Do the crises we Americans see happening to our beloved country today relate to biblical prophecy? Many do not even realize we are seriously transgressing God's spiritual law. What does the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah reveal about our lives today—and where we are headed in the future?
Jeremiah lived a long time ago. Over 2,500 years have passed since he walked the streets of Jerusalem, courageously warning ancient Judah about its increasingly bad behavior—and what would surely happen if the nation were to allow it to continue unabated. God is a god of justice as well as infinite mercy!
From our Creator's point of view, Jeremiah's spiritual credentials are unassailable. This major prophet stated: "Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations'" (Jeremiah 1:4-5, emphasis added throughout). Notice that nations are expressed in the plural. His crucial prophecies were not for Judah alone, then and now.
The multifaceted commission of Jeremiah
Many passages in this major prophetic book constitute conversations between God and Jeremiah, occasionally animated ones frankly expressing the prophet's seriously difficult circumstances in the course of carrying out his divine commission. Yet despite determined governmental opposition, he successfully carried out his duties as God's spiritual representative on earth.
God told Jeremiah: "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant" (verses 9-10). No other Old Testament prophet was ever told this in so many words. His authoritative statements have resonated down through the ages of man—even into this present transition period heralding the magnificent new, restored utopian world that God will bring humankind after Jesus Christ returns to this earth (see Acts 3:19-21).
Did you realize that what God prophesied for ancient Judah is equally applicable to the modern-day nations of America, Britain, Canada and Australia? This may be startling to those who read this statement. Yet it is true. God has a message for these modern societies through this ancient prophet. God has unfinished business with what the world commonly calls the "lost 10 tribes of Israel." Scripture reveals they are not lost, and you can understand where they are today.
We need to understand that Bible prophecy can often be dual in nature. That is, prophetic statements sometimes carry more than one fulfillment. The basic principles defining duality are thoroughly explained on pages 20 and 21 of our free booklet You Can Understand Bible Prophecy. Request a personal copy in print, or download it from our Web site.
God says to these modern nations today, the descendants of the patriarch Joseph: "I brought you into a bountiful country, to eat its fruit and its goodness. But when you entered, you defiled My land and made My heritage an abomination" (Jeremiah 2:7). Note that both the land and the heritage are subject to divine ownership. King David of Israel wrote: "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters" (Psalm 24:1-2).
How we defile the land even today
Leviticus 18 addresses laws against a whole range of illicit sexual practices. A concluding passage states: "Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out [of the Promised Land] before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants" (Leviticus 18:24-25).
Let's just focus on one aspect of this iniquity by addressing the ramifications of the Seventh Commandment concerning adultery as outlined in Leviticus 18:20: "Do not defile yourself by having sexual intercourse with your neighbor's wife" (New Living Translation).
Although criminal laws against adultery are still on the books in many American states, these statutes are gradually being challenged as unconstitutional. For instance, the 200-year-old law about adultery in New Hampshire is currently under review. Illinois and Minnesota have also attempted to decriminalize adultery. The modern belief is that society's moral dictates should not be enforced with criminal sanctions. However, this runs counter to the viewpoint of many religious Americans who still rightly believe that adultery is wrong.
Adultery remains a major causal factor in the high divorce rate, a rate that typically increases with multiple marriages." A Time essay stated: "Statistics show that more second marriages break up than first ones and more third marriages—about 75%—break up than second ones" (Belinda Luscombe, "Should Larry King's Marriage License Be Revoked?" May 3, 2010). Of course, the ultimate cause goes back to a lack of belief in God and His Word.
The essay continues: "Evolution favors the alpha-male serial monogamist who bonds with a mate until she gets old and is replaced by a more fertile one" (ibid.). The biblical view that God instituted marriage between a man and a woman and ideally intended it to be permanent until one party dies (see Mark 10:2-12) is gradually being trashed by our secular, Darwinist society.
