Why Won’t God Bless America?
The following is from yesterday’s Trumpet Brief. These daily e-mails contain personal messages from the Trumpet staff. Click here to join the nearly 20,000 members of our mailing list, so you don’t miss another message!
On this day 16 years ago, the whole world stopped to stare in wide-eyed horror at the smoldering remains of the Twin Towers in Lower Manhattan, New York. Hours after the worst terrorist attack in modern times, then President George W. Bush told fellow Americans that while jihadist attacks might shake the foundations of America’s biggest buildings, they wouldn’t shake the United States.
America was strong, he said, and united. And most importantly, God was with America! President Bush invoked the powerful words of Psalm 23 for the families of victims in this national tragedy: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me.”
For those of you who are Americans, do you remember the weeks that followed 9/11? It seemed like God was everywhere: on signs, in song, at school and sporting events, in government. Who can forget members of Congress, from both sides of the aisle, spontaneously breaking into song with one another on the steps of the Capitol? They sang “God Bless America.”
To most Americans, the thought of God comforting, protecting, empowering and even blessing the United States seemed like a perfectly normal response to this kind of jihadist rampage.
But as the Trumpet explained in the first issue after 9/11, the same Bible that says God blesses His people for obedience also says He curses those who disobey His law (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).
Christian conservative Jerry Falwell spoke out about this biblical truth in the aftermath of 9/11, saying that abortion, homosexuality and other American sins were partly to blame for the attack. In less than 24 hours, a firestorm of indignant rebuke engulfed him, and the next day he quickly apologized, emphasizing that it was the terrorists themselves who were most responsible.
America might have been in the mood for religion and prayer, but it was not in the mood for repentance from sin.
We wanted to receive blessings, but not enough to compel ourselves to obey God. And that was the day after we saw our fellow Americans falling 90 stories to their deaths.
Now 16 years have passed. We have had more national tragedies, more deaths. We still like to talk a lot about God. But before, during and after these disasters, we do not obey God’s laws. Even our ministers do not talk about obeying God’s laws or the wages for sin (1 John 3:4; Romans 6:23). Some of them barely use the word “sin” at all.
On August 12, far-left and far-right demonstrators clashed in Charlottesville, Virginia, and one man drove his car into a crowd, killing one person and injuring others. Once again, this country was hurting. Once again, it needed healing. One of President Donald Trump’s rallies occurred in Phoenix 10 days later. A popular evangelical opened the event with prayer, emphasizing the need for healing. Vice President Mike Pence picked up on this same theme during his address, quoting 2 Chronicles 7:14. And the way he did so summed up America’s attitude toward God and toward national tragedy.
Vice President Pence quoted God’s promise to heal our land, but he left out the part about our people turning from our wicked ways so that God will hear our prayers and forgive our sins.
I find it amazing that within days of this political rally—one with strong religious undertones—a devastating hurricane slammed into Southeast Texas! It dumped 27 trillion gallons of water around the Houston area, causing America an estimated $190 billion in damage!
This is not a picture of America being healed!
Yet the prayers continued. After the carnage of Hurricane Harvey, President Trump declared a National Day of Prayer for September 3. Surrounded by a group of evangelical leaders on the day he signed the declaration, he said, “From the beginning of our nation, Americans have joined together in prayer during times of great need to ask for God’s blessing and God’s guidance.” After the president’s comments, an evangelical pastor again prayed for God to heal the land and again misquoted 2 Chronicles 7:14!
Leading up to Hurricane Irma’s arrival and the anniversary of 9/11, President Trump proclaimed on Friday that September 8-10 would also be dedicated as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance.
Then came Irma. The biggest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history moved its way through the Caribbean and up the southwest coast of Florida, leaving another path of destruction in its wake. It caused the largest mass exodus in American history as millions of people fled the state. It caused mass flooding and widespread damage that will take weeks to process. The combined damage to America from these two storms is an estimated $290 billion and dozens of lives have been lost.
America’s political and religious leaders keep calling on God to heal America, but He is not answering those prayers. Why?
God says that He refuses to hear the wicked but hears the prayers of the righteous (Proverbs 15:29).
America is saturated in wicked ways—in unrepentant, unforgiven sins. And even when we pray, we ask for the healing and we pretend that our wickedness and our sins do not exist.
In President Trump’s calls for days of prayer, he never once talked about repentance. He said Americans should use these days for prayer, contemplation and memorial services, visiting memorials, ringing bells, and holding evening candlelight vigils.
Isn’t it finally time someone quoted 2 Chronicles 7:14 properly? Isn’t it time to admit that we Americans are capable of sinning and are being punished for it? Isn’t it time to stand up and say the truth—and not back down? Wouldn’t saving billions of dollars’ worth of damage, healing our divisions and saving thousands of lives be worth changing our “lifestyles” and repenting of our sins?
I urge you to watch someone bring you the full truth of 2 Chronicles 7:14. Please watch my father’s most recent Key of David program.