Sometimes when you encounter something, something you see or hear or smell or read, you get that feeling like “Maybe this has happened before.” In other words, déjà-vu.
The other day I was reading through the Book of Isaiah, and a particular passage reminded me so much of our nation, as well as of our community. It wasn’t actually déjà-vu, but it really seemed to be a parallel that applies to us, as a nation, and as a community.
The specific passage that triggered the thought for this article was Isaiah 30:1-5:
“Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the Lord, “Who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
“Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation.
“For their princes are at Zoan and their ambassadors arrive at Hanes.
“Everyone will be ashamed because of a people who cannot profit them, who are not for help or profit, but for shame and also for reproach.”
Of course this passage is speaking of Israel, and its unwise dependence upon Egypt for help and protection, as opposed to trusting solely in the Lord. So what does this have to do with us, you may ask?
This nation, even the people of this community, whether city, county, or state, are traveling down a dark and dangerous road. We are relying on our own plans, plans that often hurt or take advantage of others, all so we can move forward on our own agendas.
God makes it clear that we are to care for the children, and yet what I see going on is anything but caring for our precious, impressionable children. One group wants to indoctrinate our children to its ideology, other groups want to groom our children for their own sinful perversions, all under the cloak of darkness, hiding from uninformed parents.
I see our nation, and groups within our nation, making alliances with those who can’t be trusted, simply because they promise to help promote the other’s agenda, but when all is said and done it is clear that both agendas will destroy the fabric of our families, our community, and our nation.
That is what Israel was doing. They were trusting in the untrustworthy simply to satisfy their personal and selfish appetites. They were leaning on that which had no substance, not realizing that when the moment came for assistance they would find they were leaning on dead air; worse, what they were depending on would actually stab right through them, destroying them in the moment they hoped for salvation.
As a nation we are turning away from the ways of God at an alarming rate. In fact those who say we are to be firm in our trust in God, that we must go His way and not our own ways, are increasingly being maligned and slandered, even threatened, being called “American Taliban,” or enemies of the state.
How sad that those who believe in the sanctity of marriage, or who believe that God created the human race with just two genders are now being called “radicals,” and people who are actually “dangerous” to society.
Nonetheless, God calls us to care about our neighbors; whether they are just down the street, or if they dwell in the halls of Washington D.C. We need to remember that God is still the One we can rely upon, and we need to be a voice of reason even in a world of the unreasonable.
God is Sovereign, and just as Israel discovered, or just as Babylon discovered, or just as so many others have discovered throughout history, God will always have the final word.
But things are not beyond hope. Things in this nation can still turn around, especially if you and I will stand up and point to the One who alone is trustworthy, the One with whom people, all people, should build an alliance.
We must remember that God created all of us, and He calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Therefore we must insist that those who are making alliances with hate groups, with those who would pit race against race, or gender against gender, or children against parents, cease such alliances, and begin to see one another as God sees us – as people who are precious to Him; so precious that He sent His only Son to die for us, each of us, all of us.
This nation was founded to a large degree to provide a place where people could pursue God, and pursue a place of safety for themselves and their children, and promote the general welfare of all people, not just the loudest, the meanest, or those in power.
Certainly our nation has made mistakes, and we will again, but I praise God that our founding document – the Constitution, allows us to properly fix those mistakes as they are realized.
God continually called Israel to repent and turn back to Him. And I firmly believe that what God told King Solomon about turning Israel around in 2 Chronicles 7:14 can apply to us today, that if those who are truly followers of Christ, that if God’s people, those who are called by His Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, then He will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Let us stand up for what is right, stand against what is wrong, and trust in the One who is truly and eternally trustworthy.
Jon McCartney is pastor of First Baptist Church of Tooele.