Let’s do a thought experiment. Suppose at the founding of America, God spoke to the men who led us so capably, who devised our Constitution, and who created our Republic. Imagine that these men heard directly from God, who laid out some basic principles for our nation to follow. Picture God saying to our founders the following from Deuteronomy 28:1:
“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.”
Wouldn’t that be amazing? Here is the God of all creation promising to make our nation greater than any other throughout the entire world. But God doesn’t stop there. He explicitly and extensively lays out what He means. Literally everything the people of this land set their hands to, He will bless. He will bring increase in every aspect of what they do. This includes, all commerce, agriculture, economic prowess, and military superiority. No other nation on the face of the earth could come against us and succeed. Surely the inhabitants of our nation would jump at the prospect. All each person would have to do would be to diligently follow God and do what he commanded. That would bring such goodwill from the Lord that literally everyone would abound in God’s favor.
Would the people hearing of these potential blessings agree to follow God in this way? What if they were given even more incentive? What if God making all these promises also said there was a downside if they didn’t honor and revere Him; instead decided to go their own way and do whatever they wanted? Carrot and stick. What if God declared the negatives of such an arrangement as in Deuteronomy 28:15:
“But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.”
Not stopping there, in letting the people understand the import of His Words, what if God gave a thoroughly dispiriting list of all the horrible consequences that would befall America and its people should they turn away from Him? The curses would include such a lengthy list that hearing all these bad things would be enough to depress anyone. Among them would be failure in all commercial endeavors; plague and pestilence affecting their agricultural efforts; financial ruin; poor health; lack of any capability to defend the borders, leading to complete and overwhelming loss of national sovereignty; and one other awful result. Because of the absence of any ability to do anything useful or worthy, and through the siege of our cities, many people would resort to cannibalism. Mothers and fathers would eat their young and horde the flesh of their children, keeping others from partaking, even their spouses.
With that kind of failure looming with its terrible aftermath, wouldn’t the good people of America come together in agreement that following God and His commandments was a prudent and wonderful thing to do?
But just like the people of Israel when given these two options by Yahweh who had delivered them from slavery in Egypt, who had given them His promises of blessings, and proof in many ways that He loved and cared for them, America would likewise turn away.
Why? Because of sin, depravity, and self-gratification, i.e. the desire for people to do what they wish without Anyone looking over their shoulders and saying their actions are wrong.
No, America, if given these choices at our founding, would have acted in exactly the same manner as Israel did. Israel rejected God. They wanted to be like the nations around them and absorb their cultures and their gods. This attitude triggered the many curses Yahweh declared and Israel went down.
Our nation wasn’t founded as a theocracy with its rulers consulting God and its people answering to Him. At least not directly. But all peoples everywhere must answer to a sovereign God. They must respond to Him through the Spirit and truth He brings. When they reject Him, they reject His promises of blessings and trigger His curses. They may not be as specifically detailed as they were to Israel, but God has given His Word, which lays out exactly what he requires of mankind. When men turn from Him, they can expect only the worst to happen.
However, if the people don’t know God and haven’t read His Word, their ignorance is no excuse. God showers a nation and its people with mercy and grace, but He also draws a red line. If that’s crossed with no turning back, just like with Israel, a nation will fall.
Although America isn’t Israel, we likewise have turned far from God. The blessings from following Him are long gone. Sadly, because of our hatred for Him as a nation, we can only expect a disastrous end.
If only we had listened and obeyed!