The Sixth Mark of Judgment on America: “Abuse of Immigrants”

Immediately following the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed for God’s intervention in seven probable national needs. In each case, he interceded for God’s people by seeking God’s commitment to ‘hear from heaven and forgive their sin’– if they would repent.

In II Chronicles 6: 32-33, King Solomon departed from praying on behalf of ‘God’s people’ to praying for ‘non-citizens’ who had come to their land because of their desire to know God and to experience His blessings. He said, “Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray….” By its uniqueness, this passage is instructive in noting that Solomon included the ‘stranger’ in his series of prayers. He knew that nations have a responsibility not only to their citizens but also to non-citizens and that the failure to treat the stranger justly would bring judgment, as indicated in Ezek. 22: 29, “The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger.”

At stake is the justice of God based on the value of human life and the duty of civil government to enact biblical justice for all. Yet, Solomon perceived that due to the sin of the nation and the resultant distortion of justice as he prayed in II Chron. 6:22, justice to the foreigner may not occur, and for the sake of the testimony of God Himself, he asks God to vindicate the foreigner and accept them.

From the beginning of our nation, we’ve welcomed the poor and downtrodden from all over the world who’ve come with the intent to work hard and assume the duties of a citizen. But now, rather than duty or biblical justice being the guide, immigration policy is based on political leverage and political advantage. Immigrants are abused by reducing them to pawns in the political process where benefits are given as bribes for their votes rather than for their long-term good. Instead of encouraging honesty and hard work, our national policies encourage dishonesty and dependency on the ‘god’ of government.

An unjust governmental system that denies hope, wrongfully rewards wrong behavior or discourages productive behavior is indeed ‘oppressive’ and will incur God’s judgment. Solomon prays, “Then hear from heaven… and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do your people….” While some might not recognize that unjust national immigrant policies are an evil worthy of judgment, Solomon knew that God did. Solomon’s next and last prayer assumes God’s final judgment and completes his effort to intercede for his nation, setting the stage for God’s answer and His recipe for national judgment in II Chron. 7:14.

This is the seventh article in in an eight-part series, “Can We Know if God’s Judgment is on America? – The Background to Understanding God’s Promise in II Chronicles 7:14”.

The Fifth Mark of Judgment on America: “Hardship, Death, Attacks on our Cities”

Immediately following the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed for God’s intervention in seven probable national needs. Every time, he besought God’s commitment to ‘hear from heaven and forgive their sin’- if the people would repent. In II Chron. 6: 28-30, Solomon prayed, “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear from heaven… and forgive….”

Here, Solomon anticipated a more intense judgment than drought. He broadened the impact on his nation to shortages of food, hardship and death due to weather, insects, and diseases affecting plants, livestock and people. By describing this broad range of judgment in terms of “whatever plague or whatever sickness,” he recognized the undefinable but significant impacts that result from personal and national sin. In America, we’ve seen record-setting deadly tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, drought, earthquakes, floods, snow, cold weather and now a disease that’s already killed over a million baby pigs. We shake our heads and wonder what’s going on. On one hand, some would dismiss all that we are witnessing as nothing really out of the ordinary, or dismiss it for some other reason, but Solomon clearly connected the marks of judgment with the sin of the nation, and so should we.

Then, with even more focus and in the middle of this series of natural disasters, Solomon identified enemy attacks on cities within the nation. In application to the United States, wasn’t 9-11 an undeniable evidence of the enemy besieging our cities? Shouldn’t 9-11 have been a more long-lasting wake-up call for America than just a few weeks or months after the event? Properly considered, this event was evidence that God had lifted His hedge of protection from around our nation. God gave us a stark warning.  But did we hear? For our leaders and most Americans, the rally cry was, “We will rebuild and we will attack our enemies.” Not understanding that the attack was allowed by God to get our attention, our country went further from Him. How ironic. We seek answers to our increasing hardships but we haven’t yet turned to God or taken consideration of the sin that is causing God’s anger and judgment.

May we learn from Solomon’s prayer that led to God’s response in II Chron. 7:13-14.  May we understand the extent to which God is giving us warning upon warning.

This is the sixth article in an eight-part series, “Can We Know if God’s Judgment is on America? – The Background to Understanding God’s Promise in II Chronicles 7:14”.

The Fourth Mark of Judgment on America: “Drought”

At the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed for God’s intervention in seven probable national needs. Every time, he besought God’s commitment to ‘hear from heaven and forgive their sin’- if the people would repent.  In II Chronicles 6: 26-27, King Solomon prayed, “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray … and confess Your name, and turn from their sin … then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of …Your people Israel…and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.” 

Recent years of record-setting drought in our nation are now causing shorter supplies and higher prices for food. Because of the widespread drought in the central section of the United States, thousands of cattle were slaughtered, causing the price of meat to skyrocket by 40% or more. Due to the drought in California’s fertile farm lands and unjust government regulations that cut off irrigation, over a half million prime agriculture acres are sitting idle—and may for the balance of our lifetimes—according the USDA.

Have you heard anyone—including most preachers—say that drought is an act of God’s mercy to get our attention? The Scripture clearly teaches that God has exclusive control of the weather—especially rain. Some would say that Solomon’s interaction with God on behalf of Israel is unique and inapplicable to today. Yet, these biblical principles and God’s warnings and promises apply to His people in all ages. It is no surprise that the post-modern culture of our day denies Creation and God’s control over His creation and invents such ideas as global warming or climate change to silence the warning voice of God. God and His warnings through His Word and through nature cannot be ignored without inviting increasing judgment.  God answers Solomon in II Chronicles 7:13, starting with these words, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain….”  Drought is another sign of God’s warning of judgment against nations that reject Him. Will we hear and listen?

