Consider the situation at the time of the Solemn Assembly called by the Prophet Joel. The people of Israel were guilty of flagrant, unconfessed sin. The sin had not been put away, either. God visited them with a remedial judgment – an overwhelming invasion of locusts, a fierce drought, fields ruined. The prophet issued orders: “Gird yourselves with sackcloth and lament…. blow a trumpet, sound an alarm…return to Me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning; rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Our Founding Fathers believed God was offended by sin. They were deeply troubled by the presence of personal sins and corporate sins in churches and the nation. They regarded natural calamities as manifestations of Almighty God’s displeasure against sin. He allowed earthquakes, fires, volcanoes, epidemics, floods, droughts, wars, homicides, rapes and domestic violence to motivate them to seek God’s face and repent to reverse the decline of moral and spiritual life in the churches in particular.
We are being given signs and alarms to bring us back to the Lord, including Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, wildfires in America’s West, threats from North Korea, Islamic terrorism in America and worldwide, multiple military deployments of our men and women overseas, totally untrustworthy mainstream media, partisanship and overt hostility toward the president, nationwide divisiveness and competing worldviews. All of these situations come from turning our backs on God and repentance.
We recently remembered 9/11. Repentance includes breaking out of apathy and indifference that has characterized the American church for decades, including a lack of prayer, seeking entertainment and pleasures and passivity toward unrighteousness. As believers in the One True God, we should yield out lives to Jesus and take a public stand for Him, His Word.
May God cause leaders with authority in every sphere of public and personal life – pastors, fathers, military commanders, business leaders, education leaders and political leaders – take responsibility to help America become one nation under God by the power of the Gospel of Jesus. May, we, the people, as the Body of Christ, unite in corporate prayer and make it a priority in the turbulent coming days ahead. May God help us be salt and light. Let us take prayerful, anointed, Spirit-led action to preserve our nation and return the American people to their Biblical roots.