Further explore Genesis chapter 15 with me and discover what I mean by “The Measure of a Nation”, how that applies to the United States, and what we can do about it.
This is a call to action. If you love America, I hope you will take the time to read this, pass it on, and join with me in prayer for God to extend our measure.
Is America doomed? Over the last decade as I have watched this nation plunge warp speed into darkness, I have often asked that question and wondered what should I, or we as Christians, do about it? What could we do about it? Is it too late to do anything? Where in the middle of this is a Christian today supposed to land?
Interestingly enough I was reminded recently of a conversation I had years ago with one of my cousins. As she and I were pondering some of what we considered at the time to be big deep mysteries of God and life, one question that came up between us was why God would allow for ancient Israel, after wondering for 40 years in the desert, to just waltz right into a land that had already been settled and built up by other tribes and nations, annihilate everything and just take over? If you are at all a student of history then you know this happens quite repeatedly with peoples throughout the world. But on that day, we found ourselves wondering why God would not have shown mercy to these people by sending the Israelites to some unoccupied territory instead.
Don’t ever think that God is not listening to the questions you ask, even the ones you ask silently. He is always listening, and sometimes even if you think He has forgotten or doesn’t care to answer, in time He always responds. The question is, are you listening?
So it was that a few days ago as I was reading my favorite devotional, I came across a verse that prompted me to once again read the covenant God made with Abram (who later became known as Abraham) in Genesis chapter 15, and that is when I stumbled across it – the answer to our question from those years back, and just how it all ties into our situation here in America today!
To quickly give you a bit of background, God is telling Abram that his heir was going to be a son born of his own body. Then he took Abram outside and asked him to count the stars, if he could, and said “so shall your offspring be”. Now that is one big generational family!
The Lord also told Abram in verse 7, “I am the Lord , who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” But first there were things that had to take place, and things that had to be accomplished. And that is when I saw it…
“In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” ‘ Genesis 15:16 (emphasis mine)
Now the Amorites were one of the larger, stronger tribes occupying the land at the time. Did you know that from the time Abram first received this promise until the time the Israelites first took possession of that land was approximately 650 years? What can we learn from this? Here’s a few things I picked up from Barnes Commentary (parenthesis added):
- The Lord foreknows the character of people (this is not to say He predestines them to behave in such manner, only to say He knows ahead of time their character and the choices they will make).
- The Lord administers the affairs of nations on the principle of moral rectitude
- Nations are spared until their measure is full (and I believe individuals are as well).
We see other passages referencing the full measure in Jeremiah 51:13, “O you who dwell by many waters, Abundant in treasures, Your end has come, The measure of your end”, and in Matthew 23:32 with Jesus speaking to the scribes & Pharisees “Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers”. See also 1 Thessalonians 2:16.
So the Lord, in all His long suffering and loving kindness towards His creation, allowed the sin of the Amorites to continue some 650 years until their sin as a nation had reached its full measure. It was only then that He brought judgement upon them in the form of Israel. Now that is what I call mercy! It might be interesting to note, too, that Israel was enslaved in Egypt for 400 of these years while they waited, so there was a lot of preparation taking place there as well.
The question being, how does this tie into us today? Has the sin of the nation of the United States reached its full measure? Can the measure be extended? We only need to turn back to scripture to get our answer.
Take the story of Jonah, for example. It’s a short book and doesn’t take long to read, but verses to highlight include Jonah 1:2; 3:10; and 4:2. The wickedness of Nineveh had come up before the Lord, so He sent Jonah to preach to them and urge them to repent. Nineveh repented, and the Lord relented! Now there’s a great headline for you!
There is also the story of King Hezekiah, found in 2 Kings 20:1-7. Hezekiah was mortally ill, sick unto death. When he was told of this, he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord extended Hezekiah’s life for another 15 years!
I believe what these accounts tell us is that yes, the measure can be extended! I also believe the key to the extension is prayer and repentance. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (emphasis mine).
My people. If you are a Christian, that’s you! Are you a Christian living in America? Will you continually bow your knee with me and beg God for mercy on the behalf of the United States of America, so that we as a nation may once again experience a time of refreshing for us, our children, and our grandchildren? Can we agree to repent from our Laodicean, lukewarm ways, and once again embrace His holiness? I pray we will.