The People Must Return To God
The other day as I was listening to a talk show, the announcer who is by all accounts an agnostic (one not sure if God exists) said that the only hope for America was for the people to turn back to God. This was strange coming from him, but many of God's people have been saying the same thing for years.
In Proverbs 14:34 we read: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people".
We also know that there is nothing new under the sun and the things that are, have been, and those things that will be have already been (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Sin is the great reproach of the people. So what can we do to fix the problem? I would say in the first place to identify the problem, but that would not solve the problem. Somehow I do believe that everyone knows what the problems are, but they are unwilling to fix the problems.
The same happened in the days of Jeremiah, the prophet. In chapter six we read of several specific factors that contributed to their demise. We see the problems unfold beginning in verse six. "There is only oppression". That is what we see and hear every day from the mouths of so many people. Oppression of the poor, the weak, those of various races, and social positions is the flavor of the day, so to speak.
Verse seven mentions that "she keeps her wickedness fresh". Ever renewed by the people, our nation does not let wickedness go stale. It is constantly in use, and most people are seeking more ways to be wicked all the time. They cannot stand or tolerate those who ask them to cease their evil ways, and they have a large support group for whatever evil they want to engage in doing.
In verse ten God asks "'To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear'? Behold, their ears are closed, and they cannot listen. Behold the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them". These people do not want the Bible referenced about anything they are doing. Sure they can handle the "God is Love" passage, but they cannot tolerate the "Behold, thou art the man" passages. People do not like to hear that they are wrong in anything they choose to do.
In verse thirteen we read: "For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for gain. And from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely". I do believe everyone sees the greediness in others, and in some cases, cries out against it. Yet they cannot see that they are just as greedy. It does not matter if they are rich by the world’s standards, or poor. People are greedy in finances and other things as well.
Verse fourteen explains that they do not fix the problems, but tell the people everything is going to be fine. They say "peace", but there is no peace." Various people get on TV and the radio, and tell the people not to worry, everything is fine. Those who recognize that everything is not fine and speak out are labeled as kooks, wacko's, or any other title of derision.
Verse fifteen speaks of the immorality of the people. It reads: "Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; they did not even know how to blush...” Yes, we see this all the time when we go out in public. Society standards have come a long way, even from a couple of decades ago. We see undressed people walking around. We see people in their pajamas, and we see them dressed in attire that reveals more than their underwear. They now do things that used to be done only under the cover of darkness. They have no shame to commit their sin in public for all to see. And they do not care. Jeremiah 5:31 reads in part: "My people love it so". And that is the reason this nation will fail.
God has the solution to these problems. He tells us in verse 16 to "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls, but they said, 'we will not walk in it'."
The only hope for any nation is for the people to serve the Lord God. We can see what godly people are supposed to do for others; we can't imagine a better place. A place where everyone is kind and loving and looking out for everyone else is a dream that many seek; yet they seek it without God in their plans. Thus they shall fail and be lost forever.
By Carey Scott
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