Title: Medicine for America
Theme: Truths for the Healing of America
Series: National Day of Prayer
When the medical world takes on the battle of developing medicine for treating a medical disorder, it must consider some things. What is actually being afflicted? If it is heart disease, they must understand the heart, its function and its make up. What keeps the human body healthy? What causes the human body to become unhealthy? What cures the disease, and how is the person going to be restored to good health?
For the sake of bringing this train of thought into today’s theme and as we think about the health of this nation, there are things that must be considered. What is actually being afflicted? What has caused this nation to become so spiritually unhealthy? What is the cure for the spiritual decay of America? What is her restoration process?
“When Solomon had finished the temple of the LORD… and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the LORD…, the LORD appeared to him at night and said: ‘I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” (2 Chronicles 7:11-15)
I would propose to you that Solomon was a great prototype for all those who desire to govern the people of God. He once said, “O LORD my God… I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong…” (1 Kings 3:7-9)
First step to applying medicine for America
The first step to applying medicine for America is to grasp the application of our key text. Titus 2:14 says, “[Christ] …gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.” The King James Bible says the Lord will purify unto Himself a “peculiar people.”
“Peculiar people” (periousios) are God’s chosen people in whom He has a special interest. The phrase can be translated as “His treasured people.” (The Complete Word Study of the Bible)
The Holy Spirit so powerfully expounds this truth in 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
Christians are a chosen people, called by the Name of the Lord and they have authority in Christ’s name to stand before the throne of grace and petition the Lord to bring a spiritual healing for America, but they must petition the Lord on the basis of confession and with a heart of repentance.
He rules right now over nations
Applying medicine for America begins with Christians understanding their position before God as a chosen people. Christians who the Lord uses to apply medicine to America grasp the fact that He rules right now over nations. Psalms 22:28 says, “for dominion belongs to the LORD and He rules over the nations.” The King James Bibles says, “…He is the governor among nations.” Romans 13:1 says, “…for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1)
It is God’s will that all of mankind come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:9) Psalms 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He chose for His inheritance. The noun “nation” (haggoyim) is used to mean nations other than just Israel. The application is that all nations can enjoy the blessings of God only as they allow Him to be Lord. (The Complete Word Study of the Old Testament)
Government is overseen by people. Therefore, Christians must join together in prayer and beseech the God of heaven to raise up statesmen who have enlightenment on how to Biblically govern a nation with the motto, “In God We Trust.”
The Lord raised up faithful servants from among the Jews to govern the people of God and Christians can pray in confidence that the Lord is fully able to raise up men like Abraham Lincoln who wrote on April 30, 1863, “It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”
God can restore our Supreme Court system to making decisions like the one made in 1892, “Our laws and our institution must necessarily be based upon and embody the teaching of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and institutions are emphatically Christian. This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making affirmation. We find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth. These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial utterance that this is a Christian nation.” (Justice Brewer delivered the opinion of the court on February 29, 1892)
The fact is America has enjoyed the blessedness of having statesmen who fear God from its early foundation up into the late 1950’s. The former Chief Justice Earl Warren, addressing the annual prayer breakfast of the International Council of Christian Leadership said, “I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses. Whether we look to the first Charter of Virginia or to the Charter of New England or to the Charter of Massachusetts Bay or to the Foundational Orders of Connecticut, the same objective is present: A Christian land governed by Christian Principles. I believe the entire Bill of rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under the law, and the reservation of powers to the people. I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion.” (America’s Christian History, the Untold Story, in the introduction)
What is being afflicted upon this nation
Christians can trust in God who is in full control over the government of the world to raise up people with Godly character to once again govern this nation. However, they must understand what is being afflicted upon this nation. Deuteronomy 28:1-2 says, “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God.” Deuteronomy 28:15 says, “However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all His commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.”
Daniel Webster wrote, “History is God’s providence in human affairs.”
The Book of Deuteronomy contains promises of blessings or curses. The effectiveness of a nation is determined by God’s blessings or curses coming upon a nation’s armed forces, economic systems, families and especially whether or not that nation is called by the name of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 28)
Biblically examining the rule of kings who oversaw the nations of Judah and Israel reveals the truth, God blesses obedience and He chastens for disobedience. Instead of hanging onto this world’s view, Christians can come to understand the Lord’s view of the reign of kings by reading the two Books of Chronicles. 2 Chronicles 17-20 reveals God’s view on the reign of Jehoshaphat. Understanding how God worked in the life of Jehoshaphat helps us understand how the Lord wants to work in America.
