Is God Mad at America?

On April 27, a massive tornado cut a more than 80-mile swath through the heart of Alabama at a cost of hundreds of lives and untold damage.  Before we had a chance to catch our collective breath, an EF5 tornado pretty much leveled Joplin, MO on May 22.  Just last week, as I was touring the streets of Boston with my family, an ominous storm system came through, eventually dropping a tornado on Springfield that killed four people.  (Stunning video of that storm is available online.)  Right now, Sioux City, Iowa is awaiting almost inevitable destruction from well-over 500 year flood levels that are headed our way.  We are sand-bagging and preparing for a flood that will likely last nearly 3 months (created for our enjoyment by the Army Corps of Engineers – but that is another post entirely).

So, there is a question that many are asking as a result of all of this upheaval in the weather in America these days.

Is God mad at the United States of America?

Some will discount this, being disabused of the notion that God could ever be displeased with a people or bring judgment on a nation such as he did in biblical days.  Others, of course, pronounce not only the judgment of God but also explain the exact cause of that judgment.  God is angry about whatever that person’s particular hobby horse is, be it abortion or homosexuality or President Obama.

But is God mad?  Are these natural disasters evidence of God’s judgment on this land?  I would like to present the following perspectives on the topic.  These are meant as discussion starters and certainly not as the last word on the issue.  But here goes anyway.

1)  God is in control.

Some people spend a lot of time trying to absolve God of responsibility for the tragedies of life, but the Bible never does.  God is sovereign over the affairs and events of this world and he never denies that or attempts to abrogate his responsibility.  The Word of God is clear on this one.  Start in Genesis 1:1 and read through Revelation 22:21 and show me one place where God ever passes the buck to the devil or circumstances or anything else.  On the contrary, he claims credit.

Look at Isaiah 45:5-7.

I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.

He makes it clear.  “I am the one in charge – NO ONE ELSE.  I am responsible for the good and the bad.”

Amos 3:6 couldn’t be clearer.

“Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?”

Whatever is going on, this much we know – it is occurring for the glory of God according to the plan of God.  He is the author and the book is following his plot line and no one else’s.

2)  God judges nations.

I love first couple of chapters of Amos; one of the most brilliant sermons ever.  Amos starts out by condemning the sins of all the nations around Israel.  You can almost hear the amens as he pronounces the judgment of God on Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon and other nations.  Then, to the delight of the crowd, he pronounces God’s judgment on Israel’s rival, Judah.  Finally, he points the finger at his own crowd and says, essentially, you are as bad as any of them.  Brilliant homiletics, Pastor Amos.

But the clear point there and throughout the prophets is that God does in fact hold nations and not just individuals responsible for their sins.  There is such a thing as corporate sin and corporate guilt.

So, it is not outside the boundaries of the Scriptures to believe that God is bringing his judgment on this land.

3)  America holds no special place in God’s heart now.

I love America – my blood runs red, white and blue.  But we fool ourselves when we think that God somehow holds a special spot in his heart for the USA.  He loves Russians and Chinese and Kenyans and Africans and Arabs every bit as much as Americans.

We are not Israel and we should not claim the promises of God to Israel as if they belonged to us as a nation.  “If my people who are called by name…”  That was a promise to Israel.  Will God restore our land if we repent and seek God’s will and ways?  Probably.  Proverbs 14:34 tells that “righteousness exalts a nation” and if there is a revival of righteousness there will be a revival of fortunes in our land.

But God’s concern is this world is with building a people from every tribe and tongue on earth, not on restoring the fortunes of the land we love.

4)  God withholds judgment to provide opportunities for ministry and repentance.

“Yet forty days and Nineveh will be destroyed.”  That was the message Jonah preached to the foreign land he hated so much.  And the people responded and God (much to Jonah’s dismay) withheld his judgment.  When God was ready to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, he was willing to stay his judgment if ten righteous people could be found in the cities.  Ten.

God’s primary purpose today is not the destruction of his enemies – that will come one day in the final judgment.  God will balance the books and those who stand against him will fall without remedy.  But God’s purpose now is not primarily the display of his judgment but of his mercy.  Jesus came to seek and to save what was lost.

