The Bible says, “Judgment must begin at the house of God”. (I Peter 4:17) What does that mean? God holds the standard the highest for those who proclaim that they are His. It’s like how Jesus castigated the Pharisees rather than the drunks. In fact He told the self-righteous religious leaders of His day, “The tax collectors and harlots enter into the kingdom of God before you.” (Matthew 21:31) The same principle that Jesus espoused 2000 years ago is still valid today.
The recent pandemic that’s swept America, as well as the world, had a major, transformative effect on the elections of 2020 in the USA. The national government here was seen by many to be aloof and distracted by other things as the Corona virus hit America as hard as any disease has in the last 100 years.
Was this an example of judgment beginning at the house of God? Well, it sure had an effect on the elections last November. And America voted for a new administration and government which it was hoped would take more action and really get to grips with this vast, deadly emergency that has virtually overwhelmed the country.
And now this major historic cold and snow that has just hit here in Texas has had a similar effect. Both the cold in Texas and the Corona virus nationally have been ”natural disasters”, as we call them. Insurance companies actually call them, “acts of God”. But judgment must begin at the house of God. The Lord has ways to intervene in the affairs of humanity, even in our times. And thank God for that.
The Lord has always had ways to bring judgment first upon His own people, rather than on the so-called worldly or the unsaved. That’s why, in God’s eyes, His own saved Christians are so much more accountable than are the unsaved worldly who don’t know His Word or ways.
I often feel that it is a pitiful, fearful time for America. Will they be able to muddle through for a few more years, as they have for so long? Maybe; they’ve gone on a long time, coasting on the momentum of the righteousness of former generations. But, like Israel of old, there comes time when God requires an accounting. It says in the Bible, “In those days the Lord began to cut Israel short”. (II Kings 10:32) I fear this is now happening to America as well.
The Lord has consistently held a higher standard for His own people than He does for the ignorant and unsaved of this world. But you seldom hear this message from the pulpit here or much less from the opportunistic politicos of our times.
A former US President from Texas once talked about “compassionate conservatism”. I wish I could say I have seen more of that here. In Texas there is a predominance of conservatives; but each of us will have to answer to God if we have truly been compassionate. I could go off on a tangent here, trying to apportion blame and take sides. But instead, maybe I’ll just try to keep seeing what the Lord is doing. I will add that I have certainly known personally some very humble and compassionate conservative Christians here in Texas.
The Lord brings crisis into our lives. He can, in His love and nurturing of us, even expose our sins, both to individuals and to nations. And almost no one really ever likes that, individually or nationally. Still, the Lord does it to purge and purify and to try to bring us out of “the sins that so easily beset us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
And how we react to that, individually or nationally, will really tell the tale of how our life goes. Almost everyone is very prone to “justifying themselves” (Luke 10:29). I wrote a blog article about justifying yourself which can be found here.
But God’s hope must be that, individually and nationally, we won’t justify ourselves and thwart the working of God in our lives. Instead, we will see the hand of God working when events that He sends expose our unpreparedness, our aloofness, our pride and arrogance. Then the hope must be that we will see it, acknowledge it, repent of it and be the better for the judgment the Lord sometimes brings. So often, it really comes down to that.
How’s this all going to end? Will the leadership of Texas confess their mistakes, ask for forgiveness and make the changes that are so desperately needed? We can hope so. Virtually every major leader in Texas is strongly a Christian conservative. May the Lord have mercy upon us all. May we all, individually and nationally, see the chastening, purifying hand of God in our lives.
“Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous. Nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them which are exercised thereby.” (Hebrews 12:11)