Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, July 11, 2021

Shavuah Tov *|FNAME|*,

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Sun 11 July 2021 2nd of Av, 5781 

De 1:1-10 Ez 24-25 1 Ch 5 (Lk 22:1-38) Col 1

Why Has America Been So Blessed by Adonai? 

What Might Cause Adonai to Remove These Blessings?

by Dr. Raymond Finney

INTRODUCTION: I write about two blessings from Adonai enjoyed by the United States. And, I question whether these blessings may soon be removed, and, if so, why they may be removed.

FIRST BLESSING– AMERICA WAS FOUNDED AS A JUDEO-CHRISTIAN NATION: In the last two Sunday RRs, I have discussed America’s birth. America was the product of deeply devout men– Founding Fathers and Constitution Framers– men who labored to create a nation based on Judeo-Christian (Biblical) principles. Faith made America strong. Faith secured God’s blessings. But, history teaches that national strength and Adonai’s blessings may be temporary and provisional. What Adonai gave, Adonai may take back. 

Pertinent milestones in America’s development include:

● On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, announcing to the British Crown, the world, and British colonists along North America’s eastern seaboard that the United States was a sovereign nation– a nation no longer part of the British Empire.
● The Revolutionary War, which no one wanted, followed. General George Washington and his untrained (civilian) soldiers defeated, against all odds, the British Army in 1783.

● Then, the difficult task of establishing a nation began. The Framers of the Constitution crafted the best document of governance, our Constitution, ever written. Even while writing the Constitution and later its companion, the Bill of Rights, these patriots sought God’s guidance at every turn. A brilliant feature of the Constitution is the division of government into three equal Branches, with a system of checks and balances whereby each Branch corrects excesses or errors of the other two Branches. At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, James Madison proposed that these three Branches form our government. He based his proposal on a Bible passage (Isaiah 33:22): For Adonai is our Judge, Adonai is our Lawgiver, Adonai is our King– He will save us! [Based on the attributes of Adonai, Madison proposed the three Branches as: “Judge” = Judicial  Branch, “Lawgiver” = Legislative Branch, and “King” = Executive Branch.]

● A few years later, a young Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859), visited the United States to learn how the newly formed nation was faring. He wrote a now-classic two-volume set, Democracy in America (published in 1835 and 1840). Coming from Catholic France, Tocqueville was most impressed with the religious attitude of Americans, and he attributed much of the strength of America to the strength of Americans’ faith. Many of Tocqueville’s comments about Americans’ faith are available through Internet sources. Following are a few of his observations which laud the deep faith of early Americans:

□ “I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

□ “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”

□ “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”

□ “… Socialism is a new form of slavery.”

□ “There are many men of principle in both parties, but there is no party of principle.”

□ “Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things. In France, I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately connected and that they reigned in common over the same country.”

□ “I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion– for who can search the human heart? But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.”

□ “In the United States, the sovereign authority is religious…. There is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.”

□ “In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people….”

□ “The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.”

□ “The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.”

□ Many more of Tocqueville’s views can be retrieved, using a search engine.

● Throughout the United States’ infancy, faith in God guided America’s government. In a previous RR, I discussed President George Washington’s Farewell Address to the nation (1796), and I will not repeat that discussion today. You may read the address at: Transcript of President George Washingtons Farewell Address (1796) (print-friendly version) (ourdocuments.gov) . Note Washington’s strong reliance on God and his hope that his “friends and fellow citizens” would do the same.

● Through the bloody years of the Civil War (1861-1865), President Abraham Lincoln remained resolute in his faith in God. In his “Gettysburg Address” (1863), Lincoln linked faith in God and liberty, when he called for unity under God to heal the nation: “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us– that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion– that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain– that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom– and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Earlier in his life, Lincoln quoted Yeshua in warning that a divided nation cannot survive (Matthew 12:25):  Knowing their thoughts, Yeshua said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” How many ways is America deeply divided today?

● I will add a personal observation, which, if old enough, you may share. My formative (teen) years were in the 1950s. The 1950s may have been the best of times to be a young person. I lived in Bearden (western Knox County). I am certain that people were far more conscious of God back then, than they are today. People openly worshiped and discussed God, more than they do today. Life was better then, than it is today.  Americans had stronger faith then, than they do today.

