But You Came and Defiled my Land

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I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable. (Jeremiah 2:7, NIV)

Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. But Jesus wept a bit, too… over the same piece of land. It’s hard to look at Jerusalem and not be struck by its antiquity, its persistence — and its continual troubles as the biblical “cup of trembling” (Zechariah 12:2).

But the Bible tells of a new Jerusalem — a total remake of the old sinful city (Revelation 21:2). So, its name will be preserved for future glory — but not because of its excellence. Jerusalem will persevere because its very existence glorifies God.

The city lives with a millennia-old irony: its very name evokes peace… yet it is anything but peaceful. The irony shall fade, however, when the Prince of Peace comes. Only then will peace be brought to Palestine — indeed to the world.

An initial reader of the Old Testament is within his rights to think it strange that a people who knew God so intimately deteriorated spiritually to a point where they were worshipping idols made of wood and stone. But we do this today, too… although wood and stone have been replaced with things like physicalism, humanism… and everybody-gets-a-trophyism.

People place faith in these constructs — yes, I said faith! It is all worship… it’s just not all godly worship — and the story of the Jews is the story of the world.

Now, America is not mentioned in Scripture, but those Jerusalem-style woes still fall upon our land. Political, economic and spiritual pressures affect our hemisphere, too. So, although our key verse is not written about the USA, its truths may be applied to our land… because… has there ever been a land like America?

We Americans enjoy a modern infrastructure, safety — and more food than we can eat! But we enjoy this while much of the world lives with disease, malnutrition and fear. Yet — and in spite of efforts to expunge God from our public histories — he just won’t go away! Our Godly heritage leaps out of our historical documents… and we are still drawing from the reservoir of goodness that our forebears established under God.

As a nation, we have had the best opportunity in modern history to spread the gospel. We have had the resources to support missions… and we had a godly conscience at our founding. So, what happened?

We humans deal with our trials pretty well in the main… but we tend not to deal with prosperity that well. Look at us! We consume our wealth upon our own lusts, tolerate blasphemy in the name of freedom — and elevate the greatest sinners who have ever lived to reign over us as celebrity kings! What else can we become other than desolate?

America’s reservoir of goodness has been drawn down to critical levels… and the supply is not keeping up with the demand — so, be warned: if God did not spare a people known as the apple of his eye, do you think he will spare America just because she is known as a Christian nation?

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