold such hope, they fall into a category of reaping what they have sown.
A Sunday school commentary noted: Our nation is suffering from the corrosive immoral breath of the 21st century. The secularism, humanism, materialism, liberalism, and commercialism of our day have devastated our 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, a calamity can come upon us as suddenly and even more devastating than came to the God-defying Belshazzar, and his drunken associates, who were weighed in the balance and found wanting.
As a nation weans away from the ungodliness of man it enhances the longevity of a nation concept. There are many once godly nations that need to rise above the level of insecurity towards security in God. There is presently a flow of ungodliness has surfaced that is an abomination in the sight of God; which would previously not have been condoned, but is now proclaimed with pride!
Scripture reveals: Were they ashamed when they had 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 (or punish) them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord (Jeremiah 6:15). Longevity of a nation can be shortened by being rebellious toward God.
Scripture expounds on the rise and fall of nations: He (or God) increases (or makes great) the nations, and destroys them: he enlarges the nations, and straitens (or guides) them (Job 12:23).
A Bible commentary noted: As he did before the flood (in Noah's day), when the earth was populated; then becoming corrupt, God brought a flood that compassed the whole world destroying them (with acceptance of Noah and those in the ark).
He enlarges the nations, and straitens them refers to the Israelites; though they were enlarged, and became numerous, as promised; yet they were (through disobedience and serving other gods) led into captivity, and removed from their homeland.
Scripture identifies the requirement towards longevity of a nation; in reference to Israel of old: It shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently the voice of the Lord 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 to do all God's commandments would be of little value, if one only heard but failed to obey; thus precluding God setting such a nation above all nations on the earth, or any nation which leaves the longevity of a nation concept.
Scripture deals with the blessings of obedience and the longevity of a nation: All these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you shall hearken to the voice of the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 28:2). This refers to what would be conveyed, if obedience to God's Word was the primary factor of a nation; blessings even beyond one's greatest expectations!
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 (or defeated) before your face: they shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways (Deuteronomy 28:6-7).
A Bible commentary noted: In all their business and employments of life whether within doors or without; in the administration of every office, whether public or private; and in their journeys going out and coming home; and particularly when they went out to war, and returned, all would be of great success because of their obedience to God's Word.
Longevity of a nation hinges on obedience to God's Word which ensures victory against the forces of evil that would attempt to assail the land. In King David's time many enemies came against Israel; in large numbers, marching in order, in battle array.
Because of God's intervention, they would flee seven ways, with some fleeing one way, some another; every way they could to make their escape. There would be victory; with complete dispersion of their enemies, thus ensuring the longevity 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 lands throughout the world? Is the longevity of a nation not in question with a worldwide plague, civil disturbances, unrest, an ungodliness that flirts with God's judgment on a daily basis?
A world in which the sanctity of life is declared invalid; with the killing of the unborn (abortion) in a mother's womb, attempts towards mass annihilation of certain sects; including Christianity? The longevity of a nation is weighed in the balance when man suffers such ungodliness and insensitivity.
Scripture reveals why the longevity of a nation comes into focus rather than the blessings of God: And you shall not go (or turn) aside from any of the 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).
For one to depart from such, neglect and disobey, and go into practices contrary to them, was an abomination which would provoke the wrath of God; rather than intended 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, worshiping the gods of other nations round about them, would incur the wrath of God.
Many once godly nations have drifted away from godly precepts; allowing filth and degradation to rule the land. Daniel Webster declared: Our ancestors established their system of government based on morality and religious sentiment. Moral habits, they believed, cannot safely be trusted on any other foundation than religious principle, or 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 the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end.
Many once godly nations are now feeling the blunt of ignoring God's Word! Scripture reveals: 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 28:15).
Three groups of punishment for disobedience are revealed in the description of those curses: 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 towards the future, if a return to God was not undertaken!
Many once godly nations have withdrawn from a godly status by allowing the roots of ungodliness to prevail in the land. There is an increasingly strong demand towards acceptance of ungodly ways that being the longevity of a nation to question.
We are seeing the decline of the church in the Western world! There is the acceptance of a social gospel that undermines sin that God's Word condemns. The Word of God is being undermine, as that of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, with many becoming as a puppet before the puppeteer.
The prophet Ezekiel, in speaking the words of the Lord, said: Her priests (the church) have violated my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane (or 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).
Scripture reveals: I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge (or wall), and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none (Ezekiel 22:30).
Because of finding no one to stand in the gap for the land; the longevity of a nation was determined: Therefore have I poured out my indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way (or deeds) have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God (Ezekiel 22:31).
A legendary evangelist of the First Great Awakening, Charles G. Finney proclaimed: Brethren (the church), our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours to a great degree.
If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of Justice, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact; but let us let us lay it to heart, and awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.
Has the dereliction of duty in the pulpits of the Western world helped to bring to question the longevity of a nation? Napoleon, the French Emperor, stated: The World suffers not because of the violence done by the wicked but because the righteous keep silence.
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