"Carefully follow [them], for this will [show] your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the peoples. When they hear about all these statutes, they will say, 'This great nation is indeed a wise and understanding people.' "(Deuteronomy 4:6 HCSB)
As children we learned to pray, "God is great; God is good." Those truths are inseparably linked. That is true in every dimension of life--including government. A nation's greatness is bound up with its goodness. This is what God was teaching Israel.
The Jews were getting ready to cross into the Promised Land. Abundant blessing awaited them--if, they were obedient to God's principles. Their greatness would rest upon their goodness. Those who are wise walk in the path of God's principles and reach the place of God's prosperity.
The experts today propose all kinds of solutions to society's many maladies. If we only had the right political party in power, if we only had a better business climate, if we made another technological breakthrough, if we had more educational opportunity--and so we look to pundits, diplomats, scientists, economists--all the talking heads that shout at us, "Do this and it will be great!"
None would dispute that these matters are unimportant--they are just insufficient. They are like taking pain medicine for relieving a headache that stems from a brain tumor. You may get some temporary relief, but the problem remains. Unless that is dealt with the prognosis is debilitation, then death. We are fools to think otherwise.
The malignant tumor is sin. We have violated God's precepts. We have cast off moral restraint. There is but one cure--repentance and faith in Jesus Christ!
Even the church must be cautious, lest we in our rightful call for righteousness, think that getting the right leader elected or the right legislation enacted will restore America's greatness. Doubtless, we need to stand up for truth, speak out against evil, yet, never forget our mandate is to spread abroad the Gospel. Only that gets to the heart of the problem--the problem of the human heart. Good government is needful to restrain evil, but the glorious Gospel is indispensable to regenerate evil-doers!
Martyn Lloyd-Jones said it this way, "This Gospel is the only hope of the world today. Everything else has been tried and found wanting." When bad men are reborn as good men, righteousness will be restored. A nation's greatness resides in its goodness--and the Gospel alone can bring this transformation. Then, America once more will be the beacon of hope to the world, as God intended for Israel to be to the nations around them.