Read Jeremiah 49
Focus on verse 39
The road of life is rarely a strait, level ride, at least not for most people and even when it is – there are occasional bumpy sections. More often it is more like a roller coaster of ups and downs, which, for those who like roller-coaster rides, makes life exciting. For the rest of us, we just close our eyes and hang on, and hope the next flat section isn’t too far ahead. This principle seems to apply to the life cycle of nations as well. In today’s reading judgment is pronounced upon the nation of Elam, and the sentence sounds pretty severe…until the last sentence, which reads; “But in the latter days, I will restore the fortunes of Elam, declares the Lord.” (v. 39) I find it interesting how many times this sort of cycle occurs in Old Testament history. The cycle goes like this: God raises up a nation – they become prosperous and in their prosperity forget that God was the one who brought them there and rebel against Him – God warns them a few times and when they don’t listen he allows them to reap the fruit of their rebellion as the nation declines into obscurity until those who remain cry out to God and He hears them and begins to raise them up again and the cycle begins all over.
The lesson for us in all this seems to be that we apparently have the choice to step off the roller-coaster if we would only choose to do so. All it would take is to remain faithful to God through the times of prosperity, yet for some reason we seem to have a very difficult time comprehending this. The nation of America seems to be at such a crossroads again as she attempts to choose the next president to lead her into the next chapter of world history. Will we continue in our moral, spiritual, and economic decline…or will we elect a leader who can lead us back to the moral, spiritual principles that the nation was founded upon. The critical factor in this decision is perhaps not so much a national one as it is a personal one. The spiritual condition of a nation is typically a reflection of the spiritual condition of the churches within that nation, and the spiritual condition of the churches within the nation are merely a reflection of the spiritual condition of the people who comprise those churches.
Ultimately it seems to come back to you and I. The most critical determining factor in the moral and spiritual condition of a nation is the condition of each individual citizen and the choices we make when we think no one is watching.