If our 2016 Presidential election proved anything, it proved America is a divided nation. Now this shouldn’t be a surprise, since this has been the case for twenty years. These figures tell us the margin by which previous presidential elections have been won:
2012 – 3-4% – Obama (D) v. Romney
2008 – 7.2% – Obama (D) v. McCain
2004 – 2-3% – Bush (R) v. Kerry
2000 – <0.5% – Bush (R) v. Gore
1996 – 8% Clinton (D) defeated Dole (R); Perot (I) garnered 8% of the vote
1996 – 5.6% Clinton (D) defeated Bush (R); Perot (I) garnered 18.9% of the vote
The last twenty years, we have decided alternately between Republican and Democrat. Yet regardless of which political party has held office, our country has continued on a downward moral spiral as indicated by these disturbing facts and observations:
> About the same number of abortions continue to be performed each day as the number of those who lost their lives on 9/11
> 49% of Americans believe there are racial tensions
> The murder rate increased 10.8% in 2015
> 93% of black homicide victims were killed by blacks
> 49% of students, grades 4-12, reported being bullied by other students
> Children bullied by peers are 3.3 times more likely to report a suicide attempt than youth who reported not being bullied
> 60% of American Christians believe religious liberty is on the decline
The United States has been in moral decline regardless of which political party has held the office of president therefore, perhaps the answer to our country’s problems doesn’t reside in the White House but in your house and in my house. This was true in biblical times, and I believe, it is just as true today. Let’s consider a biblical account from Israel’s history that will help us understand this dilemma.
Isaiah was a prophet of the Lord for fifty-eight years to the Southern Kingdom of Judah. He lived in the capital, Jerusalem. During his tenure, five kings reigned. Scripture tells us three kings “did right in the sight of the Lord,” while two kings were described as doing evil.
King Uzziah was the monarch under which Isaiah began his ministry. He reigned fifty-two years and, although God describes Uzziah as a king who did “right in the sight of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 26:4) at the end of his life, he allowed pride to control his heart; one bad decision left him with leprosy until his death. It was during this time, the Lord commanded Isaiah to speak to Judah, “‘[you] keep on listening, but do not perceive; [you] keep on looking, but [you] do not understand.’ Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim” (Isaiah 6:9-10).
Judah had a King who followed the Lord and His precepts, yet the people were disobedient to the Lord.
The theme of Isaiah’s message was repentance and a return to the Lord. Isaiah 30:8 teaches, “For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.’ But you were not willing.” Despite the king and the message from the Lord…Israel refused to repent and return to the Holy One of Israel.
Some of you may well be agreeing with my analysis and thinking of others who need a message of repentance. Before we look at others, let’s observe what Isaiah learned before he was sent out, he described in Isaiah 6:5 a vision. His words express his awe upon seeing the Lord, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Once Isaiah saw the Lord, he was compelled to make that humble assessment of who he was compared with holy God. Isaiah didn’t compare himself with others, he compared himself with God Almighty.
The moment Isaiah recognized his sinful condition, God sent a seraph with a burning coal to touch his lips, cleansing his sin (Isaiah 6:6). Just as God was the answer to Isaiah’s sin, God is the answer to the sin in my life and in your life.
Remarkably, this story gives us the key to the problem we face in the United States. Once Isaiah’s sin was forgiven, God asked an important question, “Who will go for Us?” Isaiah said, “Here I am Lord, send me” (Isaiah 6:8). God used that imperfect man to orchestrate His perfect plan.
Isaiah was called to proclaim a ministry of repentance to a nation who had closed her ears and hearts to the Living God. He knew not all would listen, but He said a remnant would repent and return to Him.
What would result? The remnant would, “Hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed” (Isaiah 6:10). Returning to the Lord would heal the land of Judah.
As it was true in the days of Isaiah, it is true today for the United States. Are you tried of daily turmoil? Does your stomach turn as you watch news programs? You, my friend, are the key to making America great again.
Here are keys to healing our country:
1. Begin with yourself – Ask the Lord to expose every part of your life that needs to be healed and all sin that must be forgiven. He is a faithful God and wants you to be free from every entanglement. Pray Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”
2. Accept the Lord’s redemption – Only the Lord can forgive sin. He is willing to forgive everything. Isaiah 3:18 teaches, “The Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.” He is waiting.
3. Be available – When the Lord asked Isaiah, “Who will go for Us?” Isaiah didn’t ask for details, he said “Yes!” You never know what God can do with a heart that is available.
4. Be obedient – When God gave Isaiah his assignment, Isaiah knew the task would be challenging, he didn’t say, “No!” he simply asked how long the assignment would last. Even hearing the answer, he was still obedient.
5. Expect to find occasional difficulty – Life is often challenging, so why assume an assignment from the Creator of the Universe will be effortless? Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” It is during difficult times we often learn rich truths from our Lord.
6. Expect rejection – When Isaiah asked how long he was to proclaim the message of repentance to Israel, the Lord said, “Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, houses are without people and the land is utterly desolate” (Isaiah 6:11). He knew the warning would be rejected, but that fact did not give Isaiah permission to reject the assignment.
7. Expect a harvest – As God informed Isaiah many would not listen, He also encouraged Isaiah others would. Isaiah 6:13 reveals, “Yet there will be a tenth portion in it [the land].” God always has some ready to hear the message of repentance and healing. We are blessed to be apart of God’s plan to deliver that message. If you are not obedient, you will miss the blessing the Lord has reserved for you. You and I are God’s plan—there is no Plan B—for delivering His message to the United States and to the world. If not you, then who?
I have a friend who says, “You are either part of the problem, or part of the solution.” If you don’t like the direction America is headed, you can be a catalyst to change the direction. The Lord is asking, “Who will go for Us?” How do you respond?
Marta’s love for the Bible began at her salvation in 1993. The depth truths of God’s Word began to penetrate her heart and transform her life. Her journey as a disciple of Jesus has lead her on many great adventures. She has spoke about God’s amazing grace and power of forgiveness everywhere from the prisons in America to over fifteen nations. In1997 she began teaching Bible studies and began writing them in 2009. She has three published studies through the ministry she founded, Words of Grace & Truth. The passion of this ministry is teaching God’s Word and equipping others to teach regardless of which nation she may find herself. She is a gifted teacher, speaker, and expositor of God’s Word.
- A New Years Resolve - January 3, 2017
- A Biblical Reflection on the 2016 Presidential Election - December 5, 2016