Wasn’t it a glorious Fourth of July? I spent all day thanking God for my blessings, especially the freedoms that I enjoy because I live in the United States of America. I am so thankful that men and women love our country enough to lay down their lives to maintain the freedom we have.
The following days were spent packing for vacation and actually getting to our destination — Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. So, when I took my Bible and stepped out onto our little balcony (which is poolside this year, and I really like that), I wasn’t expecting what God brought to my mind. While expecting to start the book of Acts (this has been a goal of mine for two weeks now, but I’ve been sidetracked every single day by other scriptures), what my heart heard was “Isaiah.”
So I turned to Isaiah, chapter one and got no farther than verse two before I knew why God had sent me to this book.
Heaven and earth, listen,
because the Lord is speaking:
“I raised my children and helped them grow up,
but they have turned against me.” (Isaiah 1:2 NCV)
As I read the rest of the chapter, I realized that Isaiah was speaking God’s truth to the nation of Israel; how they had walked away from their relationship with Him and what the consequences were going to be if they did not repent and ask forgiveness.
The heart-stopping scripture I came upon in verse ten:
Jerusalem, your rulers are like those of Sodom,
and your people are like those of Gomorrah.
Hear the word of the Lord;
listen to the teaching of our God!
The same little voice that whispered “Isaiah” to my heart now whispered, “Everywhere you see ‘Jerusalem’ or ‘Israel’ in this chapter, substitute ‘America.'” (I invite you to do this if you want to see the vision I had this morning!)
Knowing that your country is steadily declining is one thing. Reading about it in the scripture is another. When I think the absolute worst punishment God ever gave (other than the crucifixion of our Savior), I always think of Sodom and Gomorrah. One minute, two cities stood teeming with life (albeit, sinful degradation, it was still life); the next, total demolition. That, dear friends, is where our country is headed unless we quickly and completely turn about.
I sat, without moving, as people started filling the pool area at eight-thirty. I thought of the music I had enjoyed on our drive to the beach yesterday and I knew what I would share for Music Monday today. Listen to the lyrics. Pray them for yourself. Pray them for our leaders. Pray them for our country.
Then if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, if they will pray and seek me and stop their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NCV)
Believe Him and pray.
Lay Me Down (Chris Tomlin)