CAUTION– WE MAY BE LOSING THIS BLESSING: We Americans today are as sinful and rebellious as the Jewish people in Yeshua’a time. Yeshua, the Man of Sorrows in Isaiah’s prophecy, lamented His inability to bring the fellow countrymen to His way of thinking (Matthew 22:37): [Yeshua said] “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

Yeshua and the prophets warned that the last days would be filled with rebellious, sinful men and women (including Americans) who would be apostate, straying from Yeshua’s teachings. Yeshua cannot gather Americans under “His wings.”  Therefore; He likely weeps for us. End-time prophecies of the Bible are being fulfilled before our very eyes. Sadly, only the“people called by Adonai’s name” can change a nation (2 Chronicles 7:14), and all measures of faith among such people– both Jewish and non-Jewish Believers– indicate loss of faith and concern. When we turn our backs on Adonai, will He turn His back on us?

If we Americans do not love and follow God, what good are we to Him? If God severely punished His people Israel for their spiritual adultery (Hosea 2:2-23), why are we Americans so arrogant to believe that He will not also severely punish  America for our own spiritual adultery?

We Americans are primed and ready to lose God’s blessings and favor, and receive His wrath. I can think of many scenarios in which America can be destroyed or made impotent virtually overnight. If you cannot construct a similar list, may I suggest you quit your Facebook account and start listening to current news reports, start praying, and start reading the Bible? God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Do not let yourself and your family be destroyed in the coming wrath because you are ignorant of God’s warnings to all of us.

SECOND BLESSING– AMERICA ESTABLISHED HERSELF AS A STRONG DEFENDER OF REBORN ISRAEL: After nearly two millennia of the Diaspora (the expulsion of Israel from her Promised Land, dating from AD 70), the miraculous rebirth of the nation of Israel occurred in May, 1948. Islamic enemies immediately attacked, intent on pushing the Jewish “infidels” into the Mediterranean Sea and reclaiming “their” land for Allah.

The years since 1948 have been bloody and turbulent. Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Islamic nations and terrorists. Yeshua’s warned in the Olivet Discourse (see Matthew 24:6, Mark 13:7, and Luke 21:9) of a variety of “wars and rumors of wars” just before His return. Yeshua warned that these disturbances would be caused by nations and people groups (terrorists), which is precisely the mix of Israel’s present-day enemies. See some of the major wars Israel has faced since 1948 in List of wars involving Israel – Wikipedia .

America, from the days of President Truman in 1948, became a strong ally of Israel. President Trump seemed to love Israel and her people, so much so that many Israelis called him a modern Cyrus. 

SIDELIGHT: Cyrus II, or Cyrus the Great, a Persian ruler from 539-530 BC, allowed enslaved Jews to be released from their captivity in Babylon to return to Jerusalem. It is a great honor for Trump to be compared to such a Jewish friend and hero as Cyrus the Great. END sidelight.

President Trump appears to be a true friend of Israel. His successor, President Biden, appears to be unfriendly toward Israel (in my opinion). Biden seems to prefer the “Palestinians” over the Jewish Israelis. Biden’s policies strengthen the Iranians, who continue to vow to annihilate Israel.

CAUTION– WE MAY BE LOSING THIS BLESSING: An ancient promise and warning from Adonai is contained in the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:3): [Adonai said to Abram] “My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse,….”

Biden and others in power in Washington, DC neither know nor care about what the Bible states. (I know…. Biden claims to be a Catholic. He professes with his lips to be a Believer of sorts, but what do his actions show? On a personal note, I would not look forward to meeting my Divine Judge some day burdened with the sins and actions of many Washington DC politicians and bureaucrats.)

When America curses Israel through our anti-Israeli actions, why would we not expect God’s curse on America? That would make the Abrahamic Covenant a lie.

CONCLUSION– THE BAD NEWS, THE GOOD NEWS: You can probably think of many reasons America has been blessed by God and why God may be ready to remove these blessings from us. Some day, I may write a RR on how America may end, but not today. 

There are two messages to take from our current state of affairs in America:

● Bad news: America may have outlived our place in history– the destiny Adonai planned for us. Adonai may be ready to remove the blessings He bestowed upon us. The curses foretold in the Olivet Discourse and The Revelation (Tribulation)  may be in our near future.

● Good news: Although you would probably join me in profound sadness that our beloved nation may be on the edge of a deep chasm with little time left and no escape known, the good news is that America is not a Believer’s home. Yeshua and prophets of both the Tanakh and the B’rit Chadashah clearly, reassuringly have told us that we have an eternal home in Heaven (New Jerusalem), where there is no pain, death, or sorrow. No matter what China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Marxists in our own federal government, or other minions of Satan have planned to destroy America, Yeshua stands at the gates of Heaven, with arms outstretched to welcome us to our new home. 

Some distinguish an optimist from a  pessimist on whether he/ she sees a cup half empty or half full. A Believer should not view the “cup of eternity” as half empty, but, rather, as overflowing abundantly and without ceasing. Adonai’s matchless riches await us. Until next Sunday, Shalom and Maranatha.