And the job of the church is clear.  We are to proclaim the holiness of God and his judgment on sin, but our chief message is that of grace and salvation.  If America is undergoing a time of unprecedented prosperity, our job is to make disciples of all nations by evangelizing the lost (baptizing them) and discipling those God saves (teaching them to obey).  And if America comes under the severe judgment of God, our job does not change.  We are agents of his redemptive power.

God’s primary purpose here and now is to redeem sinners and the church is his primary tool in that process.

5)  It is very dangerous (almost blasphemous?) to try to explain God.

We are all mortified and disgusted by the antics of the false cult that calls themselves “Westboro Baptist Church.”  They claim they know exactly what God is doing and why.  Every once in a while, some prominent pastor or televangelist will make waves by announcing to the world why some tragedy has befallen the land.

We would do well to remember the harsh words of God for Job’s friends.  They came to comfort Job and ended up sinning against him by trying to explain why God did what God did.  God wanted Job to trust him and serve him even when he didn’t understand him.

That is our calling.  We do not always understand what God is doing.  Our job is not to always understand God.  His ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  You can never really understand what God is doing.  So it is both unwise and wrong when we try to explain what God is doing.

Our job is to serve the Sovereign Lord, not to explain him, defend him or justify his actions.  We know that he is in control and that he is accomplishing his purposes in this world.  We know that our job is pronounce the salvation that can only come through Jesus Christ.

So, is God mad at America?  I suppose so.  We are an immoral, perverted, greedy, self-centered, idolatrous nation – as bad as any of those Canaanite nations God judged in the days of the Old Testament.  Is God judging America?  Perhaps.  But it is not my job to explain God’s sovereign purposes.  God is holy and he judges sin.

But that is not his primary purpose right now, nor is it mine.  We must not shy away from identifying sin or pronouncing the truth of God’s judgment.  But our chief job is to be agents of God’s grace and to announce to this world that reconciliation with God is possible through the finished work of Christ on the cross.

 

Comments

  1. says

    A few years back heard a seminary chapel sermon by MacArthur on Romans 1:18ff.

    You sometimes here “big name” preachers use natural disaster to “proof-text” God’s judgment on America for (insert-whatever-sin-of-the-moment).

    MacArthur instead posited that the increased immoral behavior in our nation is not a potential cause of coming judgment but rather a mark of God’s present judgment as he gives people further over to their sin and rebellion.

    Maybe another way of looking at it?

    • Dave Miller says

      Actually, I have heard Mac’s sermon and thought he made some pretty good points.

      He talks about God in Romans 1 “giving them over” to first immorality, then to perversion and then to depravity as Stage 1 in God’s judgment – the withholding of his blessing.

      Then, he posits stage 2 (as I remember) as God’s remedial judgment. Then, stage 3 is God’s final judgment.

      According that that rubric, we would probably be in stage 1 today.

      He made some pretty good points.

  2. Christiane says

    “Peace I leave with you;
    My peace I give to you;
    not as the world gives do I give to you.
    Do not let your heart be troubled,
    nor let it be fearful.”

    Gospel of St. John 14:27

    • says

      Christiane, you cannot use one scripture to deny the clear teachings of others. God gives peace to those who repent of their sins and trust Jesus Christ, but the scripture is clear that the world we live in stands in opposition to God and that the curse of God on creation from Genesis 3 is still in effect.

      • Christiane says

        Am not understanding what you mean . . .
        my scripture referred to the previous comment I made that was not posted. (I have no problem with your not posting it; but ‘out of context’, my point may not be understood completely with regard to that Scripture.)

        sorry for confusion . . . but the one comment was in sync with the other one
        (I copied that previous comment and saved it, so if you want me to replace it to clarify, just let me know.) If not, of course I would not post it again, against your better judgment.

    • says

      The “you” that He’s talking to are the disciples. However, it applies also to all people who have consciously trusted in Christ to save them and repented of their sins. It does not apply to people of other faiths who do not recognize that Jesus is God (i.e. mormons, muslims) because since they do not trust Christ to save them they will have no peace but rather they will be punished in hell forever.

