I was reading this morning in the book of Zephaniah (not a book that most of us spend too much time in). The third chapter has some interesting things to say to us as a people. Let me read that for you and then I will make a few comments:
"Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the oppressing city! She listens to no voice; she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord; she does not draw near to her God. Her officials within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves that leave nothing till the morning. Her prophets are fickle, treacherous men; her priests profane what is holy; they do violence to the law. The Lord within her is righteous; he does no injustice; every morning he shows forth is justice; each dawn he does not fail; but the unjust knows no shame." (Zephaniah 3:1-5 ESV)
As I read this section of the prophecy of Zephaniah, I thought about our nation. I felt that Zephaniah was writing about the USA today. How much have we defiled the way of the Lord? How often have we turned from His way to the sinful, idolatrous ways of the world? Our officials and judges are not seeking the way of the Lord. (I am not talking "party" here. I am talking that it seems from my point of view that they are seeking what they want and couching it in terms of that make it sound like they are following the will of the people. Like lions they devour. Like wolves they destroy. All without any fear of God.) Even our prophets and priests (our pastors and church leaders) are not seeking the way of the Lord. We call evil good and good evil. We do not proclaim the fullness of the Word of God but merely speak what will get the most people into our churches so we can say we are the latest and greatest thing, in order to get our name out there for others to follow. What ever happened to faithfulness to the Lord? Whatever became of seeking to receive the word from our Lord, "Well done, my good and faithful servant?" Instead we seek praise from man and accolades from the press. We want our names splashed around on the sign boards and the books - not the name of the Lord.
And all I can do is hang my head in shame. For I have not been the man of God that I should be. I do not speak as boldly as God would have me speak. While it may seem I am casting stones at others, I know that the stones should be cast at me.
What can be done? We can repent of our sins. We can turn from our sinful behavior and actions. We can pray to the Lord that He would help us to mend our sinful lives and follow His will once again. If we do not, are we any better than the nations before us that turned from His way? Where are they today? They are a few pages in the history books. They are sites for the vacationer to visit, take a few pictures and walk away wondering whatever happened to cause this great civilization to collapse in ruins. That could be the USA if we continue to turn our backs upon the Lord.
Thanks Zephaniah! Thanks for speaking the word of the Lord to me today.