It’s the question of the day. Can we stay God’s hand of certain judgment? Several years ago, Adrian Rogers found the answer to these compelling questions in Psalm 80, and his message is as timely as ever.
1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; Thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth. 2 …stir up Thy strength, and come and save us. 3 Turn us again, O God, and cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Israel was praying for national revival. A nation with a glorious heritage, delivered from the gnawing chains of Egyptian bondage, led through the Red Sea and Sinai Desert, Israel came into the Promised Land. Never has there been a nation quite like them. Because God was their King, He blessed them to such a degree that when the Queen of Sheba came, she said, “The half has never yet been told.”
God had given Israel a Lord (Himself), a land, and a law. But Israel turned from God, denied the Lord, defied the law, and defiled the land. God withdrew His blessings and calamity came. In Psalm 80, Israel is now praying, “O God, cause Your face to shine on us. O God, turn us back to You. Do it, Lord, and we will be saved.”
America is not Israel, but there’s a striking parallel with what’s happening to America today. I don’t believe I’m outside the bounds of Scripture by making an application from this psalm to America. We want God to bless America. But we must confess that America as we know her now has forgotten God and totters on the brink of destruction.
Even so, I believe there is a way for America to recover.
Why has America been the richest nation on earth? Because the sun shines more here? More rainfall? We’re stronger? No! These are blessings from God. “Blessed is that nation whose God is the Lord.”
A Grave National Danger
In verse 12 the psalmist said that Israel was no longer defended. There was danger from both internal and external heathen powers. Today godless, violent forces come against America — from both outside and within. Corrupt politicians and clueless pundits mock God’s principles and those who honor them. God has turned Himself against us because of our sin.
A Gracious National Deliverance
We must acknowledge our sin, deal with it, and confess it. Psalm 80 shows us how to pray for national revival. This is the prayer God will bless:
14Return, we beseech Thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; 15And the vineyard which Thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that Thou madest strong for Thyself…. 17Let Thy hand be upon the man of Thy right hand….18So will not we go back from Thee: quicken us, and we will call upon Thy name. 19Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
This is the gracious national deliverance God promised Israel — the deliverance we need and can be ours if we will confess, repent, and call upon His name.
Satan’s strategy is to keep good people silent in evil times. Will you speak up? Do you know what the issues are? For instance, are you letting your voice be heard against pornography, perversion, corruption, and the murder of the innocents?
God is still a God of mercy. Just as God could do for Israel, He can do for any nation that repents. Today America must look to God. The Pentagon — economists — politicians — educators — cannot save us. Only God can save America. Without a spiritual revival there is no hope for our nation. We must return to God so God will return us.What time is it in America? It is knee time. Time to be on our knees, time to be on our face, before an Almighty God.
For a study of character, nobility, wisdom, courage, and devotion; you will not find a better man than David. In 1 Samuel 13:14 God calls him a man after His own heart. Yet, there’s a dark chapter in David’s life. Second Samuel eleven tells us that David entered into an adulterous affair with Bathsheba. Then in an effort to cover his sin, he had her husband killed.
In Part One of this article, we looked at the situation for the true Christian living in a culture where the prevalent worldview mocks and ridicules the God of the Bible and His precepts for living. And those who stand with Jesus Christ, bravely upholding His precepts against a turning tide, become targets for persecution.
I believe we are living in the lengthening shadows of the last day. I believe Jesus Christ is coming soon, and one of the earmarks is persecution of the saints. We see it on TV, newscasts, and editorial pages. Ridicule any other group and you’ll be in trouble, but the wrath of our culture is reserved for the Christian. The Bible-believing Christian is the whipping boy.
People are continually discussing what’s happening in this country, the Middle East, and every corner of the globe. What many may not realize is that we are already at war—an invisible, unseen war between light and darkness, good and evil. And Satan is our adversary.
Someone reading this article—it may be you—has failed the Lord, and you think perhaps God is finished with you.