I Will Cause You to Dwell
Like I have before, I highlighted a passage from yesterday’s reading of Jeremiah in the One Year. It is one of the final windows of repentance God offers Judah through Jeremiah’s words — one they ultimately refuse, to their complete downfall. These are the simple, just actions (resulting from repentance) that God demands from His people:
“For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.” (Jeremiah 7:5–7)
I had been reading all of the tragic judgements pronounced against Judah, and I kept thinking “I pray this never describes us” while reading them. The stench of human evil was so bad and had to be corrected so severely that God told Jeremiah not to pray for his people anymore. I will not be a person who argues that America is on the same track that Judah and Israel were, because I don’t believe the sins of our nations past and present outweigh what God has done and will do.
But looking at this “list” of demands that really only boils down to repentance and what follows, they aren’t hard. In order to keep the land and to keep hold of God’s blessings, any nation that wants to endure must:
- Execute justice fairly; don’t let the system be rigged against the poor or the less fortunate, or be fixed to provide people who deserve discipline unearned and unfair freedom.
- Don’t oppress the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; don’t hold people to different standards, not because of ethnicity or identity or for any other reason. Hold all people accountable to the law in the same manner, and protected by the law in the same manner. Take care of those who are alone and stuck in a situation outside their control. Or, even better, encourage private institutions or the Church to do it for you (like they’re supposed to).
- Shed no innocent blood. I’ve written about the amount of blood spilled by the unborn in our country; that must be put to an end. Putting a final end to crime may be outside the power of any nation — but ending abortion is fully within their power. This is one of America’s failures that must be corrected.
- Walk away from idolatry; God isn’t insecure. He is the Creator of the Cosmos, He isn’t intimidated by revering wood and stone…or people. Or money. Or anything that humans pay more attention to. God knows that idolatry hurts us, and we do it anyway. Putting away the pedestals we put people and ideas is the right idea. Setting aside idols of ideology, especially those that violate Scripture, is the right thing to do (once again, no matter the letter in front of your name, or what movement you are a part of) is always the right thing to do.
In my journal from yesterday, I prayed that America can be remembered as a nation that repented when it mattered most. I prayed that these four fruits and the countless other results of repentance would flood our nation. I prayed that this season would create a massive movement of repentance and boldness, of countless voices pointing to evil and injustice and shipping it back to where it belongs.
Israel did not repent, and she fell.
Judah did not repent, and she fell.
I will not be a part of a generation that let America fall. With my voice in Heaven and on Earth, I will do something about it.
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)