Edward Snowden, an employee of the National Security Agency, gave classified records to a British newspaper about how the United States government conducts widespread "monitoring"—i.e., electronic eavesdropping on phone calls and collecting and reading e-mails—of its own citizens. This revelation, of course, rocked the White House, and with it the world.
As details about government spying on U.S. citizens were confirmed and further damaging details emerged, media and political commentaries erupted around the globe. Writing in a widely read CNN piece titled "Why the U.S. Is Being Humiliated by the Hunt for Snowden," Simon Tisdall, foreign editor of London's Guardian newspaper, called the ongoing situation a "'pants-down' day" for the United States (June 26, 2013). He made these ominous comments:
"Very Important People are making themselves ridiculous . . . High on the list is John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State. Huffing and puffing, Kerry warned China and Russia of 'consequences' if, as seems probable, they have conspired to deliberately thwart U.S. justice by twisting the long arm of the law.
"Like too many American politicians, Kerry seems to believe 'the law' is what the White House counsel and U.S. Justice Department deem it to be on any given day, and that this made-in-America 'law' applies inexorably to every country and every corner of the world."
Tisdall went on to point out how American law is today not recognized as universally authoritative and how the episode is one more example of how America is daily losing stature in the eyes of the rest of the world: "Extra-judicial assassination, drones, killer robots, extraordinary rendition [i.e., apprehending people and transferring them to other countries, often for severe interrogation], black ops, wet ops, psy-ops, silly ops . . . The world is a bit tired of all this American posturing, grandstanding, and self-serving banditry."
Those are harsh words. And we don't repeat them to make a political point, but rather to underscore what God says about national behavior.
If one reads the Bible, he or she will quickly discover that God has quite a bit to say about how people and national governments are to conduct themselves. Always, without exception, He uses the biblical Ten Commandments as core guiding principles. They apply to all nations and peoples.
Even many secular authorities recognize this prior influence of biblical law and statutes, particularly when it comes to the legal history of the United States.
Despite this spiritual bedrock foundation, many of the American laws based on the Ten Commandments and other biblical principles have been steadily eroded. This fact has been chronicled both in the pages of The Good News magazine and on our weekly half-hour Beyond Today TV progam, as well as at our websites.
Based on recent events, it would appear that this spiritual erosion has not gone unnoticed by Almighty God. The ancient record of the Bible is plain. There are distinct blessings for obedience to Him, and equally distinct curses for breaking His spiritual laws. Make no mistake: These spiritual laws apply to every national government on the planet, not just ancient Israel. They are, and will remain, in force.
With escalating humiliation of America through the Snowden situation and a host of other scandals and geopolitical problems, one cannot help but be reminded of an ancient national prophecy that is activated by the breaking of God's law: "I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze, and your strength shall be spent in vain . . ." (Leviticus 26:19-20).
Yes, America and other nations of the earth do attract God's attention for breaking His laws. Perhaps surprisingly to some, it is not God's preferred purpose to destroy nations for disobedience. As the prophet Ezekiel declared: "'As I live,' says the Lord God, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die . . . ?'" (Ezekiel 33:11, emphasis added). God does make clear the way back from the brink of destruction.
The good news is that God allows, even strongly encourages, individual choice, and protects those who obey him. If you want to know more—and you should in this day and age—read the Bible study aid The Ten Commandments. Meanwhile, protect yourself spiritually by continuing to read The Good News magazine, watching our Beyond Today TV program and checking out all the other helpful biblical resources at our website, www.ucg.org. You need this critical Bible knowledge for these troubled days!
[Read the article: America's Military Decline: What Does It Mean?]