      • Christiane says

        Hi JOE,

        I am taught that the ‘you’ refers to the disciples and now to the whole Body of Christ who are baptized in the Holy Spirit . . . it is the ‘deep peace of Christ’ that removes all worry and fear from our hearts.

        I think it is very meaningful that the angelic proclamation at Christ’s birth to the shepherds AND
        that parting message of Our Lord before His Ascension BOTH
        mention not being fearful.

        The power of the world to harm Christian people, may destroy their bodies, but it cannot harm their spirits or their souls. Christ is the guardian of their souls. He is the strength of Christian people. And if you want to know who ‘real Christians’ are, Joe, look for the fruits of the Holy Spirit first.

        • says

          No, actually that wouldn’t be the first place you’d look. There are many nice mormons and muslims. Those nice mormons and muslims won’t be shown even one ounce of mercy by God no matter how nice they were unless they trust Christ consciously.

          One thing is sure, you can tell who real Christians are by how they answer the question “What must a person do to be saved?” A real Christian would say “You must trust in Christ’s death on the cross alone as payment for your sins and you must repent of your sins to be saved. Only faith in Christ and repentance from sin will save you.”

          You can also tell if someone is a real Christian by their answer to the question “Will people from other faiths be saved by God even though they didn’t personally trust Christ consciously?” A real Christian would answer that question “No”. How would you answer that question, dearest one (“Will people from other faiths be saved by God even though they didn’t personally trust Christ consciously?”)?

          • says

            What about Jews? Not the Messianic Jews but the Jews that Bailey Smith had in mind with his “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.”

            Baptist Press has run some articles lately about Jews embracing Jesus as their personal Savior.

            In light of Baptist Press’ emphasis on evangelizing Jews, I found Richard Land’s speech at Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition event to be quite interesting.

            http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/6459/53/

            I didn’t read Land to be saying that Jews need Jesus. Why? God is already with them. 21st century Jews are God’s “chosen people.” Land’s comments seem inconsistent with the belief of people like Bailey Smith and other conservatives that Jews who reject Jesus as Savior are going to Hell.

          • says

            Wow… Land’s comments are a dangerous mixing of religion and politics that neglects the reality that God indeed forsakes and rejects the people of national Israel when they reject him (Hosea 1:2-11, Deuteronomy 28), and that in terms of the promises to Abraham and his offspring, the Old Testament nation of Israel was only a shadow of the true offspring–Jesus (Galatians 3&4).

            The thinking that Land displayed in that article seems to be most publically proclaimed by Hagee today: the idea that God will curse America if we take any political stance against Israel.

            I’m not speaking this to any particular current issue–but it makes no sense biblcially to transform that promise to Abraham into a blanket statement that we must always support the nation of Israel or face the judgment of God. If the nation does something that is evil in God’s eyes, why on earth would he curse us for standing against them or bless us for standing with them? That would pervert the holiness, justice, and righteousness of God.

          • Frank L. says

            Mike, your post makes perfect sense if “Replacement Theology” is correct, but is extremely dangerous to embrace if it is not correct.

            I also do not know why Israel should not get our support? What have they done, or are they doing, that make it immoral to continue to support them? I don’t see it.

            Now, on whether Land and Hagee get too political, we are probably in agreement. I believe it is possible to take a pro-Israel stand without being overly political.

            And, in regard to God’s rejecting Israel, I believe you are correct that He does in fact (and has many times) abandoned them to their own rebellion–but never permanently. And, further, as Habakkuk shows us–even when God rejects Israel, He never embraced Israel’s enemies (that is, the Babylonians).

            I think there are many reasons to support Israel, not the least of which she is the “only” nation God has called His chosen.

