Where Is Jeremiah When You Need Him?

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Where Is Jeremiah When You Need Him?

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The reviews are in from President George Bush's State of the Union address this week and, as expected, there is a great deal of second guessing and criticism of the war policy in Iraq. That is the nature of politics and a free society. But behind the partisan discussion are larger issues impacting the future course of America and the world.

America has engaged itself in a war in Afghanistan and Iraq. These engagements followed the 9/11 attacks where three thousand Americans lost their lives and the nation was stunned by the reality of the forces of evil arrayed around the world to work against the current world order. Osama bin Laden and the Islamic jihadists have been the face of the enemy these last six years. Terrorist attacks have hit Britain, Spain, Bali and other smaller places during this time, just enough to remind us they are out there and have not gone away.

I have long felt that President Bush had a wake-up call on 9/11 that galvanized his life into one purpose, to protect America from future attacks and to "preserve, protect and defend" his country and all it stands for. You can criticize his policies, his management of the war, his focus, his personality...anything you want about the man and his politics. I am not defending him from any partisan agenda. I just strongly feel that on 9/11 he looked into the abyss and clearly saw the danger to his nation.

I also see that other top leaders here in the United States do not have the same vision and urgency for the grave physical dangers we face. History is repeating itself. Like the 1930s in England, we have voices calling for appeasement and moderation. There is the hope that we can pull within a "fortress America" and disengage from the world and go about our business and return to normal. Let's just all go to Disney World and pretend.

But the U.S. president has not seen far enough. The larger danger facing America is spiritual in nature and can be found in Bible prophecy. America, a nation blessed with wealth and power by the hand of God, has forgotten Him and all He has given. We have trampled His laws and have come to the point where we fight over the public display of the Ten Commandments. The Fourth Commandment, to honor the Sabbath, cannot be found in our materialistic, pleasure-driven culture. Americans have not only forgotten the true God, but we have forgotten who we are as a people and why we occupy a preeminent position in the world.

We look to our exceptionalism, our military power and our economic vitality for trust, confidence and security. We pay lip service to a form of religion, thinking that will be enough to save us, while we tolerate immorality and indecency and export it to the world. The latest Sundance Film Festival in Utah honors films portraying sexual child abuse and bestiality. This so-called "art" is excused in the name of honesty and realism. It is part of our national sins that God will one day call us to account over.

The United States needs a speech like that given by the prophet Jeremiah when he stood in the capital city of ancient Judah, in front of their national symbol—the temple—and spoke clearly to the spiritual state of the people and the state. Here is what he said:

"The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 'Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, "Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the LORD!"' 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. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, "The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these"'" (Jeremiah 7:1-4).

Jeremiah goes on to list their national sins, saying God had often sent warnings to repent and return to the true ways, but they insisted in adopting false religion and slipping further into sin. He warns the result will be a national captivity:

"Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: 'Behold, My anger and My fury will be poured out on this place—on man and on beast, on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground. And it will burn and not be quenched'" (verse 20).

Words like this need to be said. But they aren't.

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