The Pryor Times

October 25, 2012

The downfall of a nation

On The Go

Evangelist, Chouteau Hills Church of Christ
Steve Lay

— Jeremiah was called the “weeping prophet.”  He loved his country very much, and he warned them to stop their rebellion against God and return to Him.  In Jeremiah 6:10-16, he described the steps that brought about the downfall of Israel.  Realizing that these same steps will bring about the downfall of any nation, we should be alarmed at how closely his description of Israel fits our own country today.

Jeremiah wrote in verse 10, “Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it.”  The people refused to listen to the word of God.  History has proven that when people reject the message of God, they soon fall.  Turning away from God’s word is a wrong turn.  It takes people in the wrong direction.  Sadly, the word of the Lord is a reproach to many people in our country today.  They not only have no delight in it; they criticize those who look to it as their guide.

The second step of Israel’s downfall is given in verse 13: “Everyone is given to covetousness.”  Greed is extremely dangerous.  People will lie, cheat, steal and even murder in order to get more wealth.  Jesus warned in Luke 12:15, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”  A country is in great danger when its citizens are more concerned with their income than anything else.  The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (I Tim. 6:10).

Third, in verse 14, God said through Jeremiah, “They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace.”  They were deluding themselves with lies.  They did not want to hear the truth.  They wanted to hear that everything was fine.  But just saying that everything is fine does not make it so.  We must always face the truth and be perfectly honest with ourselves, as well as with others.

Fourth, in verse 15 of this text, God said that when the people had committed abomination, they were not ashamed.  He went on to say that they didn’t even know how to blush.  Man’s conscience can be seared with a hot iron (I Timothy 4:2).  It is astonishing what people will say and do today without even blushing.  Many of our songs, movies, and magazines are filled with filth, and it does not even bother many people.  A society is in deep trouble when its people cannot blush.

God wanted to forgive the nation of Israel, so He provided a cure for them.  Jeremiah 6:16 says, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.’  But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”  God tried to get them to return to His way, but they refused.  Many today think God’s way is old fashioned, and they reject it.  That is just another step downward.

Israel’s downfall began with a rejection of God’s word.  Their only cure was to return to God’s word, but they refused.  Will we make the same mistake?  God’s word reveals the morality we ought to have.  The results of applying God’s word to our lives are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  Paul says, “Against such there is no law.”

Our nation was built upon faith and trust in God.  Now, some do not want the words “under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance, and they are trying to take “IN GOD WE TRUST” off of our money!  May we return to trusting God and living His way before it is too late.  And may we never get to the point where we cannot blush or feel ashamed.  The same things that caused Israel to fall will cause a nation to fall today.