          • John Wylie says

            Frank,

            I agree with you. A simple reading of Romans chps. 9-11 really clarifies God’s position on Israel. I am amazed how anyone can read those chapters and come to the conclusion that God is permanently finished with Israel. And the thing that flabbergasts me the most is the actual anti Israel sentiment among people who claim to be Christian. Israel has been a consistent friend to the US providing us with valuable intelligence in the region, and is the only stable democracy in the Middle East. Not to mention all of the medical advances that Israel has blessed the world with. And I might conclude that there is not a nation on the planet, including us, who would put up with the nonsense that Israel has endured at the hands of the entire world. Read your history, the so called Palestinians already have a homeland, it’s called the nation of Jordan.

          • says

            John W., you said:

            And the thing that flabbergasts me the most is the actual anti Israel sentiment among people who claim to be Christian.

            Does this mean that someone cannot truly be a Christian and be anti-Israel (whatever that means)?

            Is it your view that Romans 9-11 has modern day Israel in view? Would that be (1) the people or the land, (2) the people and the land together? On what would you base this?

          • John Wylie says

            Mark,

            I think that a plain reading of Romans 9-11 answers your question. Romans 9:3-4 “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (4) Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;”
            Romans 10:1 “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”
            Romans 11:1 “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.”

            Paul is talking about his kinsman according to the flesh, racial Jews.

            And Romans 11:18-21 teaches clearly that we are not to be arrogant toward the natural olive branches. Romans 10:19; 11:11 teaches that salvation has come to the Gentiles in order to provoke the Jew to jealousy. I would recommend a reevaluation of how we boast against the “modern nation called Israel”.

          • says

            RE: John Wylie…

            But don’t forget the plain reading of 9:6-8. While Paul may wish the salvation of all the Jews (as should we, and of all people); he also recognized just b/c they were fellow descendents of Abraham–kinsmen according to the flesh–this did not actually make them Israel.

            And 9:19-10:4 that declares the righteous people of God depends upon faith, and that this people includes Jews and Gentiles.

            And 10:12 that in faith there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, a point he explains further in 11:11ff when he says natural branches (physical descendants of Abraham) were broken off in their unbelief so wild branches (Gentiles) could be grafted in. Thus making believing Gentiles a part of Israel through Jesus.

            Certainly, as you mention, part of Paul’s point is we not be arrogant against the Jews, after all we are no better than they and God can and will still save some from among the Jews (graft them back in)…

            But Paul’s overall point is the opposite of what you seem to be trying to say. He’s telling us when it comes to Israel: it ain’t about the physical nation, but the promise through faith.

            From that, the better applicaiton would seem to be: our task as believing Gentiles who by grace have been grafted in is to worry about being the feet of good news to the people (10:15).

            That doesn’t dictate necessary political support of a modern nation that happens to bear the name “Israel.”

            And with this I’m not comparing the policies and actions of Israel to Iran b/c right now it’s apples and oranges–but we’re to be the feet of good news to Iranians as well, though I think everyone here would agree we don’t want to support the nation currentlly in a political sense.

            In the Gospel sense Paul spoke of, we can “not be arrogant” towards the physical offspring of Abraham without politically supporting the present nation-state.

          • says

            Frank, you said: Mike, your post makes perfect sense if “Replacement Theology” is correct, but is extremely dangerous to embrace if it is not correct.

            Except I don’t believe in replacement theology–I don’t believe it’s correct. I don’t believe that the church replaces Israel.

            I believe Jesus fulfills everything OT Israel failed to be and that every promise made to Abraham is given and fulfilled in Jesus. Yes, God’s people are still Israel, but not the Israel defined by a modern day mostly secular nation–rather the Israel of Romans 9–the sons of Abraham by promise. And the Israel of promise receives the Abrahamic promises by and through Jesus. The church is an extension of this–a completely Jewish organization of the Jewish Messiah, of which us Gentiles are grafted in by faith (Romans 11) and are therefore made a part of Israel in Christ–the promised seed of Abraham.

            So when God says to Abraham: I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you, it is spoken most fully to Jesus who reiterates it: “If you acknowledge me before men I will acknowledge you before my Father in heaven; if you deny me before men I will deny you before my Father.”

