Over four hundred years ago, a group of men and women set foot upon the shores of our nation with the hope of a new life before them. Accustomed to civilized society in Europe and the benefits that it provided, life was difficult for the Pilgrims. In fact, due to starvation and disease 80% of the colonists at Jamestown colony would perish during the years 1609-1610. Yet, the rest stuck it out – much like those who, just a few years later, would settle in Plymouth, Massachusetts. For that group, leaving kin and country, traveling the treacherous and deadly sea and going to a wilderness land where all of the comforts of home were lost was a small price to pay for freedom – specifically, the freedom to worship God in a way consistent with their Protestant convictions.
It was not only Protestant convictions that found refuge in this new land. In 1634, Roman Catholics settled in Maryland. In 1638, Roger Williams established the first officially recognized Baptist church in North America and by 1654, America saw its first Jewish Congregation formed from Jews escaping Brazilian persecution. And, by the 1700s, Islam made its way into America in small pockets as Muslims fled European persecution – though actual mosques didn’t show up until the 1920s.
As the American colonies became the United States, this principle of religious freedom followed the colonists and expanded as they set up the new country. Now, rather than having a state religion as many of the colonies had, no state would establish its own religion and people of all faiths would be free to worship their G/god according to their own convictions.
This fact is illustrated in no better place than the realm of American Jewry. Though Jews have been expelled throughout the world, they have been able to live here. But what if that were to change? What if America turned her back on Israel and the Jews and no longer acted as a protector against this long persecuted group of people?
There is evidence she is doing just that.
In what is being classified as yet another embarrassing verbal gaffe, US Vice President Joe Biden stated at a Rosh Hashanah Party:
“You understand in your bones that no matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States…there is really only one absolute guarantee, and that’s the state of Israel,” (http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/26354/Default.aspx?utm_source=news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=No-sidebar-news-1&utm_content=1709)
And, in 2014 anti-semitic incidents were said to have risen 21% over prior years with 44% of those incidents being vandalism or assault in the United States.
Now, we have crafted a treaty with a known supporter of terrorism in which Israel’s very existence is being laid on the line in such a cavalier manner as to be shocking. Not only are we giving Iran a green light for creating nuclear weapons, but we’re paying them and protecting them as they literally get by scot-free in their quest to annihilate Israel and ultimately the USA.
What in the world is going on? Right is wrong. Up is down. Black is white. It is as if the entire planet was teleported to backwards land and now has awoken to a world in which every standard and principle we have stood for and believed for so long is turned on its head.
While America has existed, she has been blessed greatly for her support of Israel. Other nations have suffered under a curse for not supporting her. But today, I’m forced to ask the question of not how much longer God will continue to bless our nation but how much longer before we start feeling the full strength of the curse we have placed ourselves under. The United States of America, a country established on a biblical foundation has forsaken her heritage and is now plunging headfirst into self-destruction. A choice was given – choose you this day whom you will serve – and she chose Baal. From here, we can only hope for national repentance; but, with our turning our back on Israel, might this be the point where God does not send revival again?
Jeremiah 8 speaks of a time when the Jews were being warned to turn. Time and again, Jeremiah poured out his heart with the message God had given but they would not repent. Destruction was near but they not only ignored Jeremiah’s words but persecuted God’s prophet. Jeremiah lamented:
18 When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. 19 Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? 20The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me.
Jeremiah spoke harsh words towards his people because he was trying to wake them up – because he loved them and did not want to see them destroyed – and because He loved the God who made them. For this, he was put in chains.
Persecution is rising in America. It is rising against Jews and it is rising against Christians. It is getting to where it is no longer safe to be a part of the people of the book. Will we stand silently as it all passes away? Or will we take what is perhaps the last moments of freedom in this land to be a Jeremiah to our generation and warn them of the destruction that awaits them if they do not repent?ur
One can follow the history of America and pair it up with the history of Israel in many ways. Both of us were founded with dedication to the God of the Bible. Both of us have stood on biblical principles. Both of us faced a division of our land through civil war. Both of us have fallen into idolatry and sin. Both of us have had periods of revival. Both of us have turned right back to our sin after the revival has come. And both of us have stood on the precipice staring face to face with our own destruction and have been given a clear choice. Israel chose her own destruction. Will America?
America and Israel are a lot alike. But there is one key difference. Israel’s promises from God are eternal and though she has strayed far from Him, God will never forsake her. America doesn’t have such a promise and is on very precarious ground right now. Everything she is and everything she has enjoyed may be lost in a single moment if she does not repent and turn back to God. What will we do? Are we about to face our Babylonian captivity? Are we about to face the end? Time will tell – but I don’t think we will have long to wait to find out the answer to that question. The UN meets in September. Key decisions will likely be made. Will we be on the right side of history or the wrong side?