IS AMERICA UNDER THE JUDGMENT OF GOD?
By John C. Carpenter
Through the prophet Isaiah, God the Father said this to Israel:Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened [Hebrew, qatsar, curtail, cut down, discourage, wax short, trouble], that it cannot save [Hebrew,yasha, avenge, defend, deliver, preserve, rescue, bring salvation, get victory]; neither his ear heavy [Hebrew, kabad, afflict, to
be heavy, burdensome, dull], that it cannot hear: But your [Israel's, and our own] iniquities [Hebrew, avon, perversity, moral evil,
fault, mischief] have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands
are defiled with blood, and your fingers [Hebrew, etsba, grasping, to seize] with iniquity [Hebrew, avon, perversity, moral evil,
fault, mischief]; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness [Hebrew, evel, moral evil, iniquity, perverseness,
unrighteousness, wickedness]. None calleth for justice [Hebrew, tsedeq, equity, rightness], nor any pleadeth for truth [Hebrew, emunah,
moral fidelity, firmness, faithfulness, stability, steadiness]: they trust in vanity [Hebrew, tohu, confusion, desolation, empty,
without form, a thing of nought, vain, waste, a wilderness, or a worthless thing], and speak lies [Hebrew, shav, desolation, destructive
evil, moral guile, idolatry, uselessness, false, lying]; they conceive [Hebrew, harah, conceive, progenitor, to be pregnant, create
and give birth to] mischief [Hebrew, amal, grievousness, iniquity, mischief, cause pain, perverseness, travail, trouble, or wickedness],
and bring forth iniquity. They hatch [Hebrew baqa, make a breach, break forth into pieces, cause to burst, divide, rend, rip, or tear]cockatrice' [Hebrew, tsepha, to extrude, thrusting out the tongue as a viper, to hiss] eggs [Hebrew, beytsah, an egg from its whiteness,
to bleach, fine white linen; suggesting righteousness and purity], and weave [Hebrew, arag, to plait or weave] the spider's [entangling] web [trenches
or walls]: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper [Hebrew, epheh, a venomous serpent].
Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the
act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil [Hebrew, ra, adversity, affliction, grievous, hurtful, mischievous, misery,
unpleasing, trouble, wretchedness, or wrong], and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity [Hebrew,aven, affliction, falseness, idolatry, mischief, resulting in sorrow, unjust]; wasting [Hebrew, shod, desolation, destruction, oppression,
robbery, or spoiling] and destruction [Hebrew, sheber, affliction, beating, bruise, cause to crash, hurt, or vexation] are in their
paths. The way of peace [Hebrew, shalom, rest, safety, friendliness, wellness, happy, for our welfare, health, prosperity] they know
not; and there is no judgment [Hebrew, mishpat, to have a verdict of favorable or unfavorable, determination, discretion, justice,
to determine as wrong, or to measure] in their goings: they have made them crooked [Hebrew, aqash, to know or distort, to pervert,
make perverse] paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake
us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness, We grope for the wall like the blind, and we
grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. We roar [clamor, rage, moan]all like bears, and mourn [murmur in anger, complain] sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but
it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions
are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God,
speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. And judgment is turned away backward [Hebrew,chor, the hinder part, behind, afterward, later, diverted and nonexistent for now], and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen
in the street, and equity [Hebrew, nekochah, straight forwardness, integrity, truth, right thing, uprightness] cannot enter. Yea,truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil [the righteous] maketh himself a prey [Hebrew, shalal, one to be plundered, to let
fall, to be spoiled]: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment (Isaiah 59:1-15).
Of course, in context,
we see how God the Father responded to the many sins of Israel; the heavenly Father sent Jesus Christ to serve as intercessor and
redeemer: And he [God the Father] saw that there was no man [that would commit judgment about good and evil, right and wrong], and
wondered that there was no intercessor [Hebrew, paga, come betwixt, intreat, meet together]: therefore his [God's] arm brought salvation
unto him [man]; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he [the Lord] put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of
salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. According to their [man's] deeds,
accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence. So shall they
fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the
Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression
in Jacob, saith the LORD. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that IS upon thee, and my words which
I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed,
saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever (Isaiah 59:1-21). But the point of this article is not that God sent Jesus Christ to
intercede and save the world, but the multitude of sins committed by ancient Israel.
