Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- March 17, 2013
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. Proverbs 14:34
What makes a nation, any nation, great? Its goodness is what God blesses. Righteousness is the lever the Lord uses to lift up a nation as an example for other nations to follow. However, like people, a nation can fall from God’s grace. His blessing is removed when a haughty country shows no remorse for sin and even sanctions its use. A blessed nation will cease to be great when it forgets where it came from by jettisoning Jesus.
It is when a nation is hurting that it needs healing most. The nation of Israel experienced this. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Have we drifted as a nation to not needing God? Has our sin found us out? Are we reaping what we have sown?
“In that day you will say: ‘Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted’” (Isaiah 12:4).
The good news is that an exalted nation does not have people sneaking out but instead sneaking in. Peoples of the world clamor to a country Christ has blessed. The best and the brightest are drawn like a moth to a light to live somewhere they can chase their dreams. It is out of its goodness that a nation becomes a magnet for mankind. Righteousness reposes in the heart of a great nation, supporting virtue and suppressing vice.
Lastly, a crippled country can come back, but not without consequences. It starts with individuals repenting and taking responsibility for their actions. “How can I come clean with Christ?” “Have I been financially irresponsible?” “Has greed governed my giving?” “Has fear frozen my faith?” “Have comfort and ease become my idol?” The Lord exalts a nation that stays on its knees in dependence and awe of almighty God.
“He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised” (Deuteronomy 26:19).
God, what do I need to do in order for You to again trust our nation with greatness?
Related Readings: Proverbs 11:11; Jeremiah 22:2–25; Matthew 12:21; Romans 16:25–27
Taken from reading #70 in the new 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Proverbs” pre-order your copy at a 20% savings… … http://bit.ly/Tv6y9a
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