Is America in the Bible?

10 Apr

My thinking on finding the United States in the Bible went something like this:
• If (I say if, not from doubt, but from logical argument structure) God sees the end from the beginning; and
• If God had a strong hand in forming this nation as we Christians claim; and
• If we can truly read today’s headlines in the Bible; then
• The United States should be able to be found in scripture.

Knowledge as we need it.
Now, I know God has not revealed everything. However, he has revealed through several writers what the end of days would be like. Jesus said he revealed such things for us to be able to recognize it when it begins to happen and be encouraged. Therefore, I still want to know how will this hemisphere, and the United States in particular, be a part of His story in the last days?

First logical place.
Over the years when reading the book of Revelations, I’ve kept an eye out for us. It made sense to me this great end-times prophecy would have something in there about us. The closest I found was the description of the fall of Babylon the Great. Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon no longer exists as a city-state—hasn’t for thousands of years. It must be symbolic. The description in Revelation makes it out to be a world power. (see Revelation 18) The leader of all trade. Other nations relied on her and by her they enjoyed a measure of her great wealth. Sounds like the United States. But that is as far as it goes with me. It sounds like it could, possibly, maybe be speaking of the United States. A part of me says it doesn’t fit the rest of the passage and end times details.

Not where I expected to find it.
More recently I was reading the book of Daniel. The passage I’m focusing on is chapter 2 verses 31-45. In them, Daniel reveals King Nebuchadnezzar’s troubling dream and its meaning. He explained that the huge statue spoke of kingdoms—Nebuchadnezzar’s first and those that would follow. Biblical scholars since then have named three of them: Medes and Persians, Greek, and Roman.

The Roman empire is described as the legs of the statue, which are made of iron. And, of course, a fourth kingdom, the last one, is the Lord’s. It is depicted as a stone carved out of a mountain and cast down onto the feet of the statue, crushing and grinding the other kingdoms to dust. This new kingdom will reign forever.

The defining clue for me.
I noticed for the first time that there is a shift in pronouns. Authority in each kingdom referenced is singular. The authority is vested in one head in each of the first four kingdoms. But after the Roman empire, the authority is referred to as they. The feet and toes of the statue seem to speak of another form of ruling. It has the strength of iron, but it is mixed with the weakness of clay (verses 41-43). Drawing on God’s statement in Genesis that we are dust and to dust we will return, I see the clay speaks of humanity. (We the people.)

For over two hundred years our Constitution has been the authority and strength of our nation. It has survived many attacks including a Civil War and two world wars. Any proposed or passed law that contradicts it, gets thrown out as unconstitutional. Somehow—whether you want to give credit to God in the effort or not—a few men gathered in 1785 and wrote out an ironclad document that created a government (authority) of, by and for the people.

However, 1973 introduced a crack in its system. Many adopted the argument that the Constitution is a piece of paper, outdated in its thinking. The framers could not have foreseen the huge advances of science and industry. It is archaic and only a guide. Authority shifted from iron to majority whims. Instead of being the document created to give strength and protection, it is now being used against the values and guiding light that once led us.

The fit.
Daniel explains how the strength of the authority that follows the Roman empire is weakened by the clay which doesn’t bond with the iron. It forms the feet and toes with the iron, but in the end it doesn’t stay true to the purpose. It breaks away from the iron.

Several other nations followed our example and formed constitutional governments. They are facing the same kinds of struggles. Perhaps, the toes speak of the all nations who have aligned with us and formed the battle lines of the 1950s and 1960s in the Cold War between freedom versus communism. Maybe. But this I am sure of: we the people created a nation with ironclad authority, but we the people are grasping at controlling that authority now. The clay is separating from the iron.

America will fall. It’s inevitable. I don’t know when or how. Cracks have already formed. Mankind’s attempt to prove no need for God will be ground to bits by the stone—already carved from the mountain—when it crashes down. A new kingdom—a heavenly one that will reign forever—will rise. And as Paul wrote, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess Jesus is Lord.

But there is hope.
If the end of Daniel’s interpretation is not hope enough for you, if you want America to continue to be the land of opportunity and not the dust at the bottom of the fallen statue, there may be time left for that. Unfortunately, this blog has already gone too long. Will you stay with me one more blog as I wrap this up?

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