Tuesday, August 16, 2005

In God We Trust

1 Kings 8:27 (NLV) – Solomon’s Prayer
"But is it true that God will live on the earth? See, heaven and the highest heaven are not big enough to hold You. How much less this house which I have built."

1 Kings 9:3
"The Lord said to him, I have heard your prayer which you have prayed to Me. I have set apart this house you have built by putting My name there forever. My eyes and My heart will be there always."

I’ve been in a few conversations recently about the eventual fall of the USA. History tends to repeat itself and one nation does not remain a world power forever. Christians tend to believe this fall will be due to decline of morality in our culture. I agree that in many ways we, as a nation, have turned away from God. However, my trust is in God, not in the power of our nation.

Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings 8 and God’s response in 1 Kings 9:1-9 give me hope for our nation. Yes, there is the promise that God will remove his Name if his people turn from him. But there is also the promise that God will always be with us. When his people or foreigners turn to him, confess his Name and turn from their individual sin; he will hear from heaven and forgive them.

At the time of Solomon, God put his name on the temple. 1 Kings 8:10 indicates that God’s presence filled the physical temple in the form of a visible cloud.

God’s people are now those who honor his son, Jesus Christ. Our bodies are the temple which carry his name. And his presence dwells in the believer in the form of the Holy Spirit.

Our nation has reaped the benefit of God’s presence because of the large number of individuals in the US who honor and carry his name. In fact, this nation began with leaders who were fully devoted to God as individuals. Their desire was to worship God as God led them rather than as the King of England directed them. The devotion of these leaders is evident in much of their writing and is viewed everyday on our currency.

Yes, our nation began honoring the Name (reputation) of God. But it was the individual leaders who carried that name, not the nation itself. God has given his Name to individuals. It is up to the individuals who know his Name to turn to him and pray; to seek forgiveness for their own sins.

When we speak of our nation’s lack of honor to God, we are assuming that God dwells in our nation as a whole rather than in the individual. Isn’t that the problem our forefathers had with the Church of England? The American rebel is stirred in me when I see those who profess to be followers of Christ acting like the King of England. Our nation was founded on the desire to turn to God and let God draw people to his glory. The intent was to establish a nation of individuals united in God – not united in how they believed. They were seeking freedom to honor God directly rather than through the King.

The strength of our nation lies in the individual believer’s willingness to confess the Name of God, turn from his/her sin and look to God as their leader. Our task is not to force others to seek God. When God’s presence dwells in his temple, his glory will be evident to all – believer and non-believer.

1 Kings 8:59-60 (NIV)
“And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day's need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.” (emphasis added)


Sharon said...

Lisa, God must be at work overtime. This is a subject that I've been wanting to write on as well. You have touched upon some important issues in the raging debate and have added light rather than heat to the flame. Thanks for the strong work.Sojourner

nelson569allyssa said...

damn good blog, check out mine http://juicyfruiter.blogspot.com, comments always welcome!

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

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