THE SIN OF MAN AND THE JUDGMENT OF GOD
to scriptures, sin is always associated with God's wrath and judgment. Sin has a consequence. As James teaches, when lust hath conceived,
it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:15). Sin also has a consequence because God cannot
look upon sin: He has purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously,
and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? (Habakkuk 1:13), and the wrath of God is
revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men...(Romans 1:18). Paul reminds us, it is Jesus, which delivered
us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10). Referring to the heathen, Habakkuk cries to God, Art thou not from everlasting,
O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established
them for correction (Habakkuk 1:12). Paul clearly taught that the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23), and that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the
things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). Christ, Himself, said, I
say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36). The
apostle Peter teaches us, Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:
for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the
lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when
we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange
that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the
quick and the dead (1 Peter 4:1-5). The psalmist, David, exclaims, But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne
for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness (Psalms 9:7-8).
Paul warned the highly sinful church in Rome about God's judgment of sin: But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up
unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according
to his deeds (Romans 2:5-6). Writing to the church in Corinth, Paul taught that even the saints will assist God in judgment: Do ye
not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
Know ye not that we [saints] shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). Lastly, referring
to Christ's revelation to him, John wrote, I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another
book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according
to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they
were judged every man according to their works (Revelation 20:12-13).
When we compare the ancient sins of Israel with the contemporary
sins of America and other peoples of the world, the similarities are striking, serious, and even ominous. When we examine these subject
verses, we are not sure if we are seeing the sins of Israel, or the sins of America. The sins of America mirror the sins of ancient
Israel. We should, therefore, ask, has God, because of our sins, brought judgment upon America, as He did with Israel? With the iniquity
of America at peak levels, and still rising, could it be that God has simply had enough of us and our selfish, rebellious sin? Has
He finally given us over to our own naracissism, desires, decisions, and lusts? It is very possible that He has.
regarding God's temporal judgment and consequences [as opposed to His eternal judgment] of sin, there are two instances in the new
testament in which nations or peoples have been "turned over" to their own lusts because they have loved self and sin more than God.
“Turned over” is translated from the Greek word paradidomi, which means to cause to surrender to and be placed in bondage to our sinful
behavior because of our hardened, impenitent hearts. Interestingly, this imprisonment and bondage has two sources: God the Father,
and ourselves. Paul wrote the saints in Ephesus, This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other
Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance
that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over [Greek, paradidomi, to
surrender to, to yield up, entrust, commit, give over to, put in prison, become in bondage to] unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness
with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is
in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man [of rebellion and sin], which is corrupt according to the
deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness
and true holiness (Ephesians 4:17-24).
Again, the apostle Paul teaches that when we harden our hearts and continue to refuse
to acknowledge and glorify God the Father, God may turn us over or give us up to fully experience the temporal and eternal consequences
and judgments of our own sins.
Within his epistle to the believers in Rome, Paul referenced the sins of the church in Rome, but
also the sins of many in modern times, especially the sins of America: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world
are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and
their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible
God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave
them up [Greek, paradidomi, to surrender to, to yield up, entrust, commit, give over to, put in prison, become in bondage to] to uncleanness
through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie,
and worshipped and served the creature [the creation, man, self] more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever (Romans 1:20-25).
As Paul teaches, we can put ourselves in bondage to sin, and so can God the Creator of heaven and earth.
One additional judgment
for our sin is mentioned by Paul in our subject verses: Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened [Hebrew, qatsar, curtail, cut down,
discourage, wax short, trouble], that it cannot save [Hebrew, yasha, avenge, defend, deliver, preserve, rescue, bring salvation, get
victory]; neither his ear heavy [Hebrew, kabad, afflict, to be heavy, burdensome, dull], that it cannot hear: But your [Israel's,
and our own] iniquities [Hebrew, avon, perversity, moral evil, fault, mischief] have separated between you and your God, and yoursins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
The Lord's hand, that is, His ability or power, to save is not curtailed
or diminished, nor are His ears dulled or unable to hear our prayers, yet the sins of Israel, their perversities, moral evil, and
faults have separated them from God the Father. The result: God the Father has hidden His face from Israel [and possibly us]. Because
of our continued rebellion, iniquities, and sins, has God already committed judgment against America, separated Himself from us, and
turned us over to the complete consequences of our own sinful decisions? Possibly so – you decide. AMEN.