For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken by their God, the LORD Almighty, though their land is full of guilt before the Holy One of Israel. Jeremiah 51:5
It isn’t a wish! A least it should not be. It surely is not a command. Who are we to give orders to the holy God? The words are not merely a request for God to pile heaps of good things upon the nation called America. They are something else. They are something more. “God Bless America” is a prayer. At least it should be. It needs to be a pray for mercy.
America needs the overflowing, undeserved mercy of God.
If we could look in at America through the eyes of angels, we might wonder why it still stands. Forget a booming economy. Pay no attention to how many ships and planes and warheads we might have. The finger of God could toss all this away as easily as we might brush a piece of lint off of our jacket.
We stand with him or fall without him. Jeremiah had been describing what was in store for the ancient nation of Babylon. Babylon had impressed the world with its wealth, its culture, and its military might. It walked into the stronghold of Jerusalem, swept away its defenses, destroyed its magnificent Temple, and carried home the best of its treasures and people. Babylon was impressive.
God had blessed these people. They took the blessings but rejected the Giver. Consequences would come. Babylon would be cursed. Located in present-day Iraq, only the hot sand is left of that empire. Babylon was damned. Like a piece of lint, it was brushed off the planet.
Israel survived. With the fall of Babylon, the survivors were free to return home. Jerusalem was restored. The Temple was rebuilt. Some 700 years later Jesus walked within its magnificent walls. The Holy One of Israel did not abandon these people, though they deserved to be. Only after Israel as a nation rejected and murdered the Son of God was it turned over to its enemies. Roman legions left nothing standing.
And America? The land of pornography and perversion? The place where God is laughed at and his kingdom attacked? Where money is worshipped, and law is dismissed? The land with enemies shouting out: “God damn America!”?
How long will we stand? What hope do we have? Where can we turn for help? We can beg the Lord God to deal with our nation as he dealt with Israel in the days of Jeremiah. We can ask him to forgive our sin; save our nation.
We can point back to words he once spoke to his people of old:
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chronicles 7:14).
This is the blessing we seek. We will pray for our country.
We will pray: God bless America! Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military