Micah, America, and the Importance of Taking Sin Seriously
American Christians should not approach the sins of their nation with a disinterested or cavalier disposition. Even if things like racism, abortion, and government corruption never touch our souls or never reach our block, we should still take an interest in the issues that have corrupted our churches, communities, and governments. We should actively mourn sin and call for repentance on a national scale.
Though patient, God never overlooks a nation’s sin. He never writes off evil as being inconsequential. According to Micah 1:12, disaster, judgement, will “come down from the Lord to the gate of Jerusalem.” God will deal with the sins of the nations.
Even ancient Judah which could make the case for Christian exceptionalism without having to perform any hermeneutical gymnastics was at risk. God had promised to bless this nation. David’s heir sat upon their throne. The temple resided in their capital city. To reach the citadel of Jewish culture, opposing armies had to crash through an ancient line of fortresses set upon the mountains and had to defeat Israel large chariot force. By all accounts, Judah was God’s favorite nation, the city set upon the hill – a hill fortified by wealth and military ingenuity.
And yet the nation was not immune from judgement. Because they turned their back on God and worshipped idols, abused the poor, and bribed prophets, God erased their kingdom from the geopolitical landscape.
Like Micah’s original audience, some Americans pivot and discount these predictions of national doom because they don’t believe they could ever apply to the United States. They know this country was founded upon Christian principles. After all, the Declaration of Independence appeals to both “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” While the depth of the Christian influence remains debated, its presence in the original thirteen colonies and our nation’s government cannot be credibly denied. For all of their faults, America’s founding fathers bequeathed their nation a host of well-crafted documents which had been shaped by the biblical view of humanity. But such successes or “smiles of divine providence” will not save the United States from its sin. It did not save Judah.
Judah’s possessed the right heritage, a god ordained government, healthy financial institutions, and an advance military. Still, they could not stop God’s justice. God melted the nation’s wealth into nakedness (1:1). He rode roughshod over nation’s chariots and its network of forts (1:13). All that had been Judah’s confidence become the dowry of its conquerors (1:14). God dealt with Judah’s sin.
Even the divinely established throne of David failed to stay God’s hand. God declares, “the glory of Israel shall come to Adullam (1:15).” David hide from Saul in the caves of Adullam (1 Sam. 22:1). The rulers of Judah would flee the throne room for the safety of the caves. Like Adam, the heirs of David would go to the dust from which they had ascended (Gen 3:19). The destruction of Israel would be complete and final. Even the nation’s children would be marched off into captivity. All that would be left in Judah was bald men, mourning the grandeur of the past.
If the nation with the best pedigree failed to sidestep the crushing blow of God’s judgement, can the United States hope to do any better? America’s Christian heritage will not stay God’s hand, its founding documents will not stay God’s hand, and its military technology will not stay God’s hand. The nation that does not repent of it’s sins will be crushed in time.
Instead of trying a blind eye to the sins of this world, Christians need to wrestle with their own sins and with the sins that dominate their nation’s political and social landscape. Like Micah, they need to weep and wail because lawlessness ends in either repentance or death. The nation that refuses to repent of its sexual immorality, covetousness, hate, or murder will be destroyed by God. He is just.
And when the nation does fall, believers and unbelievers will both be taken captive. When wickedness goes unchecked, the righteous will suffer.
Christians cannot excuse America’s faults because the nation has known success in years gone by. Though God is patient, he is not blind nor uncaring. He will deal with sin; nations will fall because of the evil that its citizens have carried out within its borders. Only the holiness found at the foot of the cross will save us and our nation from the pending the judgement.
Let’s champion the call for repentance, trusting in saving power of Jesus. Nothing else will save. Chariots, forts, wealth, technology, wealth, and influence will fail us. Repent.
What is your confidence in?