As we read in Joel 1:3 (“Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.”) God’s plan was to reveal himself to humanity, using each generation to tell their children of the acts of God and the nature of their relationship to God. To this end, the text of the Bible was preserved and used as the basis for passing down God’s revelations.
From the earliest beginnings of American history, the Biblical world-view played the dominant role in the formation of our society, our government and our legal system. This fact is well-documented in “One Nation Under God, Ten Things Every Christian Should Know About the Founding of America” by Dr. David C. Gibbs, Jr. Because of our origins, many have gone so far as to call us a “Christian nation”. But as much as I would like that to be the case, and as much as I believe we should be a Christian nation, President Obama was right when he said we are not. The new generation has strayed far from the first. We failed to “tell our children”.
Of course, history has a nasty habit of repeating itself — probably because people just keep making the same old mistakes over and over. The Bible explains how even God’s Chosen People got off track. Because they didn’t carefully pass on Scriptural teachings, they decided to go their own way, which resulted in moral rebellion. God’s reaction was to reject even their religious practices (which had been prescribed by him) because of their hypocrisy. They looked proper on the outside while their hearts turned to unrighteousness.
I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! (Amos 5:21-24)
Take note of this: When a nation fails to teach its children the truth about God, that generation will go its own way, turning its back on God. When that happens, society begins to drift from righteousness and lose its sense of justice. Those two qualities are produced by adherence to godly instruction. But turn your back on God and you veer away from godly traits. God’s desire for us and the teaching of his Word is to “Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24)
The consequence of turning away from God’s revealed truth is ending up on the receiving end of God’s judgement and wrath. And those with eyes to see and ears to hear know that consequence is coming soon. We pray that the Spirit of the Lord sweep across the land like a purifying fire and that by such a revival the nation will return to God and his righteousness. We also pray for righteous leaders, rooted and grounded in God’s truth. For a nation cannot be righteous without righteous leadership.
In this post-information age we still have access to God’s word and godly teaching. I say post-information because freedom of information really means the freedom to hide information. Education today is pock-marked with gaping holes of what is not taught. Most of the news media is equally ventillated. They simply don’t report on anything they don’t want you to know about. It’s up to the individual to do his own research in order to really know what’s going on.
Even though the Bible is still the all-time best selling book, comes in a great number of versions and continues to be translated into more and more languages, ignorance persists. Without self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit, our sinful nature will surely draw us like moths to the shiney lights of temptation. (As Oscar Wilde said, “I can resist everything except temptation.”) And temptation flourishes in the environment of electronic technology, because it hands you the whole world with options. Hand-held portability, big screens, HD, 3D. Whatever you want. Whenever you want it.
Will such spiritual and moral ignorance prevail, or will we, as a people, return to God and avert the sting of his judgement? When God has had enough, we’ll find out!