Summary: Who is to blame?: CORRUPT POLITICIANS, COMPROMISING PREACHERS, COMPLACEMENT PEOPLE. Link included to Formatted Text and Powerpoint.
Mapping Fault Lines in America
I love America, and make no apology for doing so. I enjoy her freedoms, especially in being free to worship the true and living God. I would like to continue living here if at all possible. I still believe the United States is the greatest country on the face of the earth in terms of God’s blessing upon it. But I reserve the right to change my mind about the matter, just as our God does. I love America, but I don’t have to like the direction she is heading in. Might our country actually be facing God’s judgment for its offenses against him? If so, who is at fault?
I believe terrorism is a great threat to the USA. But it is not our greatest threat. I know we have powerful enemies around the world, but the most powerful are much closer by. Yes, evil exists and is growing rampantly. But it may not be concentrated in the part of the world we think it is. I believe America’s greatest threat is not from without but from within. We are our enemy and I am convinced that God is generally displeased with us as a nation. He is assigning blame for sin and we must answer.
In Micah 3, the prophet is concerned about something. He wants his nation to know that the God they serve is not only a God of love, mercy, and grace, but also a God of judgment…and though God would rather bless and demonstrate love, and continue to extend His grace and mercy, that there does indeed come a time when, because of sin and rebellion, God’s patience is exhausted.
Eventually God will give a nation [or an individual] what they are demanding. It happened in the pre-diluvian world of Noah’s time, and again at Sodom and Gomorrah. It even happened to God’s people, Israel. Will He make an exception for our nation?
Micah speaks by the Spirit of God and points a bony finger at three distinct groups of people and says, “It’s Your Fault!”:
1. Corrupt Politicians
2. Compromising Preachers
3. Complacent People
Micah desperately wants the people to understand that the God who loves sinners still hates sin. And sin must always be judged. His holiness demands that. Praise God that if you’re saved you will never be judged for your sin; they were judged 2,000 years ago on Calvary’s cross! But that does not mean we can live a careless, haphazard Christian life. The same Bible which teaches that we will not be judged for our sins also tells us that we will indeed be judged for how faithful we have been. All individuals will one day be judged, and there is such a thing as the judgment of a nation.
Micah 3:12 talks about a nation being “plowed as a field,” a metaphor for judgment.
No nation was as pure in its inception as the nation Israel— by God Himself in Genesis 12. And yet even Israel went corrupt, and the vast majority of the people were ignorant or indifferent concerning that corruption. For this reason the prophets of judgment came along, like Micah, calling the people to repentance, and making the people aware that the God who would rather bless will blast if his hand is forced.
I’m optimistic about our nation’s possibilities for the future, but I think we should be realistic. And part of loving America is wanting to save it from a corruption that most people are seemingly ignorant of…or at least indifferent to.
Fault Line #1 - Corrupt Politicians
Micah 3:1-3: And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment? Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron.
Reading these verses is like watching the nightly news. NBC’s Tom Brokaw used to do a weekly segment called "The Fleecing of America." It highlighted the price Americans pay at the hands of leadership gone awry. I think you could have put these three verses into his teleprompter and no one would have known the difference!
Here are six requirements God recommends for government leaders:
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. (Proverbs 29:2)
It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness. (Proverbs 16:12)
Why is it that today we just look for skills and credentials, and not look to morality?