Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
America is doomed as a glorious nation, if this proverb is true! Much of the nation not only neglects righteousness, it despises it with scornful hatred. It not only allows sin, it promotes it with rabid fervor. Unless America repents and returns to righteousness, she is doomed, for this proverb is certainly true! Let God be true, but every man a liar!
There are two possibilities why America still survives. God is preserving her for the sake of the righteous and their prayers for her, as He would have spared Sodom for Lot’s family (Gen 18:23-33), or He is setting her up with the illusionary prosperity of fools, before bringing her crashing down to hell (Pr 1:32; Deut 32:15-25; Ps 9:17; 50:21-23).
God raised Pharaoh up high, but it was not a blessing. It was only for the LORD Jehovah to have the highest monarch of the greatest nation to squash like a bug (Ex 9:16; Rom 9:17). Of course, PTA mothers, who think vegetarian hot lunches at school will make America a better place, do not accept or understand this profound truth from the Bible.
A nation is exalted when it is lifted up, when it is raised in rank, honor, estimation, power, or wealth. A nation is reproached when it is censured, discredited, rejected, or shamed for its faults. The masses once teemed to America’s shores for noble and virtuous reasons. The praises of America were sung far and wide as the golden land of dreams and opportunity. But what was once the joy and hope of nations is fast becoming a byword.
How great is a nation in debt $18 trillion, with that debt growing $2.5 billion daily? How glorious is one thinking Ebonics is an alternative to English? How noble is one where more money is spent on pets than religion? How righteous is a nation calling two men a marriage? And two women and a baby a family? How free are a people where unborn children, though screaming for mercy, are chased across the womb, and pulled apart in pieces by a suction wand, all for a mother’s irresponsible pleasure and a doctor’s fee?
What kind of culture allows a young female to paint her crew cut purple, use white eye shadow, wear studs in her tongue and other body parts, dress in black leather and chains, listen to anarchic music and lyrics, and walk her lover in public places on a leash? That is not freedom! That is insanity! That is not personal taste! That is rebellion against God and authority! She does not have rights! She has responsibilities, to God and nature!
The wickedness of the seven nations of Canaan, which was not much worse than segments of America, caused God to say of them, “And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants” (Lev 18:25). He warned Israel the same thing could happen to them, “Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out” (Lev 20:22).
Why is America declining? Adam Smith, who in 1776 wrote, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” did not know. Poor fool! But Solomon, the wisest king and political analyst who ever lived, did know. Here is his inspired wisdom from Jehovah: righteousness makes a nation great; sin destroys and shames nations.
There is no New Deal to stop this old proverb! No president or executive action will stave off America’s decline. No legislation can patch the sinking ship. And no court order will stay the hand of the Most High. Unless America repents, she is going down, down, down. More money for education, legislation reforming prisons, or Nike sponsoring basketball tournaments in the ghetto will not roll this snowball back up the hill (Pr 19:21; 21:30).
Political and social projects are vanity and a waste. They miss the problem. They have accomplished nothing of value, and instead they cause further damage by distracting men from the real cure to a charade. As long as man has hope in man, there will be no slowing the decay, for there is no hope in man! Only Jehovah and righteousness can save nations!
How do you measure the exaltation or reproach of a nation? America was once great like Israel was great under Moses, David, and Solomon. Both nations were known for wisdom, justice, peace, morality, witty inventions, riches, strength, honor, good government, excellent laws, and God’s presence (Pr 8:12-21). But as Israel became a reproach, so has America. Now it is known for folly, crime, fear, excess, conflict, debt, poverty, weakness, bureaucratic government, legal confusion, and decayed religion.
What causes the exaltation or reproach of a nation? When a nation fears Jehovah and keeps His Scriptures, that nation will be exalted quickly and surely, for they are following the only manual for public and private wisdom in the universe. When a nation allows and promotes sin, it will become a disgrace and shame, for sin by definition is the choice of perversity over propriety (Deut 4:5-8). The explanation is simple. The true God declared, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps 9:17).
Is America righteous or sinful? Prayer and the Ten Commandments are outlawed in most public places; but sodomy, the Quran, and Harry Potter are defended and promoted. Mein Kampf and The Origin of Species are more popular than the Bible in public schools. The nation allows and defends labor unions, evolution, same sex marriages, murder of a million unborn babies each year, witchcraft, lewd entertainment promoting anarchy and fornication, rebellious children, lesbian pastors, chaotic music, no fault divorces, etc., etc.
The nation’s Christianity has for the most part sunk to the degradation Paul warned Timothy against (II Tim 3:1 – 4:4). They are in love with themselves, unholy, despisers of those who are good, love pleasure more than God, have a mere form of godliness, emphasize silly women, and have chosen entertainment and fables over sound doctrine.
What is the cure? Repudiation of wickedness, repentance for sin, revival of hearts, reformation of conduct, and restoration of Jehovah’s religion. America does not need better schools, economic reform, more teachers, anything from the NEA, more freedom, more pleasure, UNICEF, more shelters for stray animals, or other such ridiculous ideas.
Christian reader, what are you doing to preserve your nation? Your duties are to live righteously, and thus contend with the wicked (Pr 28:4), pray for your nation (Jer 29:7), and hold the line in all areas of moral decay and decline that are rampant in your country (Ezek 22:30). As the Lord agreed to save Sodom for Lot’s righteous family, holy living and praying saints could prolong the tranquility of any nation (I Tim 2:1-3; Dan 4:27).
But rather than sing, “God Bless America,” as if He owes a blessing in spite of sins, America must return to the only wisdom in the universe – the Creator’s will declared in the Holy Scriptures of Jehovah. America must hold the line at Scripture only – the strait gate and narrow way of Jesus Christ – without following the wicked to hell, just one or two steps behind. Restrained compromise is not righteousness; it is presumptuous sin!
Is there long-term hope for America? Maybe, if she turns to repent, deeply and quickly. God told Solomon, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chr 7:14). But even Israel went so far as to forfeit deliverance, no matter who would have been praying for her (Jer 15:1; Ezek 14:14)! See related comments on Proverbs 1:26 and Proverbs 29:1.
Is there long-term hope for America? Definitely not, if she refuses to repent, and if she has entered the final phase of human history. America is not important enough to warrant any known prophetic place in Scripture, but the Bible does not paint a pretty picture of renewal and revival in these last times. In fact, Satan is being loosed for things to get even worse, but the Blessed and Only Potentate will soon come to destroy the wicked and save His elect from them and this world (II Thess 1:5-10; I Tim 6:13-16; Rev 20:7-15).
Until that wonderful event of Jesus Christ’s return that Christians long for with expectant hearts, He has by His grace made believers a peculiar people and citizens of a holy nation, to “shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (I Pet 2:9). Believers are members of Jesus Christ’s spiritual kingdom, which is not of this perverse world (John 8:23; 18:36). They should serve their King as perfectly as possible and look for His glorious coming (Titus 2:11-15).
The Psalmist knew there was hope for the righteous, if they would separate from the wicked. He wrote, “Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD” (Ps 144:11-15).
Free Daily Proverbs Commentary Email