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How Governments Make Us Sin - 1 Kings 12 & 14

Or, "How To Commit National Suicide"

1 Kings 12:26-30, 14:7-16, 15:25-28

Jul 07, 2013 12:00 PM

MP3 audio icon How-Governments-Make-Us-Sin_07-07-2013.mp3 — MP3 audio, 11381 kB (11654568 bytes)

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.  We are met on a great battle-field of that war.  We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground.  The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.  The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.  It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

November 19, 1863

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According to President Lincoln, the Civil War was engaged to preserve the unity of the United States of America.  It was fought to save a nation which had been founded upon the best form of human government ever invented--conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal--from self-destruction.  The Civil War would prove whether this experimental republican form of government could long endure.

One hundred years earlier, the Revolutionary War was fought against England for the sake of liberation from an oppressive, evil monarch and from a state church that had persecuted virtually everyone who dared disagree with it.  As a nation, we launched into an experimental form of government that had never been seen before.  Based in part upon William Penn’s “great experiment” of Pennsylvania, the United States formed a governmental system which Abraham Lincoln referred to at Gettysburg as one which is “of the people, by the people, for the people”.  The intentions of our founding fathers were very good, very noble, very impressive, very hopeful, and very liberating.

After the signing of the Constitution of the United States in 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was walking down the steps of Independence Hall, he was asked, “Well, Doctor, do we have a monarchy or a republic?”  He answered, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Beloved, I would submit to you there is no government built by human ingenuity and wisdom that can stand indefinitely against the persistent wickedness and depravity of men.  However good a particular government may be, or however great any particular system of government may be--whether it is republican or communist or a monarchy or Sharia Law--no governing system on earth can withstand the sinfulness of men because eventually, sinful men become the government.  This republic under which we have lived for 250 years can only endure if those in authority are good people.  Every government is only as good as the people of whom that government consists.

Another way of looking at it would be this: a nation can only be as good as its theology.  And even then, government still consists of sinful men at best.  Biblical Christianity and a general acceptance of it among the vast majority of the people is what made this nation the greatest the world has ever seen.  As long as we followed after Christ, even though we’ve done so very poorly at times, I believe it is safe to say that God continued to shed His grace on us.  As long as our national motto really was our national motto, “In God We Trust”, we enjoyed times of blessing from God.

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But today everyone knows our national motto is a national joke.  When men in power abandon biblical theology, which our government has done with fervor because the people at large have abandoned the Bible and elected representatives that are in keeping with the godlessness of their constituents, then the entire nation suffers greatly as a consequence.

I believe we as a nation are suffering as never before in our history.  Even during the awful physical suffering of the Civil War, even then there was still a higher degree of spiritual awareness and biblical understanding than there is today.  At that time, the majority of Americans would have at least identified with Christ and Christianity in some fashion.  But such is not the case today, and it hasn’t been the case for some time.

Soon, I believe we will see our motto removed from our currency because it will be declared unconstitutional just as it will be deemed unconstitutional to agree with Jesus by referring to certain behavior as sinful.  If Jesus were preaching in America today, He would soon be locked up and re-crucified by our all-benevolent, politically correct, entirely tolerant of everything godless, government.

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I suspect you are familiar with the phrase, “suicide by cop”.  This is what happens when someone wants to die but they cannot bear to kill themselves.  A man commits some heinous crime which places numerous people in danger of their lives.  That forces the hand of the police to kill them for the sake of rescuing others.

I believe the United States of America is committing suicide by God.  Our people have elected a government which is leading the charge into national atheism and godlessness.  Already, . . .

  • We can no longer pray openly without feeling some threat from those whose right to godlessness consistently outweighs our right to be Christians.
  • We can no longer speak of homosexuality as being sinful without feeling some sense of danger from those who demand we tolerate everything God calls abominable.
  • We can no longer correct our children with the rod as the Scriptures instruct us without fear of having our children taken away from us by the local authorities.
  • We can no longer insist that young couples actually get married and give birth to their unexpected children because we may infringe on their constitutional right to sacrifice that child on the altar of personal prosperity and freedom and irresponsibility.
  • Beloved, even tho it does not compare to the things I’ve already mentioned, I can’t even allow the grass in my yard to grow more than a few inches, or allow the snow to stay on the sidewalk too long without risking a fine from the local police.