Jehoshaphat ruled over Judah in Jerusalem for twenty-five years. (2 Chronicles 20:31). The Bible says, “[Jehoshaphat] did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” (1 Kings 22:34; 2 Chronicles 20:32) Holy Spirit illuminated Christians will be praying for an earthly ruler of whom God will say, “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” “The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in the ways… [King] David had followed.” (2 Chronicles 17:3) “His heart was devoted to the Lord… (2 Chronicles 17:6) “The Lord established the kingdom under his control.” (2 Chronicles 17:5)
Christians who apply the medicine of prayer for America’s healing will ask the Lord for a leader like Jehoshaphat, “In the third year of his reign he sent… five officials out “to teach in the towns of Judah. With them were…” nine Levites and “the priest Elishama and Jehoram. They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the Lord; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.” (2 Chronicles 17:7-9) “The fear of the Lord fell on all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, so that they did not make war with Jehoshaphat… Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful; he built forts and store cities in Judah and had large supplies in the towns of Judah.” (2 Chronicles 17:10,12)
The United States of America enjoy the same blessings that God’s people did because of the Biblical conviction of her Founding Fathers. The University of Houston, Political Science Department researched the sources our Founding Fathers used most frequently in forming our present system of government. From the pool of nearly 15,000 documents from our founding period, the researchers selected 3,154 documents they considered most significant to our Founding Fathers. After 10 years of investigation, the researchers determined that the Founding Fathers quoted heavily from three intellectuals. They were Montesquieu, Blackstone, and Locke.
However, the most interesting conclusion from the research was that the Founding Fathers were even more dependent upon the Bible than they were these three intellectuals. The Bible was quoted 4 times more than Montesquieu, 16 times more than Blackstone or Locke. Ninety-four percent of the quotes of the Founding Fathers were based on the Word of God. Thirty-four percent of those quotes were direct from Scripture and the remaining 60% were taken from quotes where they had used the Bible to arrive at their conclusions. The Book quoted most often by the Founding Fathers was Deuteronomy.
The great theme of Deuteronomy is “Love and Obey.” Jesus, based His statement “If you love Me, keep my commandments” from the truths found in Deuteronomy.
The whole teaching of the Book of Deuteronomy is, “obedience is man’s response to God’s love.” (Thru the Bible) “God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son…” (John 3:16) Christ came willingly to die for our sins because He loves us.
God working in His absolute sovereignty molded out the design He wanted to govern this nation through our Founding Fathers, thus showing us today how we as a nation should respond to His sacrificial love.
In applying the medicine of prayer for the healing of America, Christians must ask the Lord to raise up statesman who are not ashamed of the Word of God. So explicit was the Word of God in the lives of men in this nation’s early years, Charles Finney, the Billy Graham of the 1800’s, came to Jesus Christ by reading “Blackstone’s Commentaries on Law.” He unashamedly used Scripture, referring to chapter and verse for every principle of law he cited.
Simple research reveals further examples on how the foundation of the United States of America was birthed from the Word of God. For example, the Three Branches of Government came from Isaiah 33:22. For Tax Exemption for Churches our Founding Fathers looked to Ezra 7:24. And for the inscription on the Liberty Bell, the Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly asked that a portion of Leviticus 25:10 be used.
In applying the medicine of prayer for America, Christians must understand that our Founding Fathers had a reverent fear of God, great knowledge of the Word of God and they, like Jehoshaphat, wanted the people in the land to know the Word of the Lord.
Sadly, like all men, Jehoshaphat’s reign had its moments that brought severe consequences to the spiritual, social and political life of Judah. 2 Chronicles 18:1 says, “Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage.”
Ahab was that king who had done more to anger the Lord than any other king had done in Israel. His marriage to Jezebel highlighted the consistent link of Biblical narrative between idolatrous practice and immoral behavior. Ahab’s skilful foreign policies are interpreted negatively by Biblical writers because of the severe religious consequences of mixing true worship with false worship. His negative influence had such a drawing effect, Jehoshaphat’s son, who was married to King Ahab’s daughter, Athaliah, was drawn away from the true worship of God. Not only was Jehoshaphat’s son affected, but his grandson as well.
The Bible says this about Jehoshaphat’s son and grandson, “[They] walked in the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the Lord, for [they were] related by marriage to Ahab’s family.” (1 Kings 8:18,27) Christians who will apply the healing anointment of prayer for America fear the disaster that can come upon their children when their country enters into unholy relationships with wicked leaders, men who do not fear God.
