To me, the United States of America is the greatest country on earth. This is my home, my native land, and I know nowhere else in the world I would rather live—and I’ve visited other countries (Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China). Yet, yesterday—the 4th of July—Independence Day—I had two recurring thoughts:
First, I thought of the hypocrisy inherent in these words of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”—words written and endorsed by men who held black people like me as slaves, as mere chattel. Historically, the United States has so often practiced and endorsed various forms of injustice towards blacks, Native Americans and a host of other people groups, as to make a mockery of these noble words found in the Declaration of Independence.
Secondly, I thought of how sinfully proud we are as a nation. Americans, generally, are full of a sense of our own self-importance as a nation. And we don’t think we need God. This is evident by how much and how often we Americans simply ignore God’s word and do what we want to do, and legalize what we want to legalize, with absolutely no regard for what God has said. Just a casual glance at Scripture tells me our nation is headed for big trouble—trouble from God Himself. Consider:
“Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
But, we don’t have any fear of repercussions from our individual and national unrighteousness because we don’t really believe God’s word. We’re clearly told, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31), but somehow we imagine our nation is special in the eyes of God and is, therefore, exempt from God’s wrath. But God shows no partiality (e.g., Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6; Ephesians 6:9). Therefore, the United States of America is no more special to God than other nation, nor are we exempt from His laws. The unrighteousness that America practices and endorses will ultimately be her downfall. The wrath of God is coming, and we don’t see it, and we don’t care.
That’s why I, generally, just can’t get excited about the 4th of July. All is not well in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”