The land of the free?  A nation conceived in Liberty?  We’ve become victims of national slavery to sin and in the process we’re unwittingly committing national suicide . . . by God.  What the Civil War did not succeed in doing (destroy this nation), God will.

In 1 Kings 12, we read about the first king of Israel: Jeroboam.  It was Jeroboam who led the ten tribes of Israel to revolt against Rehoboam, the King of Judah.  Not long after Jeroboam became king in Israel, the Scriptures tell us this:

26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will turn back to the house of David. 27 If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” 29 And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 Then this thing became a sin, for the people went as far as Dan to be before one. (1 Kings 12:26-30 ESV)

If you read about the life of this man, it is astounding to discover the degree of his hatred toward God.  This particular act of creating two golden calves and declaring them to be the gods . . . who brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt is remarkably evil because it is so intentionally evil.  Because it is specifically designed to lead an entire nation away from God.

In 1 Kings 14, King Jeroboam sends his wife to a prophet to inquire about their son who had become ill.  They wanted to know if he would live or die, and this is what the prophet told her:

7 Go, tell Jeroboam, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: "Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel 8 and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, 9 but you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods and metal images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back, 10 therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. 11 Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat, for the LORD has spoken it."' 12 Arise therefore, go to your house.  When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. 13 And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to the LORD, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam. 14 Moreover, the LORD will raise up for himself a king over Israel who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam today.  And henceforth, 15 the LORD will strike Israel as a reed is shaken in the water, and root up Israel out of this good land that he gave to their fathers and scatter them beyond the Euphrates, because they have made their Asherim, provoking the LORD to anger. 16 And he will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned and made Israel to sin." (1 Kings 14:7-16 ESV)

Jeroboam was so successful in making Israel to sin that we read in chapter 15,

25 Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26 He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.

Then in verse 28 we read,

Baasha killed . . . [Nadab] . . . and reigned in his place. 29 And as soon as he [Baasha] was king, he killed all the house of Jeroboam . . . 30 It was for the sins of Jeroboam that he sinned and that he made Israel to sin, and because of the anger to which he provoked the LORD, the God of Israel.

Then we read of King Baasha in verse 34,

He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.

  • 1 Kings 16:13
    for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, which they sinned and which they made Israel to sin, provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols.
  • 1 Kings 16:26
    [King Omri] walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in the sins that he made Israel to sin, provoking the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols.
  • 1 Kings 21:22
    And I will make your house [Ahab] like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin.
  • 1 Kings 22:52
    [King Ahaziah, son of Ahab] . . . did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother [Jezebel] and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
  • 2 Kings 3:3
    [King Jehoram the son of Ahab] clung to the sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin; he did not depart from it.
  • 2 Kings 10:29
    [King] Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin—that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan.
  • 2 Kings 10:31
    [King] Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart.  He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin.
  • 2 Kings 13:2
    [King Jehoahaz] did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin; he did not depart from them.

Then at this point we see a change:

  • 2 Kings 13:6
    Nevertheless, they did not depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin, but walked in them; and the Asherah also remained in Samaria.

“They”?  Who is “they”?  It is the people of Israel.  All along we’ve been reading that Jeroboam and nearly every subsequent king made Israel to sin. But here, the condemnation of God is directed not at the king, but at the people themselves whom the kings have made to sin.  The kings have succeeded in making the people like themselves: provocateurs of the wrath of God.

  • 2 Kings 13:11 Jehoash
    He also did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin, but he walked in them.
  • 2 Kings 14:24 Jeroboam II
    And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.  He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.
  • 2 Kings 15:9 Zechariah
    And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his fathers had done. He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.
  • 2 Kings 15:18 Menahem
    And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not depart all his days from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.
  • 2 Kings 15:24 Pekahiah
    And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.
  • 2 Kings 15:28 Pekah
    And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.
  • 2 Kings 23:15 Finally, Josiah king of Judah comes.
    Moreover, the altar at Bethel, the high place erected by Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, that altar with the high place he pulled down and burned, reducing it to dust.  He also burned the Asherah.

