Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Turn and Honor God (Proverbs 11:10, 11; 14:34; 28:12)

"Righteousness exalts a nation" (Prov. 14:34).

in the 1990s, America witnessed a virtual revolution. Forty years of Democratic control of Congress ended as the GOP bulldozed through national elections. Democratic governors, senators, and representatives were sent packing as Republicans moved into Washington. Many Christians breathed a sigh of relief, naively believing the promised welfare reform, lower taxes, and less government is all it will take to get our nation back on track. But fiscal responsibility alone will not bring glory to a nation that has turned its back on God.

Solomon reminds us that a nation can only be restored through righteousness. “Not the wisdom of policy, extent of empire, splendid conquests, flourishing trade, abundant resources—but righteousness—exalts a nation,” Bridges writes. “Righteousness is both ‘the prop to make it subsist firm in itself, and a crown to render it glorious in the eyes of others.’ Greece in her proud science; Rome in the zenith of her glory—both were sunk in the lowest depths of moral degradation.” When a nation refuses to recognize the authority of God and to honor His law, when children are raised according to their own whims rather than by the principles of Scripture, when a nation profanes the Sabbath, when Christianity has been stricken from the curriculum of educational institutions, when prayer and morality are held in disdain, all the fiscal responsibility in the world will not bring dignity to a profligate nation.

The pagan politician Machiavelli saw the need for a nation to honor God: “Those princes and commonwealths, who would keep their government entire and uncorrupt, are, above all things, to have a care of religion and its ceremonies, and preserve them in due veneration. For in the whole world there is not a greater sign of imminent ruin, than when God and his worship are despised.” Even Plato recognized moral righteousness as the pillar and support of the city (de Legibus, VI).

As we seek governmental reform, let us not put our hope in those things that fail to bring a nation lasting glory, but let us remember that only through righteousness is a nation exalted. Pray for revival to sweep our country and for our nation to repent, honor God, and seek His righteousness.

A country cannot institutionalize righteousness. It must flow from the principles of individuals. How can the principles of people change? Is true revival contained within a Christian community, or will it necessarily affect the nation as a whole? Are you praying for revival? Pray today that God’s Spirit will open the hearts of the lost.