It took Israel approximately 50 years to grab ahold of what had already been given to them by the LORD. The “Promised Land” of the Canaanites. They first took out Jericho, then the rest of the other cities over time. When they had finally “claimed” what was theirs they could celebrate! It was now a “holy land” for the LORD’S glory and the people’s “rest.” But something interesting happened soon after. You see, “the most unfortunate thing happened following their siege of the indigenous people. Israel, little by little, began to lose their distinctiveness. In many cases, after settling in and dividing the land out to the Twelve Tribes, they found themselves intermarrying with the conquered women and adopting allegiance to their gods along with their distinctive God Yahweh….this, [mixture] in turn, led to backsliding in their religion and being oppressed by the very people they had just conquered” (Kelso, Theological Violence in the 21st Century, 2021, p. 68, emphasis mine). Soon after, they are humbled by God, and finally repent of “mixing with the world,” and are reestablished as “His people.”
So, if this happened to Israel, being a unique nation built by the LORD, out of all nations on earth. And as consequence of this uniqueness and blessing, as the LORD states, they would be “blessed” if they follow His ways, but they would be “cursed” if after knowing His “grace, mercy, Law, Spirit, glory, and love” they turn away and go after other gods of the lands around them. Then my question, along with many others who are asking this same question, is HOW MUCH MORE blessing and cursing comes to the nation, which was built not on the Law of Moses, but on the blood of Jesus Christ and on the gospel of grace who has gone and “mixed with the world” and polluted Herself with the nations? Since it is true that: “Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:28-31, emphasis mine). First, I am aware these sections of scripture are twisted and trampled on by those who oppose the justice of God in favor of cheap grace. The cure to this problem is to simply step back, read it in context, and accept the truth even if it doesn’t make sense to you now. I can tell you it is talking to the “Believer” who no longer believes. But my point here specifically is the nation of America as a whole in the twenty-first century. Though these verses are addressing individuals who treated God’s grace “lightly” and eventually threw it away. I am convinced this nation, which was built on the prayers of the Puritans and dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ by all the God-fearers who first landed here to set up a nation dedicated to the LORD. Being seen in many of the first writings and dedications of the land by the people. But who, beginning in the 60’s, chose to “spit in God’s face”…. are currently reaping what they’ve sown. In fact, Romans chapter one explains what is happening in America. For any individual or nation that once “knew the Lord” then turns away, will be judged. First, by “loss of some discernment, and ending with complete blindness” with small compromises over an extended period. And moving from worship of the Creator to worship of anything, including self as God.
Thankfully, even though America as a nation is crumbling before our eyes because it has no foundation of Rock, or “truth” to stand upon, therefore, resting on sand alone. We still have HOPE! I do not personally believe there is hope for the nation, but there is still hope for the people. Why? Because though Israel as a nation sinned and reaped the consequences of their sin. God did not forget His promise to His people, nor did He forget those who “feared the LORD.” In the past, God has always “hidden” a people for Himself. He has always had His “remnant.” Not only that. But we have grace on our side: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14). And, “the Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Lastly, “the times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). Therefore, God is still in the saving business. And He is willing and able to save any who turn to Him in repentance and faith. Some believe we are on the edge of another revival. Personally, I do not think so. But I do believe that as we are humbled as a nation, some will seek the Lord as a result. And certainly, those who are already His but who have been “wandering in the wilderness” will run home to Dad. And sadly, as some “last days” passages of scripture point out, some will walk away, trampling on the gospel of grace. Therefore, let us both encourage, and warn, while there is still time.