There once was father who looked on his sick child and didn't know what to do. He knew if the child didn't get better soon, he would die. The child hadn't always been sick. He was born healthy. He was loved and nurtured, put into a home that was safe and filled with everything the child would need to grow and develop into a mature adult.
But one day he developed a fever. Further symptoms developed. A cough along with pain. Doctors were consulted. Medication was prescribed. For a time it went away. Strength was regained and life went on.
But in time the sickness came again. This time specialists were consulted. Further diagnosis was made. The sickness, some said, was throughout the body, from the head to the feet. The child was very sick, and unless there was something dramatic he would not get better. He could die.
In desperation the father took the child in his arms as only a father can, and he slowly lifted the child up toward God. In earnest pleas the father described to God what was wrong and asked God “why” and “what” would be done. “My child is desperately sick,” he cried. “Please, dear God, look upon our family and heal our beloved child.”
Today, I feel like this father. Not because my child is sick, but because I see my nation wracked with sickness from its head to its feet and in need of healing. I won’t put the headlines in front of you at this time. You read the news and already know the great moral and spiritual issues facing the United States of America.
I'm like this father who looks around and sees a people suffering the impact of spiritual sin; of a broken moral law. America is suffering the result of breaking the Ten Commandments of the Eternal God.
Today instead of pointing out the specific sins, I feel like turning to a little-known biblical prophet named Habakkuk. Habakkuk broke the mold of Old Testament prophets by taking the condition of his fellow countrymen and lifting them up to God in a sincere plea to notice the problem and help him see a way through to better days. The first four verses of the book named for him describe the violence, the injustice and spiritual condition of a nation called by God’s name, supposedly “one nation under God.” They had lost their way and did not know why. Habakuk pleaded for them, for their life.
God’s answer to Habakkuk is this: “Look among the nations and watch—be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you” (Habakkuk 1:5 Habakkuk 1:5Behold you among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which you will not believe, though it be told you.
American King James Version×).
God was doing something larger than the prophet could understand at that moment. He was working among that nation, and there were even bigger changes coming. God’s firm and loving judgment was on the horizon and would sweep over the nation of Judah. "Habakkuk," God was saying, "hold on to your hat—it's going to be a bumpy ride!"
Habakkuk had to resign himself to this new reality. He had to live by the righteous faith he personally knew and let God do what He was going to do.
No matter what our people decide about morality, it does not change what God says in the Bible is right and wrong, sinful or righteous. Nothing has changed as far as God’s spiritual teaching is concerned. The question to Habakkuk and to us is: “How will we continue to live?” Will you be overwhelmed by social change and sin and give in what the majority feel is acceptable? Or will you continue to stand firm in your convictions and continue to live by a righteous faith defined by God?
The world is changing. America is not the same nation it once was. I can only present the case to God, much like a father might present his sick child, and ask God’s direction and light to guide us into the future. May God yet bless America in spite of current moral and spiritual condition.