The remaining three signs of God’s judgment are even more severe. Only the repentance of God’s people can stay the powerful hand of His judgment.

This is the fifth in an eight-part series, “Can We Know if God’s Judgment is on America? – The Background to Understanding God’s Promise in II Chronicles 7:14”.

The Third Mark of Judgment on America: Military Defeat

Immediately following the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed for God’s intervention in seven probable national needs. In each case, he implored God for His commitment that if the people were to repent, God would hear from heaven and forgive their sin. In II Chron. 6: 24-25, Solomon asked God a third question: “And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall return and confess Thy name and pray and make supplication before thee….then will you hear from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people….?

When a nation as a whole forsakes God, it suffers the withdrawal of God’s protection which leads to military defeat. In previous verses, God indicates that He will not bless the nation that turns away from Him or distorts justice by punishing the righteous and rewarding the wicked. In our nation, we no longer see His hand of blessing, and we certainly witness an increasing trend of government sanctioned injustice. Unfortunately, we are also experiencing repeated military defeat – in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, “the war on terror,” Syria, and likely Iraq .

We are not only losing wars against national enemies, we are also losing against the enemies of freedom, of Biblical Truth, of the Rule of Law, and against the enemies who wish to completely destroy America and Christians. The stark reality is that technology now makes our enemies as close as a switch or keystroke on a computer. Refusing to admit God’s role in making our economy strong, ensuring our national security over the years, and being the strength behind our strong military, our leaders arrogantly believe that they are in control and our nation cannot fall.  In pride, our nation – like Israel of old – will one day awaken to find that we rejected God’s warning signs one day too long. Repeated military defeat is another sign of God’s warning of judgment against our country as we continually turn our backs on Him. The remaining 4 signs of God’s judgment increase in intensity. The clock is ticking.

This is the fourth in an eight part series, “Can We Know if God’s Judgment is on America? – The Background to Understanding God’s Promise in II Chronicles 7:14”.

The Second Mark of God’s Judgment on America

Immediately following the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed for God’s intervention in seven circumstances of future national need. In each case, he implored God for His commitment that if the people were to repent, God would hear from heaven and forgive their sin.

As Solomon continued his prayer (in II Chronicles 6:22-23), he asked God to intervene during judicial hearings to ensure that the guilty party was punished and that the innocent was rewarded. Solomon anticipated a time – due to national sin – that government would sanction injustice rather than justice. Just as Solomon anticipated this disregard for justice in a nation that turned its back on God, Isaiah also prophesied, “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street and equity or justice cannot enter.”(Isaiah 59:14).

In our nation, the subverting of truth and justice is becoming more prevalent. Our country was founded on the belief that the primary purpose of government (as stated in Romans 13) is to enact God’s justice by praising those who do right and punishing those who do evil. The failure to rule justly, and even worse to officially sanction what God calls evil, is defiance to Almighty God. Although, the subversion of justice is an indication of the withdrawal of God’s blessing, it is also one of God’s warning signs to call us back to Him before final judgment comes.

Truth has indeed fallen in the street and justice stands far off – when the killing of the unborn is declared a woman’s right, when God’s definition of marriage is ruled unconstitutional, when Christian businesses are penalized because they follow God’s law, when Christian organizations are labelled as ‘threats’ to our nation, and when, in general, the rule of law is rejected. Solomon knew the progression of a nation’s sin would produce a distortion of justice where good would be declared evil, and evil declared to be good. Have you considered that governmentally sanctioned injustice is a ‘warning sign’ of God’s judgment? The next 5 marks of national judgment are progressively more obvious. When will we open our eyes and ears to God’s shouts of warning to our nation?

This is the third in an eight part series, “Can We Know if God’s Judgment is on America? – The Background to Understanding God’s Promise in II Chronicles 7:14”.

The First Mark of God’s Judgment on America

The Removal of His Presence and His Hand of Blessing

At the dedication of the temple, Solomon began his prayer for God’s mercy by saying, “…may You hear the supplications of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and when You hear, forgive (II Chronicles 6:21). Solomon anticipated that he and the nation would sin.  He understood that sin, whether personal or national, would break fellowship with God, separating them from His power and blessing. No doubt he had heard the story of God removing His presence and blessing from King Saul after his sin, and of Samson experiencing God’s judgment due to his sin. Even the entire nation of Israel, after the big victory at Jericho, suffered defeat at the hand of the small city Ai because of sin in their midst. 

Today, many people reject the idea of God’s sovereign authority to judge individuals or nations; yet, they cherish the idea of His blessing. Most would agree that God’s hand of blessing was on America until more recent years, but they hesitate to identify any calamity as God’s judgment.  Unfortunately, even many pastors are reluctant to declare that God’s hand of judgment is on America.  Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day for not understanding the ‘signs of the time’ (Luke 12:56). Is He not equally disturbed when we shut our eyes to His obvious withdrawal of blessings and protection over our country? 

God desires to bless the nation that fears Him –“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33:12)! To those who trust in Him, He has promised to be a ‘refuge and strength’ and never to forsake them. He certainly was the strength of our nation, and His presence with us was felt even by our enemies. But, when a nation turns its back on Him and walks in its own strength, He withdraws His presence, removes His hand of blessing and judges it. Friends, do we honestly believe that God is blessing America today? Would He be just if He did? After 9/11, do we honestly believe that the hedge of protection around this nation remains intact? The removal of God’s blessing and His presence is scary – and it is only the first indication that God’s judgment is on us. The next six marks are even more obvious.

This is the second in an eight part series, “Can We Know if God’s Judgment is on America? – The Background to Understanding God’s Promise in II Chronicles 7:14”.