We captivate our children with stories of kings, queens, princes, princesses and kingdoms. Some times history is hard to differentiate between what is myth, legend, and truth. History boasts of its heroes and villains:
- Egyptian Pharaoh’s
- Greek Greats (Alexander)
- Roman Caesars
- Asian Khans (Genghis Khan)
- French Forces (Napoleon)
- European Monarchs
- American Militaries
The truth is that civilizations come and go. Nations are only as strong as their people:
– weak people = weak nations likewise weak Christians = weak church
Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
God will reward a righteous nation.
Many people’s view of God is as a cosmic condemner; a divine discipliner. This view is only half right. God is certainly holy and righteous and without sin, therefore He judges wrong. Yet, God is also certainly good, gracious and loving to bless His creation.
God desired for all creation to enjoy the paradise of Eden; this was His original intent and design.
God blessed Abraham and wanted bless other nations through Abraham.
God’s blessings have been extended generationally through Abraham (Gen 12), David (2Sam 7), and onward through Jesus (Gal 3:29).
God has blessed some nations with power and peace
- An exalted nation is powerful.
Proverbs 16:14 “A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will appease it.”
Proverbs 19:12 “A king’s wrath is like the growling lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.”
Proverbs 20:8 “A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows all evil with his eyes.”
Proverbs 20:26 “A wise king winnows the wicked and drives the wheel over them.”
- An exalted nation is peaceful.
Proverbs 14:28 “In a multitude of people is the glory of a king, but without people a prince is ruined.”
Proverbs 20:28 “Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.”
Proverbs 22:11 “He who loves purity of heart and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.”
In times of war, the country is absent of peace and may be uncertain of its power. If the powerful nations of the globe today were to war each other there would be no where to hide and little peace.
à We must be sure that we belong to God’s kingdom (Isa 2:4; 9:1-7; Php 3:20
“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations” (Psalm 22:27-28).
God will reprove an unrighteous nation.
There are times that God reproves His people by raising up an ungodly nation. Every nation that is exalted must remember that every civilization is under God’s reign; their season will be short-lived if they are not exalting God.
- Nations are reproved if they celebrate (especially sexual sin) sin and call evil good (Gen 18-19; Isa 5:20; Ez 16:15 ff)
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way to death.”
Proverbs 24:24 “Whoever says to the wicked, ‘You are in the right’ will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations’
- Nations are reproved if they devalue human life (Jer 32:35)
Proverbs 6:17 “God hates hands that shed innocent blood”
Proverbs 24:11-12 “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?”
- Nations are reproved if they are unjust.
Proverbs 29:4 “By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down.”
- Nations are reproved if they neglect the poor and needy (cf. Amos 4:1)
Proverbs 29:14 “If a king faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever.”
Proverbs 31:8 “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
- Nations are reproved if they are idolatrous or religious without relationship (cf Exodus; Isa 1; Jer 50:2; Micah)
Proverbs 4:23-27 “Keep your heart with all vigiligance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away crooked speech and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet, then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.”
Proverbs 5:21 “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths.”
Proverbs 15:3 “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”
Proverbs 21:2 “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.”
One day, God will reprove every nation.
Psalm 33:10 “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.”
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 67:4 “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.”
Psalm 86:9 “All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.”
Psalm 110:6 “He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth.”
à If you knew you had only 1 year or 1 month to live, would it be any different than right now? One day you will stand before God,
- we prepare to meet God by trusting solely in the gospel and not ourselves
- we practice our faith by the sincerity of our repentance and the measure of our obedience
God will restore a repentant nation.
The entire Old Testament is a picture of hope for every nation. If God can spare & save, rescue & redeem Israel then every other nation has the same opportunity to receive grace. Israel was unfaithful but God was faithful.
One verse captures the essence of God’s restoring heart for nations:
2Chronicles 7:14 “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Many in our nation try to avoid right living and responsibility.
- The child who avoids picking up toys or following rules or failing to perform chores.
- The adult who avoids abstaining from purchases yet racks up purchases and debt.
- The adult who avoids earning a living but instead seeks entitlement from outside resources.
- The adult who revels in a lifestyle but does not want the consequences for which it brings.
- Avoiding righteousness is a recipe for death; personally and nationally.
The reality is that we all need to repent.
Psalms 14:3 “All have turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.”
Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
à Jesus Christ came to save sinners.
à Christians cannot prevent the moral failures of America but we can prepare to minister to the brokenness around us.
By God’s grace, we will be a church who
- impacts the spiritually lost through truthfully and lovingly proclaiming the gospel of Jesus with our lips and promoting the gospel with our lives.
- impacts the spiritually disconnected through church strengthening and church starting.
- impacts the fragmented family through enriching marriages, encouraging parents, and equipping families for relational unity and spiritual mission.
- impacts the generationally segmented through intergenerational worship and ministry experiences.
- impacts the racially divided through a hospitable church culture and through multi-ethnic ministry & church partnerships.
- impacts the disinterested community through tangible acts of love and service in Jesus’ name.
Today we must remove pride and remember our only hope is in the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ.
PZ will share about Jesus’ mercy and grace and how we remember it today through the Lord’s Supper.