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THE WRONG REMEDY
by Philip Owen

            When we are sick, we make an appointment to see the doctor, not a used-car salesman.  When our car breaks down, we call the mechanic, not our cell phone carrier.  When we need food, we go to the grocery store, not to the hardware store.  How is it, then, when our nation is corrupt and sin-ridden that we put our hope in a flawed and fallible man rather than in the Lord?  How is it that we have the wisdom to seek the right help, recognize the right remedy, and know where a need can be properly met in the mundane issues of life, but lack wisdom in the most critical spiritual issues?  In short, how can so many of us recognize the fact that the fundamental problem in the United States is that of forsaking God and pursuing sin and then turn to a man to fix it rather than to God who alone has the remedy for sin?

            David certainly confronted many troubles, facing enemies both externally and internally (even his own son), wherever he turned.  He might readily have been excused for seeking allies wherever he could find them.  But his testimony was this:  “Some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God” (Psa. 20:7).  Eschewing natural help, he turned solely to his God:  “Save, O Lord; may the King answer us in the day we call” (v. 9). 

            It is to be expected that the world will seek natural solutions to the ills they perceive.  But when real believers place their hope and confidence in a fallen man to remediate situations that result from rebellion against God, they display hearts that are earthly not heavenly and hopes and desires that are natural not spiritual.

            Though he was describing the apostasy of Israel more than 2,500 years ago, Isaiah’s diagnosis of his people’s state could hardly be more accurate with respect to America.  “Sons I have reared and brought up, but they have revolted against Me.  Alas, sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons who act corruptly!  They have abandoned the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away from Him.  The whole head is sick and the heart is faint.  From the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing sound in it.  Your land is desolate, your cities are burned with fire, your fields—strangers are devouring them in your presence.  Unless the Lord of hosts had left us a few survivors, we would be like Sodom, we would be like Gomorrah.  So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen.  Your hands are covered with blood” (1:2b, 4, 5b, 6a, 7a, 9, 15. Please read the entire chapter:  it is a devastatingly accurate depiction of this nation today.).

            Whether or not the President-elect can or will effect some positive changes, I cannot say.  But even under the best circumstances they would be only natural and temporary solutions—band aids on an open cancer.  And these brief words are not intended to be a political statement of any kind, but a reminder that the church of Jesus Christ has its citizenship in heaven and its hope in Christ.  We have not been called to save the world, much less make it a more comfortable place for us to enjoy ourselves.  We are called to obey the Word and glorify the Lord.  God is in charge of the state of our existence here—however pleasant or unpleasant.  That is not to say that we should be careless or oblivious to these things, but only that our eyes are to be focused on the Lord and our desires fixed on His will, not on our ease.  May we pray for our nation and our faithfulness while living here as strangers and pilgrims.

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