What Lies Ahead for America?

street in America
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The Harbinger captured the attention of more than 1 million people this year with its prophetic warning to America. But the book’s ongoing implications should be the real concern behind this profound revelation.

What happens when a nation ignores God’s warnings and the call to return to Him? What happens to nations that actually return to God?

Regardless of how much the world mocks Christians for believing that God’s Word is absolute truth, there are biblical principles and patterns concerning the judgment or redemption of nations—and this revelation holds profound meaning for America.

I wrote about these principles in The Harbinger, a prophetic wake-up call for America released in January 2012 that has since sold more than 1 million copies. The message has obviously resonated with people from all walks of life (it spent the entire year on the New York Times best-seller list), yet there is far more to this continuing story.

It begins more than 2,700 years ago, when God repeatedly called ancient Israel to return to Him after the people He birthed opted to turn away from their God. The very words of the Torah, spoken through Moses to their ancestors in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, were His first call and His foretelling future calamity if they failed to repent. When the people of Israel’s northern kingdom ignored those words, God sent His prophets to confront them face-to-face with their transgressions.

Even then the people and their leaders refused to listen, hardening their hearts to His message and persecuting the messengers. God finally allowed Israel’s enemies to breach His protective hedge around the nation. Though the subsequent damage was significant, it was limited—proving that even in judgment God was calling the nation to wake up, turn from its self-destructive course and be reconciled to Him.

Israel’s defiant answer to God’s final call is found in Isaiah 9:10: “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” Despite being in ruins, Israel vowed to rebuild itself stronger than ever—and without God.

Verse 11 describes the beginning of the tragic consequences of that defiance, the nation’s progression to judgment: “Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and spur his enemies on.”

The answer continues in the verses that follow: “And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still. ... The land is burned up. ... What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help?” (Is. 9:12, 19; 10:3).

Thus, Isaiah 9:10 leads to a prophecy of national destruction, fulfilled when the Assyrians returned, laid siege for three years and destroyed the northern kingdom in 722 B.C., and exiled its people.

Patterns Reproduced in America
We have seen in America’s story the same patterns of apostasy, initial warnings and a further warning through the limited calamity of 9/11. We’ve seen how all nine harbingers of Israel’s coming judgment, including all that is contained in Isaiah 9:10, have been manifested in America. We have also seen how, in the years since 9/11, America, like ancient Israel, failed to return to God’s ways but responded in defiance, and how seven years later there came a second shaking of the nation.

If America continues on its course away from and in defiance of God, what lies ahead?

The Bible reveals several patterns of judgment involving a consistent course. The nation’s blessings are removed by means of the sword (i.e., war), destruction, violence or division. The pattern also involves famine (i.e., lack, want, deprivation, the removal of prosperity, impoverishment). Judgment can involve natural disaster, man-made disaster, terrorism, internal division, the collapse of a nation’s infrastructure, decline and fall.

In the case of a nation so blessed as has been America, it would certainly involve the removal of these blessings. And in the case of a nation given the position of “head of nations” economically, financially, culturally, politically and militarily, it would also involve the removal of this crown. Thus, if America does not turn back to God, we can likely anticipate the end of history’s American age.

Judgment or Redemption?

But is judgment inevitable? What cases do we see in the Bible of a nation hanging in the balance?

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