            Honestly (and I don’t mean this to be snide or anything–it’s just hard to express emotions and intentions on typed words over the internet) I do not get how we can read everything the New Testament says about the promises to Abraham and all aspects of the Old Covenant coming to their fullness in Christ (especially in light of the Gospels, Galatians, Romans, and Hebrews), and from there still come to the conclusion that if we don’t politically support a nation-state named “Israel” (that especially looks nothing like the nation of the OT) we run the danger of incurring the judgment of God upon our nation.

            When I read Titus 2:14, 1 Peter 2:4-10, Romans 9:6-8,22-29, Ephesians 2:11-22, etc. it seems abundantly clear the “people/nation of God” are not a physical nation defined by a genetic linage but a spiritual nation from all peoples in all ages defined by Christ.

            So I just don’t get Land’s, Hagee’s, etc. rabid defense of modern Israel, the nation and dire warnings against those who think otherwise.

            Frank, you also said: I also do not know why Israel should not get our support? What have they done, or are they doing, that make it immoral to continue to support them? I don’t see it.

            I didn’t say that we shouldn’t currently support them. I just don’t see the biblical reasons for blanket support.

            For example: if they were to intentionally turn their weapons on unarmed civilians, even if those civilians bear the name “Palestinians” then we have zero reason to support them, and every reason to stand against them. The Bible gives us no grounds to support violence against or the oppression of the helpless.

            And given what the Bible says Old and New–if we support oppression from any angle, that will bring the judgment of God.

            And if “blessed are the peacemakers” we should be doing everything we can to bring peace to the area…even if deep down we don’t think it is humanly possible. Certainly as Christians we should be doing everything we can to carry the true peace of the Gospel to that area–to Israelis, Palestinians, Iranians, etc.

          • Bill Mac says

            Mike: Amen. The church does not replace Israel. The Israel of God has always been the church, and vice versa.

            The Nation state of Israel can be supported by the US as long as it is in our best interest to do so, the same as with any other country. We do not owe them anything more. Keep in mind that Israel spies on us (and most certainly we on them).

            From a spiritual standpoint, the nation state of Israel is a land and people in active rebellion against God. We should pray for their redemption, just as we should pray for Saudi Arabia and Sudan. From a spiritual standpoint, they, as far as I know, are not entitled to the land they are on. From a secular viewpoint, they are a nation struggling to survive in a hostile area and I wish them well. I would love to see peace over there but can’t quite see how it is to be accomplished without one side simply obliterating the other.

          • says

            For example: if they were to intentionally turn their weapons on unarmed civilians, even if those civilians bear the name “Palestinians” then we have zero reason to support them, and every reason to stand against them.

            I completely agree.

          • Frank L. says

            Sounds like “Replacement Theology” to me. The words are parsed differently.

            This view, though I respect your right to hold it and I think I can appreciate the perspective you have, seems to over spiritualize the OT.

            Again, though you have parsed the words a bit differently, I don’t see your conclusion as any different than “Replacement Theology.”

            Israel was never “the church.” Israel was always a nation first before it was a “type” for Christ, or more correctly perhaps, an antetype.

            This would be like saying, in my opinion, that bulls and goats were not bulls and goats. Again, I can appreciate your perspective, but I just don’t agree with it.

            Also, I agree in being a “peacemaker” (even more so the older I get). I disagree that supporting the Palestinians who are clearly terrorist in their bent (not all individuals of course) is the best way to seek that peace.

            I think we have to see that Israel is not the leading the charge for war but simply trying to live in peace. That doesn’t mean they do not make mistakes, of course.

            I do think one can make a very strong case from the Bible that Israel was never (and will never) be abandoned by God.

          • bill says

            I look forward to the day that I can post pictures here. So many things can be answered at times with a simple facepalm pic.

            Look into that, will you? It’s not like you have to work or pastor a church or something…

            :)

          • Dave Miller says

            Aaron, I guess I understand Land’s comments differently than you do. He is not saying that Jews do not need salvation through Christ. One of the fundamental tenets of Dispensationalist theology is the idea that the covenant of God with Abraham was eternal and was given to the nation (and not transferred to the Church as the New Israel.)

