As America celebrates another birthday, some things are very evident. America has enjoyed the many blessings of God. We have become the world’s greatest economic, political and cultural power evidenced by an unparalleled stand of living.
But will America continue to enjoy these blessings? Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Does this verse forecast what lies ahead for America?
“Righteousness” lifts up and raises a nation to honor and means we are moving “in a straight or right way.” When used in reference to morality, righteous means to live and act in the right way.
History shows us that a nation’s greatness is not in its number or military and political power. The writer of Proverbs tells us that a nation is elevated to a place of promise and excellence by conducting itself by the standards of God and His moral guidelines.
Proverbs 14:34 goes ahead to say that “sin is a reproach to any people.” Reproach means “to bend low” in shame, in disgrace or in ultimate downfall. Obedience to God’s laws brings prosperity to a nation, but disobedience brings decline and destruction to once great nations. Ronald Reagan once said, “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
If America is to remain blessed, we must be right before God. Bruce Ball, a Nazarene pastor said, “The solution to our problems today will not be found in the White House, the state house, or the court house. It will be found in God’s house.” There is no higher act of love for and devotion to our country than to bow before God. Someone said, “Our survival as a nation depends on our personal repentance” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
We must remember that freedom is a blessing from God, which God can withdraw as quickly as He grants it. Daniel Webster said, “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering, but if we neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how soon a catastrophe may overcome us, and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”