Jehoshaphat was weak and he easily slipped into unholy alliances that compromised His relationship with God. When he should have learned his lesson, at the end of his reign he allowed himself again to be allied with the family line of Ahab. Instead of war it was a business deal with the wicked king of Israel, Ahaziah. They had agreed to make a fleet of trading ships, but the Lord wrecked the ships and the deal fell through. (2 Chronicles 20:35-37) Jehoshaphat’s alliance in war with King Ahab about cost him his life and put the nation of Judah at great risk, (2 Chronicles 18:30-32)
A Biblical examination of the reign of Jehoshaphat shows us blessings of walking in the will of God as well as the dangers of walking in the flesh and according to the ways of the world. It is a dangerous thing to join into friendships and society that have views that are not God and Christ-centered. Our national leaders have too often been on friendly terms with and adopted the world view of the ACLU and the PAW. Our Biblically-Anemic preaching churches have failed to produce enough men and women who can be statesmen, people of God who are full of the Word as Ezra was. The Bible says, “Ezra, had devoted himself to the study and observance of the law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10)
Ezra was a priestly scribe who led major reform when he was sent back to Jerusalem after the Exile in Babylon. Ezra held a place of leadership probably because of his priestly lineage. His office while under the authority of the King of Persia is unknown but we do know that he used the Word of God, fasting, and prayer to God’s work completed. (Ezra 7:10; 8:21)
I thank the Lord for every Christian statesman we have. However, they find themselves fighting a great battle because the people of God and the people who live in a country that has a motto, “In God we Trust,” fail to spend time in God’s Word, fasting and prayer before making decisions regarding governmental affairs. Thus, they find themselves being miss-led by politicians who are fighting over party control, rather than being governed by statesmen who have a reverent fear of God. Instead of being influenced by the Word of God in making laws and interpreting law, we see politicians being intimidated by that unconstitutional phrase “Separation of Church and State.”
According to our key text today healing for America must start with confession and repentance on these matters.
The two Books of Chronicles reveal to us God’s view on men whom He has chosen to govern a nation. 2 Chronicles 17-20 reveals to us the blessing and chastening of God on the reign of King Jehoshaphat.
Healing for America lays in the ability of leadership to produce the fruit of repentance after being rebuked by men of God. In 2 Chronicles 19, we read of Jehoshaphat safe return to Jerusalem after being saved by the intervention of God in a battle he was not supposed to be in. (2 Chronicles 18:31) On his way back he is met by the prophet Jehu and is rebuked, “When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, Jehu the seer… went out to meet him and said to the king, ‘Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you. There is, however, some good in you, …you… have set your heart on seeking God." (2 Chronicles 19:1-3)
Jehoshaphat was a national leader like King David, a man of God willing to produce the fruit of repentance. After the rebuke of Eliezer and the hand of God coming against him, we read of Jehoshaphat rejecting King Ahaziah’s fresh proposal of uniting in another business venture.
In applying the medicine of prayer for American’s healing, Christians must ask the Lord to enable leaders to produce the fruit of repentance upon the men of God who deliver the Lord’s Word and who can see the God’s chastening hand. We need our government, schools, and families to have the heart of Jehoshaphat, produce the fruit of repentance and do what is right.
After returning home Jehoshaphat was concerned that his alliance with wicked Ahab through marriage and war may have enticed the people of Judah to engage in unholy worship of God. Thus, he sets out a second reformation for the people of Judah.
2 Chronicles 19:4-10 says. “Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and turned them back to the LORD, the God of their fathers. He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah. He told them, ‘Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.’ In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests and heads of Israelite families to administer the law of the LORD and to settle disputes. And they lived in Jerusalem. He gave them these orders: ‘You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the LORD. In every case that comes before you from your fellow countrymen who live in the cities--whether bloodshed or other concerns of the law, commands, decrees or ordinances--you are to warn them not to sin against the LORD; otherwise His wrath will come on you and your brothers. Do this, and you will not sin.’”
The Holy Spirit wants you to grasp that the healing of America also comes when government appoints “judges” (sapat) who have the conviction that they are judging for the Lord. They will give an accounting of their faithfulness and of their life lived before God. They can live under His wrath or enjoy His blessings, which will be passed down to the people they govern. The government must allow places where the people who live in the land can worship the Lord and learn the Word of God, have opportunity to follow His commands, and live by His ordinances. To inhibit the free exercise of the Christian faith is to sin against God and the people they govern.
Before Christians can apply the medicine of prayer for America they must understand that the governmental process is replete with politicians who think only of party control. America needs statesmen who have the same convictions of our Founding Fathers.
Christians must understand that the only cure for the spiritual decay of their national government is to trust God to raise up statesmen who have the heart of Jehoshaphat, leaders whom God will say, “they do right in the eyes of the Lord.” America needs leaders who respond to the Word of the Lord, whether it be a spoken blessing or rebuke. These leaders must produce the fruit of repentance, make proper changes so we can have judges who fear the Lord and make judgments for the Lord rather than for man. Christians must pray that God would intercede, raise up preachers of the Word of God, allow places where Americans can have the opportunity to hear God’s Word and be given the opportunity to obey the commands of Christ. Christian must pray for the restoration process of American leadership, churches, and family members.
We are blessed to have a president who prays and calls the people of America to pray. The President and the leadership of this church are joining with the National Day of Prayer Task Force. We are asking you to fast and pray as the Holy Spirit of Christ leads you. The door of the sanctuary of CrossRoads Church will be open. They have put together wonderful prayer guides, supported with Scripture so you may pray for governmental leaders, schools, communities, churches and families.
Make time to join us this Thursday, May 03, 2007 to humble yourself, confess your sins and the sins of this nation, and to pray to our loving Father who is in absolute control of the governmental affairs of this county.
Let us pray!