Friday, November 13, 2020

Healing for America

In his speech on Saturday, Vice President Biden quoted Ecclesiastes 3 saying, “The Bible tells us, ‘to everything there is a season: a time to build, a time to reap, and a time to sow and a time to heal’ This is the time to heal in America.” It's easy to assume he meant healing from the Presidency of Donald Trump.

What needs healing in America?

What if our healing needs precede President Donald Trump by decades?

Read Deuteronomy 28 that describes how God handles nations that turn away from him. The increasing prevalence of pestilence and madness are key indicators. It's not hard to see America as being in the midst of similar circumstances. The text goes on to describe worse consequences that could come.

Read Hosea 5. The state of Ephraim “willingly walked by human precept.” They had come to ignore God. So God decided to undermine the things to which man had turned instead, coming “like a moth.” If that didn't work, a few verses later He would be “like a lion” to Ephraim and “like a young lion” to Judah. Some mark 9/11 as the beginning of God shifting to dealing with America like a lion instead.

Read 2 Kings 6 to see how bad things can get for a nation. At an earlier time, Solomon famously called for a sword to reveal a true mother. Later, 2 Kings 6 tells a much sadder story, also of two mothers before a king.

Our nation needs healing. 100 years ago churches and seminaries allowed doctrinal corrupting influences into their ranks, and within only a few decades, the American Church had gone silent on issues in the culture. We're now reaping what was sown in the form of shedding the innocent blood of 60 million children in their mother's wombs and a rejection of the laws of nature that God put in place and further detailed in His Word. These things accelerated during the Obama Presidency.

Today many American churches adamantly defend their silence in the name of “unity” with all kinds of rationalizations. “Jesus didn't come to set up a political kingdom.” “Jesus said ‘in this world you will have trouble.’” As if any of those true statements in any way undermine their call to proclaim what God's Word says about every issue, including government. Much of the Bible is written about, and even to, government officials. How can it not be relevant?

One election day sermon this year mentioned how patriot pastors in the 1700's preached an entire sermon series about how the Bill of Rights was grounded in the Word of God. Today, many evangelical pastors would dismiss such sermons as topical, selective, and invert that into saying a political agenda had infiltrated the Church. America, to them, was a rebellious mistake and should be corrected. If they continue in their silence in that understanding, they may get their wish.

Deuteronomy is a book that was written about Israel being on the cusp of entering the promised land. No longer under foreign authority, and no longer wandering in the wilderness, it was now time for the people to settle down in the land generations had longed for and been promised. One of the most obvious first needs of the nation was property rights and boundaries.

America's Founding Fathers saw the wisdom of looking to Deuteronomy as a user manual on how to found a nation. It's one of the most quoted books of that era. (Jesus also quoted Deuteronomy a lot, too.)

If America was modeled on Israel as a nation, it also follows that God's handling of America may resemble how He handles Israel as a nation, too. If, after 200 years of history, the nation has turned away from its founding, and if those who should be calling her back to that founding will remain silent, perhaps if God wanted to give her another chance to turn to Him, He would have to turn to another messenger.

Some view the Trump Presidency in this way. It's telling that in just four years, President Donald Trump more often noted that our rights come from God than most pastors in America ever have. That's just one example of why many view divine purpose behind the Presidency of Donald Trump. Perhaps God could use him as an agent of healing for America. For those who can't see how he could be, and may feel hurt by him, this is not because of his bedside manner. It is because of the policies he promised, and even more policies he delivered.

Victor Davis Hanson described America as having cancer and the presidency of Donald Trump as being like chemotherapy for America. Chemotherapy actually makes you sick in some ways in order to bring healing in others.

America shifted dramatically to the left during the Obama Presidency. President Trump tried to restore things from that influence, but the popular cultural is still more where President Obama left it than where President Trump tried to bring it.

Now we may soon have a President Biden, and he says he wants to bring healing to America.

I encourage him in that, and I pray our President is successful in that. I pray that he more fully understands the kind of healing America needs perhaps well beyond what he does now. I pray that he would fully see, embrace, and pursue the kind of healing God wants to bring to America.

In Congress, Joe Biden was once pro-life. A fellow Catholic of his I knew once described Biden as a “troubled Catholic,” at least with respect to the pro-life issue. Whether its a matter of his roots or America's roots, I pray he roots America in God's Word in terms of how we should pursue healing over various issues.

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