God's Covenant with America
Is it too late to escape the wrath of God's judgement?
by Rev. Mark H. Creech
(AgapePress) - In The Light and the Glory, authors Peter Marshall and David Manuel rightly contend that America's "first settlers consciously thought of themselves as a people called into a continuation of the covenant relationship with God and one another which Israel had entered into."
Our forefathers believed that they were called into a new Promised Land in order to establish a new Israel, a model of the Kingdom of God, living proof that all men could live together under Him. Puritan Samuel Fisher in his Testimony of Truth in 1679 said, "Let Israel be ... our glass to view our faces."
Indeed, the Bible says the Jews were God's chosen people. If they would obey His commandments, God promised to exceedingly bless them as a nation. Nevertheless, I suggest this promise was not only for Israel but also for every nation and race willing to submit to His Lordship. Granted, some aspects of God's covenant with Israel applied specifically to them only. However, Israel was called to be a light to the world, "a city set upon a hill," a witness to the world of God's offer of corporate grace.
Some may accuse me of trying to "shoehorn" American history into a religious context, but we only need to look at the recorded beliefs of our nation's founders to see they believed the same. They believed America had entered into a covenant relationship with God, and her government and laws should be strictly based upon Judeo-Christian principles. To keep the covenant would result in prosperity, power, and peace, to break it would spell disaster.
Could it be that our vast divergence from this conviction, after becoming the world's foremost power, is the reason we now seem to be heading for the darkest of times?
The covenant God made with Israel is recorded in Deuteronomy 8:7-20. Perhaps an Americanized paraphrase of that covenant might help us to better understand where our nation currently stands with the Almighty.
"The Lord your God has brought you into a good land, a land of incredible beauty with great rivers and streams flowing through green valleys and majestic snow-capped mountains, a land with a sea of flatlands covered with wheat and barley as far as the eye can see, a land where every good thing grows: vegetables, fruits of every kind, and the sweetest of life's delicacies. You eat of this abundance and are not hungry. This land, so bounteous with natural resources, makes you lack in nothing. All of it is yours and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.
"But be careful lest you forget the Lord your God and disobey His commandments. When you daily eat your fill and live in fine houses, when your bank accounts are full and your wealth is multiplied, then you may become proud and forget your need of God. You may forget it was Him that gave you freedom! You may forget it was Him that delivered you from the tyranny of despots like King George III of England, Santa Ana of Mexico, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Adolph Hitler of Germany, Mussolini of Italy, and Emperor Hirohito of Japan. It was Him that kept you from being overtaken by Communist nations and many others that have threatened your way of life. You may forget all the ways He has led you through economic depression, epidemics, and natural disasters that He might humble and test you, to do you good in the end. Beware, lest you say in your heart, 'It is the greatness of American enterprise, education, and military might that has produced our success. Our nation is great because we are great.' Instead you should remember it is God who made you free. It is God who has given you the ability to get wealth. It is God who has exalted you among the nations that He may confirm the covenant He made with your forefathers.
"Now, if you forget the Lord your God and give credence as a nation to other gods or remove Me from your statutes, I solemnly warn you that you will surely perish! Just as certain as I have destroyed other countries that rebelled against Me, I will destroy you, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God."
(Deuteronomy 8:7-20, author's paraphrase).
Marshall and Manuel conclude in the introduction of The Light and the Glory: "How many of the incredible blessings which have been poured out upon this land, how much of the grace which continues to cover this country today" was a result of our forefather's obedience?
"That grace seems to be lifting now, but as we look at our nation's history from His point of view, we begin to have an idea of how much we owe a very few, and of how much is still at stake. For God's call on this country has never been revoked."