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"YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN THE GOD OF YOUR SALVATION"
by Philip Owen

          Presumption is the mother of pride and the grandmother of arrogance. Our nation had lived so long under the benevolent hand of God that it had come to presume that its wealth and peace would continue indefinitely. And like a cancer, that presumption had spread to engulf the cause of those blessings, obliterating God as the acknowledged source of those advantages and replacing Him as their Originator with the blessings of the U. S. Constitution; the integrity, ingenuity, and industriousness of the American populace; the diversity of our culture; or any number of other malignant ideas. But the recent pandemic, inflationary forces, and supply-chain issues that have brought wide-spread illness, extraordinary prices, and measurable shortages of food and other consumer goods have—or should have—shaken the arrogance that has become the defining characteristic of our nation.

            It should come as no surprise to believers that our nation finds itself in the throes of oppressive governance, natural disasters, and man-made calamities. After all, God is no stranger to rebellious men and has revealed how He deals with such sin on multiple occasions in His Word. In the seventeenth chapter of Isaiah, the prophet foretells the coming plight of Damascus, which bears a striking parallel to current events.

            He begins with this ominous prediction: “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin” (v. 1). Although America has been the predominant giant on the world stage for the last century, she is nowhere mentioned in prophecy. Can we doubt that the fate of Damascus will befall the United States as we are rapidly becoming a “fallen ruin”?

 Isaiah continues: “The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim” (v. 3). Citizens of this nation wait with bated breath for the next terrorist attack. Whether from international terrorists or the lawless within our borders, neither city nor town is safe. We realize that in a moment we could become the victims of a mass murderer, the targets of Jihadists, even the casualties of a malevolent foreign dictator.

The ominous oracle continues: “In that day the glory of Jacob will fade, and the fatness of his flesh will become lean” (v. 4). Only the spiritually blind and perverted can fail to see that the glory of this nation has faded. Righteousness, truth, and integrity in governmental institutions have become, for the most part, a faded memory. Distrust and cynicism concerning government run rampant—understandably so.

“You plant delightful plants,” Isaiah observes, “But the harvest will be a heap in a day of sickliness and incurable pain” (vv. 10, 11). How many have been the so-called remedies that have been floated by governmental agencies and social organizations, all to fail miserably? And all with the predictable resulting “uproar of many peoples who roar like the roaring of the seas” (v. 12). On the one hand, we endure the uproarious protests of those who deem themselves to be oppressed; on the other hand, we experience the uproarious laments of those who see their freedom and wealth being stolen.

Again, we should not be surprised. The source of our problems is identical to that of Damascus, about whom Isaiah explains: “you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the rock of your refuge” (v. 10). There is no recourse for those who forsake the God of their salvation because He is the only source of blessing. How precipitous will be America’s fall is known only to God. But what He has clearly revealed and is beyond doubt is that those who forsake God and scorn His grace have sown the wind and will reap the whirlwind (see Hos. 8:7). America is not the exception to God’s pattern. We will not escape judgment. Our conscious, deliberate rejection of Him will bear fruit—no, is bearing fruit. Believer, your hope is not in the U. S. Constitution, governmental organizations, or the American people, it is in the Lord. Though our nation has become pagan, we must trust in Him and His faithfulness. He will not fail.

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