Pray For Our Nation
Old Testament Reading- Proverbs 3:5-7
New Testament Reading- 1 Corinthians 3
By Henry J. Rafferty CLP -July 11, 2021
We have been talking the last two weeks about God being the Creator of the nations of the world, including our own nation, the good ole U.S. of A. If God is the Creator of the nations, then He is also the sustainer. He is not the only one at work though, He depends on us, His servants, His children to partner with Him in this regard. We do not get to sit around and get fat, saying that God will take care of us, He has work for us to do as well. God has given us a land that is vast, stretching from sea to shining sea. Capable of growing a tremendous amount of food, not only for the people of this country, but for people all over the world. We are rich in fresh water, from rivers and streams to lakes, in fact, we share the five Great Lakes, some of the largest stores of fresh water in the world, with our neighbors in Canada. God has blessed us with mineral wealth, gold, oil, coal, copper, and natural gas, just to name a few. Compared to most countries of the world we have huge forests that cover the land and are blessed with a timber trade for building anything from pallet stock to houses.
God has provided for us not just to survive, but to thrive in this country, not just with natural resources, but with the very essence of our nation, our freedoms. We are free to speak and think freely about our government and our leaders. We are allowed to practice religion how we see fit and are not told what to believe by the federal or state government. We are free to vote our leaders into office and alternatively, to vote them out, if we so choose. We have the right to a trial by our peers, if accused of wrongdoing. We have so many rights in this country that often we don’t even know what they all are, but it is safe to say that in this country we have freedoms that others only dream of having. Our blessings are countless.
Our country is protected from others in many ways. First, we have good relations with our neighbors in the north and south, Canada and Mexico. We have naturally occurring protection in being separated from the other half of the world by two large oceans, and we have mountain ranges that are difficult to cross if someone where able to make landfall. We have one of, if not the most powerful militaries in the world. Our combined armed forces are a formidable military machine that not too many countries would want to tangle with, and our defense systems are second to none. We are equipped with short- and long-range weapons and we have troops across the globe.
"...in this country we have freedoms that others only dream of having. Our blessings are countless,"
~ Pastor Henry Rafferty
Sounds good right, if it were a commercial for where to live in the world, wouldn’t you want to live here? Look at all that God has done for this nation, He has blessed us unequivocally. It brings to mind what Moses told the Israelites in Deuteronomy 28:1-14, “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the
young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in
the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.”
But, and there has to be a but, because when you have a free choice to make there is an alternate outcome too. Deuteronomy 28:15-29 tells us, “However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you: You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country. Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed. The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out. The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will
plague you until you perish. The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed. The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away. The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.” All the wonderful gifts that God has given us, could it really be taken from us if we choose to not follow God?
Granted, that Moses was writing about the nation of Israel and that was what was specific for them at that given moment in history, but shouldn’t we be careful? Hasn’t God given us great and wondrous gifts just like He had done with Israel? America look how close to God Israel was and be mindful of what happened to them.
We humans have a short memory, too short. We soon forget after trouble has left us how bad it was and how we should not want to return to it. We become prideful and too reliant on ourselves and our perceived cleverness and technological wonders. Our freedoms and our blessings start to begin to look and feel more like rights and karmic payments, like things that are gained by wealth or privilege, not gifts given by God. Remember, that God blessed Lucifer with the most beauty and power of any created being and look where pride got him.
Romans 1:21-25 says, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore, God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!”
And again, in Romans 1:28-32, “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
James 4:4-6 warns us, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
What are we to do then? Are we to feel no real joy or patriotic pride in our lives? Does God so need attention and praise that if He doesn’t get it, He punishes us with ruin and death? No! Absolutely not! God does not require your praise or attention; it is quite the opposite. It is we that need God’s attention, and praise is just the natural response for what God is and does. He wants us to love the land that we have been given, but He does not want us to love it more than Him and He wants us to take care of this gift as it is really just on loan to us, it belongs to God. We are to be responsible partners with God in taking good care of it and each other. 2 Chronicles 7: 13-15 says, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”
Humble ourselves to God and to each other and pray for God to heal us and our land. Want to make America great? That is where you start. Yes, it is great to have awesome leaders, but it all starts with God. Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 NIV)
Pray for God to be forefront in our country and He will strengthen our leaders, protect us from all others, and heal our land. He will cause us to thrive and enjoy the pursuit of happiness. James 4:7-10 says it best, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
"If we can agree that God is the Creator and sustainer of nations, then we should also agree that He can be the ender of nations." ~ Pastor Henry Rafferty
God wants the very best for us, but His plan still remains and is the most important plan in play, salvation for more and more people every day.
If we can agree that God is the Creator and sustainer of nations, then we should also agree that He can be the ender of nations. Let us not be one of those nations, let us Christian Americans shine a light for Christ to all the nations and the world for all that is good and pure and loving. Let us show others by our good example how we should live with our freedoms by a law that is higher than the law of the land, not by shoving our faith and our beliefs down their throats, we gain no one for God in that manner. Whomever does well with what God gives, He shall give even more. God has given much to this nation that we love, let us pray that He strengthens us to achieve our task and that He gives us more to pass on to others in His name. All Glory to God and May God Bless America. Amen.
May this poem bring us comfort today: