National Repentance; May 15, 2021


2 Chronicles 7:19-20 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.”

When we get to this part of the Bible, everyone likes to quote verse 14, reasonably enough. Around 40 years ago there was quite a movement, at least among Charismatic churches, led by Rock Church in Virginia Beach, seeking to draw America into a revival based on repentance. Obviously, it didn’t gain enough traction! (Though the election of Ronald Reagan might be taken as a consequence.) We are at a place where verse 14 could not be more appropriate and topical, but we’ve got to remember that this part is in there too. The past few months, with the extreme policies of the current administration, have shone light on all sorts of things that were already going on under the surface in the US, and what is being revealed is stomach-turning. The results on the world stage have been swift, with bad actors of all stripes being emboldened to the point that it’s hard to keep up with all the crises. Interestingly, just yesterday billwhittle.com put out a video talking about how we had gone back to the ’70s – and that is precisely the environment that prompted Rock Church to push verse 14! Those who care about God and morality need to stand up to all the junk and repent of their own part in it, because the inaction of the Christians has certainly been a contributing factor. Many, many nominal Christians have indeed turned away from the clear words of the Bible and gone after “other gods,” though we haven’t used that terminology. It is no coincidence that Karl Marx and Charles Darwin were contemporaries. Between them, their ideas have resulted in the physical deaths of hundreds of millions of people and in the spiritual destruction of even more. Their ideas have actively sought to remove God from His throne, and their replacement? Man himself. That is the worst kind of idolatry, because it appeals to our basest motives most thoroughly. America has had a unique place in world history, and the devil hates it, because it was founded on Biblical principles and has been the greatest missionary-sending nation. As James said so clearly, we have got to wake up, submit to God, and resist the devil. (James 4:7) Only then can we expect that he will flee from us.

When drawing up the Scripture list I deliberately put this in at this point for the sake of chronology, but I of course had no idea that yesterday I would see the video from billwhittle.com and interestingly, one from Fox News that talked about a school board meeting in Virginia where parents really are standing up and resisting the flood of filth. God’s timing is perfect, because He sees it all at once! The danger for me is in feeling holier-than-thou, getting proud that I see what’s going on. That would be the height of foolishness! Like Daniel, I’ve got to repent for the sake of the nation, understanding my own complicity on many levels. I am torn, because I care deeply about America yet I am sent to Japan, which I naturally also care deeply about. My political participation is limited in both countries, because of my physical distance from the US and my lack of legal citizenship in Japan, but nothing stands in the way of prayer! I am to live in personal righteousness and holiness and offer my prayers to God for Him to use them to accomplish His purposes.

Father, thank You for this powerful reminder. It’s got me rather worked up! Keep me from depending on feelings or emotions, but rather help me be faithful on every level regardless of what is going on around me, so that indeed Your name may be acknowledged as holy and Your kingdom come as Your will is done, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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