            I am not really wanting to argue Dispensationalism here (especially not with Mike Bergman who still owes me a chart of his beliefs and I refuse to discuss the subject until I see some color illustrations!).

            But what Land said is not shocking to anyone with exposure to dispensationalism.

            We believe that Israel is still God’s chosen nation and that the land belongs to them eternally.

            Here is the my gripe, even though I am in essential agreement with Land on this one. Why is he speaking as if all of us believe what he believes?

            I just think the ERLC should stick to what the SBC has established as official doctrine and policy. Why is he speaking about this?

          • says

            You said: I am not really wanting to argue Dispensationalism here (especially not with Mike Bergman who still owes me a chart of his beliefs and I refuse to discuss the subject until I see some color illustrations!).

            Check your facebook. :)

          • Dave Miller says

            Mike, wow, you must have poured three or four whole minutes into that! Very impressive though.

          • says

            I think Land’s comments lack clarity.

            And perhaps that’s why we understand Land differently. Mike Bergman mentioned Hagee. If Land differs with Hagee – perhaps the most well-known pro-Israel preacher activist out there – his comments don’t bear that out.

            Considering that Hagee’s viewpoint seems increasingly popular among the activistic Christian pro-Israel lobby (that’s in part the audience Land was addressing at the FFC event), I’m not sure where Land stands based on his words. I think his words raise questions.

            You asked, why is he speaking about this? I have a post I’m putting up later this week that shows the many quotes Land has given to TIME, CNN and other news outlets in the last month concerning GOP Presidential candidates. Land has weighed in on the strengths and weaknesses of virtually every GOP candidate (except for Herman Cain and Huntsman). Your ERLC president is less an Evangelical Ethicist and more a GOP Strategist these days.

            The thing about Land that is interesting is that several reporters have noted that Land is often the one to bring up these topics. He pushed Marco Rubio in 2008 during an interview with Politico, unprompted. Considering the great extent he went to cheerleading Fred Thompson as the greatest thing since mac & cheese (and Thompson’s subsequent weak campaign), one would think that Land might want to steer clear of playing strategist. I think it’s fine when he called Mitch Daniels out for urging a true on social issues. Social issues matter to Land. That’s his job. But telling TIME Magazine that Tim Pawlenty needs to be more charismatic and advising Mitt Romney on how to overcome his Mormonism with Evangelicals seems beyond his job description as a SBC employee.

          • John Wylie says

            I’ll guarantee you Richard Land believes everyone who rejects Christ will go to Hell. Pro Israel Christians in general believe that Jews don’t get an automatic salvation for their race, but we do believe that God still has a heart for the Jews as a nation and they play a big role in future events. And as always there is a remnant among them who will ultimately come to Christ. Romans 9:27; 11:5

  3. says

    Bob beat me to the Scripture reference. I think it is human nature to assume God’s judgment is the root of all bad that happens, but that isn’t always the case. I mused on this same sentiment a few months back on my own blog during the wake of the earthquake in Japan. The Japanese emperor declared that the earthquake was a sign of God’s judgment, which I found fascinating.

  4. Bill Mac says

    I think, in lieu of a prophetic explanation for recent disasters, I think what we can say with certainty is: It’s just weather. God is sovereign, but He clearly invented the natural laws, and creation follows them. Weather patterns are part of that system.

    • Bill Mac says

      Otherwise we could just say that God especially hates the South, and trailerparks.

    • says

      I agree that we want to stay away from any specific assignment of God’s motives and workings, but I think it is also unwise to completely discount the fact that God does, in fact, use nature throughout scripture as a tool of his judgment.

      • Bill Mac says

        He does, but without a prophetic announcement, we don’t know if He did. Everyone thought God must have been very angry with New Orleans, but I suspect He was saying “Hey, I didn’t tell them to build a city below sea level”.

        • says

          Both true, and a little funny.

          I think we are actually on the same page on this one, Bill. Which one of us should be concerned?

  5. says

    I would suggest that the two of you exchange emails (or authorize me to do so) and take this discussion private. We’ve been down this road a hundred times.

