To me, it feels like America is less prosperous, less free, and has less opportunity than a generation ago. Why is this? Can our national abandonment of God, our rush toward secularism, have an impact upon our economic welfare? Absolutely.
More people are working harder but are in bondage to debt than ever before. Yet suffering tough times can be a prelude to waking up and calling on the Lord. When the Lord wanted to turn a tribe of destitute Hebrews into a kingdom that could possess the land, fulfill prophecy, and impact the world, he used a process that put them through great pressure: slavery. Slaves are economically powerless.
This happened when Joseph was sold into slavery. He eventually served Pharaoh by interpreting dreams, warned of a seven-year famine, and saved his own family from starvation. But over a long period of time, the Hebrews became economic slaves.
In their distress they cried out to God, who answered their prayers by preparing a leader, Moses, who delivered them from Pharaoh’s grip. The Exodus required a supernatural victory that involved 10 plagues, the last of which we now know as Passover, commonly observed today as the Easter season.
There are many lessons for us from these historic events. A personal lesson is that any temporary pressure, even economic deprivation, cannot keep you from fulfilling God’s plan, if you persevere in faith and call on Him. A pit or a prison, such as Joseph endured, may be a platform for God’s promotion.
But global lessons also apply. For instance, here is a little-known truth. Behind any nation’s government, behind the hidden authority over the populace, is a spiritual power. This power (entity) may be discerned by examining a nation’s idols or its covenants. The false gods of Egypt were made to bow down to the 10 plagues invoked by Moses. The Egyptian gods backing Pharaoh were called out and confronted by Moses, the Hebrew prophet of Yahweh.
Does America have idols? Is there a secret power that shapes our society? Can you discern that power’s identity by examining early covenant documents? Yes, you can. You can see many overt references to Divine Providence, to The Lord, and to the God of the Bible, as “The Power of Heaven” to whom our Founders appealed for divine support and national success.
My point is this - for any nation to turn away from the One True God (and choose to serve false gods or false ideologies) is to forsake the source of liberty and blessing that originally guarded and guided them. The end result of forsaking the light of God is to become enslaved to those elemental forces that haunt and hate humanity.
Is there a way to preserve the true light of liberty?
The only path to economic freedom (the blessing of prosperity) is by remaining under the divine authority that protected our nation’s birth. The only way to endure as a sovereign nation is to choose to honor the Lord who guided our formation. The only posture that keeps us from being swallowed up by the veil that deceives the nations is to bow before Jesus Christ, the King of all kings.
Ron Wood is a pastor, writer, and a former resident of Meridian. You may contact him at email@example.com.