“All this is so painful to see, so heart-wrenching. I look at my own children – including my little 8 year old – and then look at all the grieving parents on TV and think, “There but the grace of God go I.” I’m praying for the Lord to comfort and heal all those traumatized by what happened in Newtown. But as I do I can’t help but think about the trendlines and the dark trajectory our nation is on. It’s not just “the economy, stupid.” We are, in many respects, in a moral and spiritual freefall in our country, and we are paying a terrible price.
The demons of violence and lawlessness are the loose all across America – in Newtown, Connecticut….in Aurora, Colorado….in Oak Creek, Wisconsin….just as they were in Littleton, Colorado and at Virginia Tech in years gone by. But why? How is it possible that violent crime in the United States has surged by more than 460 percent since 1960?
The answer is as painful as it is simple: the further we turn away from God in our nation — the further we drive Him out of our society, our of our schools and courts, and out of our media and out of our homes, or the more we give mere lip service to religion, the more men are “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2 Timothy 3:5) — the worse things are getting.
Should this really be surprising? The Lord God Almighty is a gentleman. He won’t force us to accept His great love and many blessings. If a nation tells Him to leave, He will leave. But what are we reaping as a result of a society that increasingly ignores God and hates or dismisses Jesus Christ? We are witnessing a horrifying explosion of murder. We are witnessing a gruesome crime wave unprecedented in American history. And there appears to be no end in sight. In recent years, we’ve seen brutal mass murders in high schools, on college campuses, and in small towns all across America (a recent FBI report says the murder rate soared 18.3% in small towns in America last year alone).
The Hebrew prophet Nahum once wrote about the city of Ninevah, the capital of the Assyrian empire, “Woe to the bloody city….many slain, a mass of corpses, and countless dead bodies — they stumble over the dead bodies….your shepherds are sleeping.” (Nahum 3:1, 3, 18) The people of Ninevah had once repented and turned to the living God of the Bible during the days when the prophet Jonah warned them of coming judgment, and God had saved and blessed them. That generation of Ninevites had listened and turned from their sins towards the Lord. But 150 years or so later, a different generation of Ninevites refused to listen to the Word of God. They refused to repent. Their godlessness turned to terrible, wrenching, horrific violence. Their shepherds were sleeping. They weren’t telling people to turn back to the Lord before it was too late. The shepherds didn’t understand, or didn’t care. They didn’t feed the sheep the Word of God. They didn’t lead the sheep to follow the Lord. They didn’t protect the sheep from evil. So the judgment of God came and they were all tragically unprepared. The city of Ninevah was destroyed by God in 612 B.C.” (Joel Rosenberg)
I believe this is only the start of what we are going to see, unless we return to God. I feel that Joel Rosenberg says it well. Read this and then get on your knees and pray that our country will return to the one that has blessed us so much.
“And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confessions, and said, ‘O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgment.” (Daniel 9:4-5)