This year is the first year in over twenty years that my dad and I have actually had a place to hunt, and this morning while waiting in the cool morning air hoping to see a deer, I happened upon a thought. For all the problems plaguing this nation, we are still incredibly fortunate and blessed to live in a nation where we are free to both keep and bear arms. During rifle season, when I want to go hunt, I don’t have to ask any government official for permission, but as long as I pay for my hunting licence, I choose which of my guns to take and then just go. That freedom which many of us take for granted does not exist in many socialist or communist countries. We still have so much to be thankful for in this country.
However, the legitimate question which we must ask, is why has America not yet been judged for its’ sin? Obviously, we can say it is because of the Lord’s grace and mercy, but what does that mean? It is easy to understand the Lord extending grace and mercy to unbelievers in general, but not to an entire nation. After all, it is to people whom He extends saving grace, not nations, and He could work His grace and mercy in the hearts of the lost while allowing America to fall. Yet, for some reason, He allows this land to continue as a nation even though the legislation of its government kills children by the millions and degenerates marriage, an institution that He created, and this has been going on for fifty years or more.
In truth, there is only one reason that the Lord continues to preserve this nation by His grace and mercy, and that is because of the nation’s continued support of Israel as a nation. This country was the first to recognize Israel as a nation in 1948 and this nation has been the first to recognize Jerusalem as the capital which as you all know just occurred this very month in 2017. The Hebrew word for “grace” is חֶסֶד, chesed, and is perhaps the most dynamic word in the language. There is so much that is packed into this word which refers not simply to grace, but loyalty, love, and unfailing kindness; it is steadfast but is based upon a prior covenant relationship (Exodus 34:6-7). With that in mind, when the Lord commanded Abraham to leave his home and promised to make of him “a great nation,” the Lord said in His covenant with Abraham, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
While there are some who claim that this promise devolves onto the church based upon a few proof-texts in Paul’s letter to the Galatians, such is impossible. Paul said emphatically in his letter to the Romans about Israel as a nation that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29). It is only “concerning the gospel, they are enemies.” That is, individually they still must be saved in the Lord Jesus just as anyone else, but while being enemies of the gospel, God still calls the nation “beloved” because He has specially elected their nation for a purpose (Romans 11:28). This purpose, though, will not be fully realized until the day that Christ returns after the tribulation to rule the whole world.
It is very true that in the church there is neither Jew nor Gentile; this is said over and over in the New Testament. However, this does not mean that the church has replaced Israel. The church is a local body of believers, some rich, some poor, and all different races, brought together by being regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Thus, the church is a spiritual organism. God’s purpose for Israel, however, is a national purpose. As a nation, Israel is made up of both believers and unbelievers; it always has been since Moses first led them up from Egypt. Remember Dathan? Remember Korah? The earth swallowed up a bunch of them because of their sin. It is a mistake to read into God’s promises for one as referring to the other because the two are distinctly different entities, one earthly which will end after the Lord’s millennial reign ends and the other heavenly which all believers irrespective of nations are part of and which will never end.
This country is not perfect by any stretch of the term, and it seems with the decline of true Christianity in America that God is no longer spiritually blessing the nation. Because of the peoples continued sin, God seems to be hardening hearts to the truth of the gospel, churches finding it more difficult to reach people. Yet, because of the nation’s continued support of Israel, just like the ancient empires of the past like Babylon and Persia, God is continuing to physically bless the nation. We are living in strange times when judgment and mercy are being given to America simultaneously.