Still another major problem has emerged in modern marriages: Many spouses are not honest about financial matters with one another. Monetary infidelity is more frequent than most people might imagine, and financial infidelity often pairs with sexual infidelity (USA Today, "Money, Fidelity Go Hand in Hand," March 17, 2008).
God said of the nation of Judah, "For the land is full of adulterers" (Jeremiah 23:10). He knew! No one can hide his or her sins from our Creator.
The United States still remains one of the most religious countries in the world. Yet God also asks us today, just as He did ancient Judah: "Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely…and walk after other gods whom you do not know, and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered to do all these abominations'?" (Jeremiah 7:9-10). Surveys generally show that modern, mainstream Christians are no better than their secular contemporaries when it comes to observing the Ten Commandments.
America's response to God today
Of course, illicit sex remains far from the only major sin afflicting America and the whole Western world today. Idolatry, murder, violence, greed, theft, injustice and Sabbath-breaking—a whole range of unacceptable conduct eats away at our vulnerable society like a virulent, aggressive cancer. To demonstrate the evidence for each sin by quoting current secular sources would take up far too much space in this magazine.
So our focus here is about how the nations tend to respond to God's correction from the Bible. "This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth" (Jeremiah 7:28). Jesus Christ plainly defined truth by saying to God in prayer: "Your word is truth" (John 17:17).
Yet many in the United States seem determined to continue to turn away from precious traditional truths preserved in the Bible. God says: "Everyone is dull-hearted, without [biblical] knowledge" (Jeremiah 10:14). The Creator is not just speaking of the general population. "For the shepherds [national and regional leaders] have become dull-hearted, and have not sought the Lord" (verse 21).
Nowhere is this trend more prevalent than with religious prelates. "The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so" (Jeremiah 5:31). Many seem addicted to falsehood, preferring deceit to truth. People usually don't like being disturbed by someone who would deliver straight, unvarnished truths right out of the pages of the Bible.
But God says: "Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 'We will not listen'" (Jeremiah 6:17). Further: "'They are not valiant for the truth on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,' says the Lord" (Jeremiah 9:3).
Were you previously aware that this Old Testament Hebrew prophet was inspired to record all these things from the mouth of God? Jesus said: "It is written [in Deuteronomy 8:3], 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4). The apostles Peter and Paul both subscribe to the divine origin of God's Word (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:15-17). It is God-breathed!
Bewildered by it all
Americans seem genuinely puzzled by the cause of the many troubles now dominating both the domestic and international scenes. We are currently experiencing perhaps the worst ecological disaster in living memory with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico while simultaneously trying to conduct two foreign wars, with a possible third threatening in the Koreas. Domestically, a massive national debt hangs over the country—caused by hefty financial bailouts and a looming (very expensive) new national health program.
No wonder the people say: "We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and there was trouble!" (Jeremiah 8:15)—repeated several chapters later (Jeremiah 14:19).
As a people, we do not seem to understand the basic cause-and-effect principle that is so implicit throughout God's Word. We don't comprehend why we are experiencing so very many varied and stubbornly difficult national problems.
God simply replies: "Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good from you" (Jeremiah 5:25). Also: "Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will rebuke you" (Jeremiah 2:19). To our Creator the real reasons for our national plight are as plain as day.
What God urgently requires from us
Our Creator speaks very plainly about national solutions in His Word. "Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place'" (Jeremiah 7:3).
Later in this very passage God explains what He means. "For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood [murder and deadly violence] in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt [idolatry], then I will cause you to dwell in this place" (verses 5-7).
Arrogant national leaders, irresponsible religious shepherds and an increasing immoral citizenry are destined for another outcome. If God severely disciplined his two nations—the northern 10-tribed house of Israel and the southern nation of Judah, sending both into national captivity—will He exempt His peoples today from similar national punishments if we fail to repent of our many sins on a nationwide basis? We should carefully heed these wise words of Jeremiah that are ultimately from God Himself.
What's ahead of us now? What does the Bible reveal about our future? We offer well-researched literature that can help you understand. For more details read our free booklets You Can Understand Bible Prophecy , The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy and Are We Living in the Time of the End? WNP