That’s the topic of this week’s The Truth Newsletter. It seems that we can not only break God’s 6th Commandment, “You shall not murder,” but we can also disobey God’s 8th Commandment, “You shall not steal.” You can do these things if America’s survival is at stake. At least that is what I am being told by Christians and a Tea Party Leader.
I obviously have a very strong opinion about this that most of you could probably state verbatim. However, my opinion in and of itself means nothing if it is not grounded in Biblical truth. God’s 2nd Commandment is the second longest of the ten and I think it is most overlooked by American Christians. I know for me it is the commandment hardest for me to keep because I allow so many things in this world to become an idol. Here’s what God wrote:
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” (Exodus 20:4-6)
Just for the sake of ease of writing, I’m going to label this as the no idols commandment. So what is an idol? Writing in Ewell’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, P.C. Craigie explains the modern sense of idolatry:
“In the later history of Christianity, idolatry in the strict sense has continued to be opposed in the terms of the ancient Biblical prohibitions. But the continuing danger has more commonly returned in the metaphorical sense delineated in the NT; it is the ‘worship’ (i.e., the total dedication of a person) of that which is seen and tangible; the goals of covetousness, rather than the unseen spiritual being that is God.”
So what does that mean in plain English? It means that although I may not have any carved images in my house that I bow down to and worship, I can have many that are seen and real and that get my devotion above God. It can be my car, my house, my job, my money, or my country for that matter.
I know, you may be thinking, “Bro Dave, what’s wrong with being a Patriot?” Nothing, at least if it does not take the place of God. Beloved, I may be wrong, but when I stand before the Bema Seat of Christ, somehow I don’t imagine Him asking me if I was a good patriot, Republican, or American. It may just be my interpretation of the Bible, but I honestly believe Jesus is going to be solely concerned with my keeping His Father’s Commandments and sharing the gospel.
And before you write me to object by saying we can do both, then I’ll say fine. Have I? Have you? My prayer for America is the same that Asaph had for rebellious Israel:
“Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, that they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments; and may not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not set its heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.” (Psalm 78:1-8)
My hope for my children’s generation is that they will not be like mine. A generation that was stubborn and rebellious in ways I’ve written about over the years. I will not try to predict the future nor will I try to predict the outcome of the upcoming election; either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is going to be President of the United States. Neither man is worthy of the office in my humble opinion. That being said, I am not by any stretch of the imagination giving up on America. Quite the contrary, I am placing my hope for my beloved country into the hands of my Beloved Savior Jesus Christ.
Jesus saved a wretch like me. He saved a wretch like you. He can even save a wretch like you. Imagine if He were to save all the wretches like us that we know, and He literally transformed our lives through the renewing of our minds? What would America be like then? If the Lord tarries I promise to work hard to see that come to fruition in my lifetime. I am more concerned about handing off a bankrupt soul to my children and grandchildren than I am a bankrupt nation.
And the good news of the Cross of Jesus Christ is that we do not have to pick between the two. We can have both if we put the right one first.
Which will you put first?
Please remember to go to church on Sunday; have a blessed weekend.
And America, bless God!
If you’re receiving these devotionals for the first time and would like to receive them on a regular basis, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and use “Please add to Devotional List” as the subject.
Copyright © 2012 David Jeffers
Abortion, Aletheia, Apologetics, Bible, Christian Activism, Christianity, Covenant, Culture, election, Evangelism, Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, Guilt, History, Honesty, Israel, Mercy, Morality, Patriotism, Politics, Republicans, Revival, Sin, Truth, Wisdom