It was on this day that Nehemiah dedicated the rebuilt outer wall of Jerusalem. On this same day, approximately 500 years later, the Jews surrendered that same wall to the Romans.
Nehemiah had to rebuild the wall because, decades before him, the people of Judah did not heed the warnings of the prophets and did not follow the commands of God. Daniel recorded this:
“Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law and has departed as as not to obey Your voice, therefore the curse and the oath written in the law of Moses.… have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against You.” (Daniel 9:11)
Approximately 500 years after Daniel wrote these words, the descendants of those same people made the same error. Messiah addressed this issue just before His crucifixion:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate.” (Luke 13:34)
A generation later, the Romans were outside the city walls of Jerusalem. No doubt, the people of Jerusalem were hard pressed to think that God would allow His Temple and their city to be destroyed and, yet, He did. We, also, should take heed of this lesson and realize that no nation is exempt from His correction. As blessed as we have been and as mightily as we have been used, the United States will not escape His correction if we remain unrepentant. Consider just how far America has strayed from its foundational and, dare we say, biblical principles. Moreover, consider just how far the Body of Messiah in America has strayed from those same biblical roots.
Also consider this historical tidbit: it has been just over 500 years since the discovery of the New World and the subsequent colonization of the western hemisphere. Perhaps this has no bearing at all on our condition or it just might be that historical patterns have a way of repeating themselves. It’s not hard to see that, unless a dramatic national change of heart occurs, America’s days as the world’s only superpower are probably numbered. Interestingly, in Daniel 9:11, the word “curse” is translated from the Hebrew word, alah – that is what is poured out upon those who have forsaken the covenant. Is it an accident that the United States, at least since 9-11, has been engaged in a conflict with the followers of Allah?
God’s people should also consider this: nations rise and fall, kings and kingdoms come and go, and God uses these changes to sift His people among those nations. Yet He promised that, even though the sinners of His people perish, not one grain of wheat is going to fall to the ground. In other words, He may bring stiff correction to a nation but He’s still watching out for His people in those nations.
It’s difficult to see the nation that you love fall apart, but we must remember the words of John the Baptist who, when He saw the arrival of the Messiah and what God was about to do, said:
“Now, I must decrease that He may increase.”
Likewise, America and all nations will, eventually, have to decrease so that Israel – the people and their King – may increase. So, don’t hold onto things that are destined to decrease but embrace those things the Creator has ordained to increase.