Judah at the time of Jeremiah was the most godly nation in the world. Its godliness may have been just an inch deep, but no other nation even approached that spiritual depth and awareness of God.
Yet, God was upset with Judah.
You see, God chose Israel (and Judah) as His special people, made His covenant with them, and gave them His roadmap (Law or Torah) on how to live and walk in holiness under His leadership and reign. Not only that, God sent His messengers – the prophets – because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place.
But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the LORD’s anger could no longer be restrained and nothing could be done. (2 Chronicles 36:16)
Judah was guilty of committing treason against the Lord God of Israel, which carried a death penalty. But in Judah’s case, it was a God-imposed seventy-year death penalty as prophesied by Jeremiah.
America is certainly not Judah (or Israel), but no other nation has had the favor of God on it like our nation has enjoyed for the last two hundred and forty years. We have enjoyed prosperity, awakenings, revivals, spiritual freedoms, and have sent out hundreds of thousands of missionaries to foreign lands (127,000 in 2010), and given billions of dollars in offerings to back missionary efforts. And also, we are the most Christian nation in the world right now.
Thus, how could God possibly be upset with America?
Because of our wealth and works, we American Christians do not realize we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. And like Judah, we believe God wouldn’t judge America because He needs us and our wealth.
Sadly, this is a recipe for disaster.
The Lord will rise up early and send Jeremiah-type prophets to various cities. The words will be tough and considered harsh by the religious leaders and most believers. They will proclaim in unison, “God wouldn’t do that. He loves us just the way we are!”
And of course, the god they know wouldn’t do that, but the God they don’t know – the God of the Bible – would do that because He honors His Word.
The people in cities will most likely react the same way the people of Judah reacted to Jeremiah and the other prophets in the Bible.
So, why prophesy if hardly anyone will listen?
A few people in Judah and Jerusalem did listen to Jeremiah and obeyed his prophecies. They lived and stayed in Judah, but the majority were slaughtered, with a small group being led off into captivity to Babylon.
Who knows? Maybe more will listen in the near future. Let’s pray they do!
(Continued in Part 16…if you’re interested, the full series to date may be seen here.)