Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.
Righteousness exalts a nation.
We are living in days when our nation, like many other nations of the world, is going through its toughest economic times in living memory. Commentators are having to stretch back into the dark days immediately after the second world war to see their like. With borrowings far in excess of what is prudent, and the government having had to resort to printing more money than is economically supportable, talk of a generation in debt and, even the spectre of national bankruptcy, are fuelling the fires of fear in the minds of the people.
It would be easy to make party political comments about all this, some of which may be accurate, but ultimately none of the political parties have shown any interest in looking at what the Word of God actually says about the situation - or asking if there is any connection between the state of the nation and the moral bankruptcy which is now the foundation of our society. In most of our western nations there has been a systematic removal from the rule of law, of the spiritual principles and the commandments of God which are the requirement for the success of a nation.
The psalmist summed it up so succinctly in our first two scriptures for today. Both a nation (as a whole) and the people will only know blessing when God is the Lord of that nation and the Lord of the people. During the second world war Churchill (Prime Minister) and the King (George VI) called the British nation to prayer (to the God of the Bible). As a result, at the time of Dunkirk the beleaguered British forces had a totally miraculous deliverance from the beaches of France. Later, commenting on this and other amazing victories, the Archbishop of Canterbury said: 'Why has God preserved us? We may, and we must, believe that He who has preserved our land in a manner so marvellous, has a purpose for us to serve in the preparation for His perfect Kingdom.'
God preserved us then, because the leaders of our nation turned to God and made Him Lord. If we want to know how to get back on track, then the writer of the Proverbs gives us the answer when he says that “righteousness exalts a nation”. How I pray that God will raise up leaders in our nations who will not be afraid of the voices of those who would tread the downward path of moral compromise. People who would remember the lessons of history (for a nation that forgets its own lessons will only have to fight the same battles time and time again) and in humility confess the bankruptcy of man’s pride and choose to walk in the paths of righteousness. Only then will the nations we belong to be exalted and know God’s protection, security and blessing. Only then will we be able to re-discover the purposes of God for our nations.
Prayer: O God, our help in ages past, we cry out to you now to speak to the leaders of our nations, that there will be raised up in each nation those with a fearless voice to declare that it is only living in the righteousness of God that will exalt the nation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.