Do Nations Reap What they Sow? A Message for Bible-Believing Christians
There is a biblical principle about sowing (actions) and reaping (consequences) captured in the Scripture below:
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians: 7-9 (KJV)”
Although Galatians applies to individual choices, we can see parallels in God’s dealings with the Israelites. If God changes not, then there are lessons for America.
Likewise, the Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy promises blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. Many “prosperity preachers” and televangelists enthrall audiences by focusing on the blessings. However, Scripture clearly presents curses for willful disobedience of God’s revealed law. Deuteronomy 28:15-22 (ESV) states:
But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.”
The LORD will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me. The LORD will make the pestilence stick to you until he has consumed you off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. The LORD will strike you with wasting disease and with fever, inflammation and fiery heat, and with drought and with blight and with mildew. They shall pursue you until you perish.”
“According to the passage in Deuteronomy, a nation that rebels against God will absolutely not thrive. Its people will suffer ill health, and natural disasters will strike the land. Its ventures will not prosper. Until recent decades, America has prospered. But the 21st century finds us dealing with incurable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, deadly cancers, the re-emergence of tuberculosis and leprosy, Ebola, Swine Flu, and penicillin-resistant sexual diseases. We are being confronted with numerous natural disasters and freak weather patterns. Could some of these occurrences be related to our decision to reject biblical injunctions against abortion, greed, homosexuality, fornication, and adultery?
Has our behavior brought God’s judgment upon America in the form of the curses spelled out in Deuteronomy 28:15-53? And while the words of this passage were originally spoken to ancient Israel, they are still significant for a nation that portrays itself as Christian and whose founding fathers included men seeking a lasting covenant that would bring blessings to themselves and future generations. Today, politically correct Americans – both leaders and citizens – mock and turn their backs on the God of the Bible. Christians have allowed non-believers and secularists to persuade them to place their God on an equal status with the gods of other nations and to blend interfaith religious practices with shared chapels and retreat symbols, a practice that runs counter to biblical warnings about apostasy and the worship of other deities. This takes place at retreat centers and functions where non-Christian religious leaders share the same worship space as Christians. The God of the Bible would no doubt reject the argument of one-God-many-paths associated most prominently with the New Age Movement.
Deuteronomy 28:43-44 seemingly speaks to our financial dependence on foreign nations and our failure to control our borders:
The sojourner [foreigner] who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him. He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.”
As of July 7 2015, the U.S. government owed more than $18 trillion, and of course, the clock is ticking. “The national debt consists of the direct liabilities of the United States government. Foreign governments and investors own or control a significant proportion of the U.S. economy and infrastructure and China has become our biggest lender. Our dependence has
A 2006 USA Today article illustrates the enormous influence of foreign investment. According to the article, ‘more than half of U.S. debt available for public purchase . . . [was] held by foreigners, according to the Treasury Department.’ In 2005, foreigners owned $2.2 trillion in U.S. Treasury securities out of a total of $4 trillion of privately held U.S. debt. The biggest holders were the Japanese, who owned $685 billion of Treasury securities. Airlines, energy sources, toll roads, telecommunications, drinking water, waste services, and rail systems are largely dependent on foreign investment.
As I write these words (2010), the nation has been sobered by the BP oil rig explosion that sent millions of gallons of raw oil spewing into Gulf region of the United States, ending the livelihood of thousands of Americans who live there or work in the fishing or tourist industries and killing untold numbers of animals. An oil pipe explosion in Bejing, China created similar havoc in a different part of the world. In response to the oil spills poisoning the sea, some Christians have begun to cite the Book of Revelation 8:8-9 (ESV): “The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. A third of the living creatures in the sea died . . .” Clearly, we are living in tumultuous times.
What impact, if any, could broken vows and forgotten covenants have on our safety at home and abroad? Could broken vows affect our ability to win wars with other nations and even put our personal freedoms at risk? Deuteronomy 28:25-49 speaks to these matters as well”:
The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them. And you shall be a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth . . . The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, swooping down like the eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand, a hard-faced nation who shall not respect the old or show mercy to the young.
“China and Iran are internationally recognized for their appalling human rights records. Most Americans would be shocked at the idea of the United States becoming subjugated to one of these nations. Yet, if God has historically dealt with the sin of nations by allowing subjugation by their enemies, then we, too, risk punishment at the hands our adversaries.
Finally, Americans could be vulnerable for judgment because of their treatment of the Jewish people. Many Christians believe that Israel stands in a unique relationship with God and take seriously the words of Genesis 12:2-3: “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” These Christians believe that Israel is not just another nation; therefore, some argue that a direct correlation exists between America’s treatment of Israel and the resulting natural disasters in our country. According to this view, America suffers when we turn our backs on the descendants of Abraham – the modern day Jews who occupy the biblical Holy Land.
Herein lies a major dilemma for liberal and conservative Christians: if God does not change his Word, then consequences inevitably flow from individual and collective decisions. Either Israel is like any other nation, or she is special. If she is special, then how we treat her matters. If how we treat her matters, then America suffers when it makes the wrong decisions about intervention in affairs in the Middle East. Obviously, we will never know with certainty whether any given terrorist attack or natural disaster is linked to national decisions regarding treatment of Israel. But it is only wise to ponder and ask ourselves: Is America, like ancient Israel, reaping the consequences of choices our leaders have made on the part of We the People? And what consequences remain to be seen?”