When Ezra was told about the peoples’ sin of intermarrying with the surrounding nations, he tore his garment and his cloak, pulled his hair out from his head and beard (ouch!), and sat appalled. He then fasted and fell on his knees with hands spread out to the Lord in prayer.
When Nehemiah found out the remnant of those who survived the exile was in great trouble and shame, and when he learned that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and its gates destroyed by fire, the first thing he did was to sit and weep. He wept and mourned for days, fasting and praying as he felt the burden of the nation’s distress.
When Jesus looked over Jerusalem knowing the destruction that was coming because they rejected Him as their Messiah, He wept.
My point is this: Our nation is in serious trouble. We have disobeyed God’s commands. We have rejected His warnings to turn back to Him. We have spurned the one thing that would give us peace – Christ Himself. And we are facing His judgment.
Romans 1:18-32 describes our nation perfectly. The Bible says that God’s wrath is revealed against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. They suppressed the truth about God. They did not honor Him or give thanks to Him. They exchanged the glory of God for worthless things. So God gave them up to do what ought not to be done, and they suffered the consequences for it.
God’s wrath often takes the form of Him simply saying, “So you don’t want Me around? Fine, go ahead and do what you want to do. I’ll step away and you can see how things work without Me.”
And it’s never good.
Haven’t we pretty well told God to stick it? Haven’t we embraced all kinds of unrighteousness while rejecting the gospel?
We’ve devalued life by applauding abortion, glorifying violence as entertainment, disrespecting others because their skin’s a different color, treating people with contempt and hatred, abusing the weak and helpless, and by a thousand other horrific ways.
We’ve written in our own sexual values and crossed out the Bible’s teaching on the subject by winking at pornography, celebrating homosexuality, indulging in immorality, and living in sensuality.
We’ve allowed greed to guide our decisions, anger to rule our tongues, injustice to oppress the poor and needy, and unrighteousness to mock God’s truth.
We have forsaken the Lord and we’re tasting His wrath.
Now is the time to lament over the brokenness in our nation brought on by our sin. We need to sit and weep and fast and pray. We need to acknowledge the glory of God and confess that we have acted corruptly. We need to repent from our ways and turn again to the Lord, who in Christ promises to extend forgiveness and mercy and grace.
“Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish” (Jonah 2:9).