Summary: A call to be salt-and-light citizens.
Psalm 33.12-22 Blessed is the Nation..
It was in the middle of a very unpopular war, a conflict noted for its shabby ideology and selfish ends. Besides which, it wasn’t going well. On the night of September 13, he found himself sloshing around in a small boat on a mission: He’d volunteered to take part in a prisoner exchange. Sent out just a week after a devastating enemy attack to trade a captured officer for an aging but highly respected American physician, he was not given much chance of success, by he would try. He’d been making his way by water for nearly 2 weeks now, slowly, closer and closer to the enemy, and this night tension hung like a thick fog around him.
He was right to be worried. For this man was no Rambo. A lawyer, in fact. A Christian lawyer, on this mission because he could negotiate. They hoped so, anyway. But when he finally made contact with an enemy ship there was no time for negotiating. They were getting ready to launch another rocket assault! He watched helplessly from the enemy deck. True story.
The English politician William Wilberforce, living during the extremely nationalistic late eighteenth century, defined patriotism as this: "A quality that [binds]men and women to their homeland without confining philanthropy to a single nation." In other words, you are thankful for the place God has put you and a loyal citizen. And, at the same time, you care about other people too. He went on to say how you get that appropriate patriotism. “Christianity is the [abundant] source and the surest preservative."
That’s really what Psalm 33 says; Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord! You care about your country? Want the best for it? Do you want to be a good citizen? Okay Christian, here’s how! No country is saved merely by the size of its army or anything else. But God’s eyes are on those who fear Him and put their hope in Him. So help your country do that, and you’ve really made a difference!
J.I. Packer wrote once on “What the Christian citizen should do.” Listen to what he said; “Chr Cit Checklist”:
Keep informed. Otherwise you can’t judge well about issues, vote well for candidates, or pray well for rulers. Political ignorance is never a Christian virtue. So we need to ask ourselves, “Am I making a responsible effort to become informed on the issues our country is facing? Because if we don’t, we won’t have influence.
Scripture challenges us, "Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good" (Rom. 12:2)
That verse in Romans 12 is saying, Christian, get an opinion, and get ready to stand up and be counted! You can make a difference, and the difference begins with YOU! Withdrawing from the world wasn’t Jesus’ approach. Despite the fact that the earliest Christians were unrecognized and even persecuted by their governments, they were out to understand and transform their society for Christ!
Do you pray faithfully for a spiritual revival to sweep America?
1Timothy 2:1-4 talks about our responsibility to pray for those in power and influence.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.
There is a time when loving your country means making a stink about something that is not right. There are things Christians ought to protest. But we start with prayer, not complaint. The secret effectiveness of prayer is enormous. But we’ve got to do it!
Ezekiel 22:30 says in Judah’s day, God diligently searched for someone to stand in the gap that had been allowed to form in a wall. The wall between what was holy and profane had been breached, and iniquity was bursting through to contaminate the children of Israel. God, despite His search, was unable to find anyone who would stand defensively, through spiritual leadership and intercession, for the nation against the impending judgment that He Himself would pour out. God was searching for someone to take the lead and lead the nation into confession and repentance and a life of righteousness. He didn’t find anyone. Nobody cared enough about their country to be that person in the gap! They were all enjoying their personal lives and didn’t want to be bothered!
Are we standing in the gap for the future of our country? That’s a question Christians need to ask themselves. It is probably our first and number one way of being good citizens!
BE SALT by debating, writing, participating! light (Matt. 5:13-16) We should understand influence as a field of Christian service, alongside the fields of church life, worship, and witness.