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American Decline? Pray That We May Return to God

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/David Goldman

The Old Testament book of Jeremiah tells the story of Judah, a suffering nation haunted by disobedience, corruption and godlessness. Unfortunately, it’s not difficult to see the resemblance between today’s America and ancient Judah. 

We read in Jeremiah 2:8, “The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit” (ESV). The spiritual breakdown of Judah began with its religious leaders and lawmakers.

Jeremiah’s observation that corrupt leadership infects the entire nation like a moral poison is certainly borne out in American culture. Many of our leaders today tell us that the Bible is no longer relevant. They also say biblical morality does not have to be the norm. Inward moral failure results in outward national ruin. And once a national decline has set in, it is not easy to reverse course. 

Furthermore, our children are not being taught the truth about America’s faith heritage. In fact, people in other countries often know more about America than Americans. I was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before immigrating to America and becoming a citizen — a dream I had from a young age. I came because America is a nation of freedom and opportunity that was founded on Judeo-Christian values. Despite what humanists and liberals say, the men and women who settled this land came to worship God freely and to spread the Gospel.

Of course, the settlers were not perfect. Like everyone, they were sinful people. Yet, many of them were truly devoted to Christ and to biblical principles. We see evidence of this in the documents that have shaped America: The Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. 

Sadly, America is now in a downward spiral. We are more divided than ever before. A new generation has arisen that does not know it is God who made America great. Jeremiah observed that the nation of Judah deteriorated because of its sin and disobedience to God. Like Judah, America has enjoyed a relationship with God; our national motto is “In God we trust.” He has protected this great nation through the years — as long as we looked to him and sought to walk with him. 

Thankfully, there is still hope for America. 

When Jeremiah assumed his prophetic office, he remembered the former days when the priests and lawmakers — and the people following them — walked in the ways of the Lord. He prayed, “Restore us to yourself, LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old” (Lamentations 5:21 NIV). If we desire revival and healing in America, we too should pray this prayer. May we never forget the tremendous sacrifices of the men and women who came before us, and may their faith be an example and inspiration.

May we remember, so that we may return.

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