King Jereboam made Israel to sin with his idols.  Since you weren’t counting, let me tell you there are nineteen occasions in the passages we have just read where God reminds us that Jeroboam in particular, but nearly all the kings of Israel made Israel to sin. They instituted and maintained religious policies which encouraged rebellion against God.  The rulers of Israel provoked the people to sin against God.  In effect, they committed national suicide--by God. They pushed and pushed and provoked and tempted God to destroy them.  And He did.  It was suicide--by God.

In a similar fashion, our government has made America to sin.  They have declared sin to be legal.  Not only that, but they have declared that we all have a constitutional right to our sin.  According to current interpretations of our most sacred national document, our Constitution, we as Americans have an "inalienable" right to rebel against God and provoke His anger against us.  And if we were to take a poll, it may surprise us how many people think legality is equivalent to morality.

  • The judges of our Supreme Court have made America to sin in the same way Jeroboam made Israel to sin, by legitimizing homosexual marriage nationally.
  • Margaret Sanger and every president of Planned Parenthood since its founding in 1916, working in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration and pharmaceutical companies have made America to sin by making children a disposable liability instead of a blessing.  As of January 2012, the total number of legal but immoral abortions since 1973 is 54,559,615 human beings.  That is almost the total combined population NY and CA.
  • Hugh Hefner, Larry Flynt, Bob Guccione and many more like them have made America to sin by making adultery and fornication and sodomy with “the girl next door” an activity of gentlemen and a lucrative billion dollar industry.
  • Politicians in Washington (and especially the Democrats) have made America to sin by institutionalizing personal irresponsibility and extorting tax dollars from working Americans through the IRS to pay their constituents to stay unemployed and dependent upon the government for nearly everything.
  • Hollywood has made America to sin by transforming every kind of sinful behavior imaginable into a form of entertainment.  They have totally succeeded in eliminating any vestige of conscience in the minds of the people, and that for money.  Movies have become the altars where we worship ourselves rather than God.
  • And, just to be fair, preachers and teachers and theologians in pulpits and seminaries all across the land have made America to sin by casting God and the Bible behind their backs and exchanging the truth of God for lies.  The list of false teachers and heretics in American pulpits has never been as extensive as it is today.  And to be completely honest, this is the root from which all other sins have sprouted.  Bad theology from our pulpits has produced the idolatry we see all across our land.

 

Woe to those who have caused us to stumble!  Woe to America for her self-idolization.  Woe to America for abandoning the word of God for humanistic philosophies and atheism and self-worship and earth worship and environmental worship and pet worship and stuff worship and the worship of family, the worship of sex, the worship of entertainment, the worship of money, the worship of government, and "Anything-But-the-God-of-the-Bible" worship.  Woe to America for worshipping virtual golden calves dedicated to the great god Self .

Unless God purges us of the Jeroboams--the godless leaders and "ministers" all over our land, the false priests who promote all of our false worship--we are doomed as a nation.  Why would we ever expect the God who never changes,

  • who destroyed the entire world because of its incessant sin (Genesis 6),
  • who rained fire and brimstone from the sky onto Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19),
  • who destroyed Israel by means of Assyria (2 Kings 17),
  • and Judah by means of Babylon (2 Kings 25),
  • and Jerusalem yet again by means of the Romans (in 70 A.D.)--

Why would we expect this God to spare us?  We are committing national suicide by God.  And someone needs to say this. Someone needs to sound the alarm!  Unless we repent, this nation which was conceived in Liberty, but has willingly and gladly become enslaved to sin--if God is indeed God--He will eventually remove us from His sight.

Beloved, we must preach the gospel!  We must teach about sin and judgment and salvation.  We must preach Christ.  We must be like the prophets of old who confronted their culture regarding their sinfulness.  May the Lord use us to do His bidding in this once great nation in which we now live.


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