  6. Norman Oberbmann says

    Could the “Bridge of Christ” be disobedient in this generation? Are we preaching/teaching the Word of God without His Spirit? The Pharisee just loved to express their intellect in and debate the scriptures, but their lives did not line up with what they were teaching (Word of God). Is God Mad? Is God displeased? Is He calling out for us to repent? So here we are……..

  7. John Wylie says

    The present nation state is made up of the physical offspring. How do you separate the two? Further, how was the land promise of Genesis 15:18 fulfilled in Christ? Israel in its apex only occupied roughly 10% of this promise. Was it abolished? It could not have been spiritualized and then transfered to a people it was never promised to.

  8. says

    John Wylie you said: The present nation state is made up of the physical offspring. How do you separate the two? Further, how was the land promise of Genesis 15:18 fulfilled in Christ?

    A couple of things then I’m done w/ this topic and will let you have the last word if you want it.

    1. In Genesis 12, 15, & 17 the land promise is always given to “your offspring”. It’s Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, who says: “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16)

    Before this (3:7) we read, “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.” And after (3:29) “And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.”

    I don’t see how you can get any more clear that what God promised to Abraham and his offspring in Genesis was a promise made to Jesus, and subsequently extending from such, Jesus shares it with God’s people and Abraham’s offspring who are so by faith (OT times and NT) not physical linage.

    2. According to Acts 13:32-33, as Paul preaches, “We bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.'” Who are the fathers Paul speaks of? Well, in 13:17, “The God fo this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt.” Thus indicating the “fathers” were the patriarchs–Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the 12. So the promises made, which are the ones to Abraham, simply reiterated to his son and grandsons, were fulfilled when God raised Jesus.

    Further note–Paul there quotes Psalm 2. Part of Psalm 2 is God making a land promise to his Son–but a promise that expands beyond the boarders of a small strip in the middle east and involves the whole world.

    3. Which, the land in the Middle East was just a small part of the package–a beginning not the end of the promise. Aside from Psalm 2, Romans 4:13, “For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.” Paul inspired by the Spirit says the promise to Abraham and his offspring was about the world–which is much much greater than a small strip of land.

    4. Though the promise to Abraham and his offspring, Jesus, is unconditional and everlasting; the promise to the physical nation to be a people who occupies the land was conditioned upon obedience to the law. Exodus 19:5-6, “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” And 34:11, “Observe what I command you this day. Behold I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.” And it’s too long to quote here, but you see the same thing in Deuteronomy 28:64ff & 29:16ff where God promises to remove them from the land and make their dwelling place desolate if they do not obey him.

    And we know how the story goes–they could not obey, so God pushed them into exile. Though that exile was temporary, among the prophecies about it (Jeremiah), God declared he was going to annul the Mosaic covenant and make a New covenant (31:31ff), which indeed came about in Christ (Luke 22:20, Hebrews 8-9), and of which even we Gentiles are a part. Thus to God’s New Covenant people, he could apply the language of Exodus 19 (1 Peter 2:9).

    5. In conclusion… the promises to Abraham were not to the physical nation of Israel but to one offspring–Jesus, and extending from him to all of Abraham’s offspring who are his by faith (regardless of genetic linage and national identity). The promise of the strip of land was only a shadow of the greater reality of the whole world. It’s not about a single physical nation and a small strip of land and it never really was.

    Therefore we Gentiles must not be arrogant towards unbelieving Jews, b/c by grace through faith we have been grafted into to the linage they have rejected by their faithlessness. But that means we are to be the feet of good news–the Gospel of Jesus–to them.

    It does not mean we must support the modern nation of Israel politically in all we do. And it certainly does not mean God will bring judgment upon our land if we do not support the nation of Israel politically in all we do.

  9. says

    What does Presidnet Obama have to do with anything that God does in this country. We as a collective nation have omitted God and His wrath is due to the fact that as a nation we have put him on the back burner and have put everything else before Him. The events happening to America is not because of one person. We need to repent of our sins and put God back into this country.