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Decent reflections throughout but based on a flawed, unbiblical understanding of America
on March 23, 2012
While this book has some decent reflections on OT prophesy and events and God's purposes behind both, it builds it's central message on a flawed, though apparently common, understanding of America. The author makes a comparison between the nation of Israel and the USA that has no basis biblically. The author says that there have been only two nations in the history of the world that have been established with a covenant between the nation and God. He then uses this reasoning to link an OT prophesy given to Israel with current day America. While the linking of the prophesies with current events is impressive, and surely we can learn something from these prophesies that applies to us today, there are some huge errors and dangerous implications if we make such a link between Israel and America.
First of all, Israel did not "choose" God. God chose Israel. So, any attempt to say that Israel and America are similar in that they both set out as nations that "chose" God falls flat. There is no evidence that God has a similar "choosing" of America. Sure, God has purposes for America in his overarching plan of redemption for the world, but America is not a "chosen" nation, whom God works with in elevated and special ways, different from other nations.
Secondly, such a comparison between pre-Christ Israel and current day America fails to rightly understand God's means of engaging and reaching the world. God chose Israel as his people, that he might reveal himself to them and reach the whole world through them. God chose to enter human history through a specific people at a specific time. He didn't only come for the Israelites but He came through them. Today, post-Christ, God's primary means of reaching and engaging the world is not through any nation or state. It's through his church, the universal, all nation encompassing body of believers. America is not his chosen means to spread his salvation and love to the world. The church is.
Such misunderstanding seems to be quite widespread in America and leads me to believe that it has at its root an idolatry of a certain perception of America. "America is a Christian nation and until we get back to these roots there is no hope for our country." False. Hope does not come from our government, from our country being based on Christian ideals, or from having a godly president (though none of these are bad things). Hope comes from God and as the church spreads His gospel to the world. Don't put your hope in our country or government aligning to certain ideals or us getting back to being a more "christian" nation. This is idolatry. Seek the good of our country for sure, but don't make our country the greatest good. God is our greatest good and are only hope.
America is not the current day Israel, God's chosen people. America is not the hope of the world. God is. The church is his means of spreading that hope.