Righteousness Series: Why Only Righteousness Exalts A Nation – Part 2

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”  –Proverbs 14:34

These past four years have been a process of becoming. Looking back over many of my blog posts over the four year period I can see more clearly the direction that God has been leading me. Scripture says: “For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things, as when we stare into polished metal. I realize that everything I know is only part of the big picture. But one day, when Jesus arrives, we will see clearly, face-to-face. In that day, I will fully know just as I have been wholly known by God” (1 Cor. 13:12, Voice). We may not see clearly God’s plan of redemption nor how it will come about, but we can trust He is moving forward with His plan.

This a tumultuous time for America and many other nations. We hear a lot of talk about saving America, but rioting, lawlessness, violence nor wishful thinking will never make America great. I believe as it says in Scripture that a return to righteousness will save America and other nations from the calamity and destruction coming upon the world. It’s past time for the church to take a stand for righteousness. In Psalm 94, the psalmist utters his complaint against wicked oppressors, and against their sceptical notion that God did not notice the actions of men. “For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance. Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it. Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?“ (Ps. 94:14-16 NIV)

The New Living Translation (NLT) renders Proverbs 14:34 this way: “Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” The word righteousness in Proverbs 14:34 is not referring to an individual’s right standing with God, but to a nation that adheres to God’s righteous standards as found in His moral law. Sin is a disgrace is a state of being out of favor; disfavor with God. A reproach or dishonor. God has called His Church to a holy calling not because of our works but because of His grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began (2 Tim. 1:9). Every believer has been given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. (Ephesians 4:7). God’s favor gives us access to approach the throne of God asking for mercy in our time of need (Heb. 4:16).

In previous posts on this topic I shared that righteousness and justice are primary themes in the Bible. They are the very foundation of God’s throne. They are the basis of Divine government. The sphere within which God’s sovereignty moves. God as a sovereign is never unjust or unwise. While government is necessary, Scripture doesn’t say being a Democrat nor Republican will exalt a nation, but adhering to God’s righteous standard will.

Righteousness is key to building a peaceful, progressive and thriving nation and happy people. Sin, unrighteousness, lawlessness, oppression, racism, inequality and wickedness bring disaster and woes to nations and peoples.

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked person rules, people groan.

Proverbs 29:2

It doesn’t take much to see how far America continues to reel, stagger and fall from the ongoing shaking. The pillars of culture or spheres of society: religion, family, education, government, media & arts, and business are being shaken to the core. “At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens” (Heb. 12:26).

As a nation many are struggling due the impact of COVID-19; loss of jobs and income; businesses, churches, and school closures; and political chaos within our government structure. Daily we read of or witness the backbiting, inflammatory comments, incendiary rhetoric, spreading of conspiracy theories, fealty to a political leader or party and growing tensions between the two political parties in the aftermath of the deadly riot on Capitol Hill.

Even within the church some have taken extreme views by comparing former President Trump’s impending impeachment trial to Christ dying on the cross. This is preposterous and borders on heresy to me. Christ paid a hefty price for our salvation by dying on the cross. There is no comparison. Christ’s dying on the cross was an act of love for humanity! “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6-8 NIV).

We will not win this battle by fleshly means, forgetting that the battle is not against flesh and blood. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

Jesus did not have to rely on politics to get His agenda accomplished. Paul said that same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead is in us. Paul prayed that the church would understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. “This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 1:19-20). For to long the church or conservative right has been relying on politics or political leaders and legislation to effect change, rather than our witness as salt and light Christians to bring change to America’s culture. The church must let its light shine before people in such a way that they may see our good works, and glorify the Father who is in heaven (Matt. 5:16).

The gospel is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded their minds because of unbelief so that they do not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). In this season of uncertainty we are forced to reckon with what we truly believe or tacitly accept false narratives as being true. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: