Pronounce a Blessing on America
America! America! A nation whose greatness is inextricably linked to its motto “In God WeTrust”. A nation which has been a beacon of hope, a bastion of freedom and a bulwark againstevil to the nations of the world. Here in the southern hemisphere, for example, we have beenblessed by sixty years of ANZUS. This is the formal security treaty that links the United States,Australia and New Zealand in upholding peace across the Pacific. This is but one example of how God has used America to be a blessing to the world. And indeed no other nation has beenused by God as mightily to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.
Yet it would seem, at this time, that America is shaking, drifting and even foundering. In this timeof its economic uncertainty, social upheaval and increasing isolation how can we, the nations of the world, respond? If we are tempted to be quick to offer advice or slip into criticism orcondemnation we must be very careful. It is not for us to judge. For the current plight of Americais very much our own, only that we have it on a smaller scale. Perhaps this is a time for thenations of the world to learn from the experience of Job of the Bible and his friends.When three of Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, heard about all the troubles that hadcome upon Job they immediately set out from their homes to“sympathize with him and comforthim” (Job 2:11). They were his ‘best mates’, who wanted to be with him in his time of need. Wesee this in the way they began to weep aloud when they first saw him from a distance. Thenseeing how great his suffering was, they sat on the ground with Job and silently grieved with himfor seven days and seven nights. Perhaps what America needs most right now is just our standingwith them in prayer to show them that we care.But following this commendable start, Job’s friends took turns trying to explain his agony. Theirwords however were not helpful. Instead of bringing comfort their words only made the pain godeeper. They were convinced that Job had brought this suffering upon himself assuming thatJob’s suffering was caused by some great sin. They judged Job without knowing what God wasdoing. With round after round of unfeeling assertions they had fewer and fewer words until theyhad nothing more to say. Their view of life seemed to boil down to: good things happen to goodpeople and bad things happen to bad people. They were experts on God’s justice but grosslyignorant on God’s grace. We too must be careful to avoid judging America because God may beworking in ways we know nothing about. God does not always act in ways that we understand.God is sovereign and in control of the world, and only He ultimately understands why things takeplace the way they do.