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As we come into the new year, America is facing many challenges. For the past few weeks, the media has been focused on what has been termed as the nation’s “fiscal cliff.”
Our country’s financial problems, however, are nothing compared to the spiritual and moral cliff that is far more destructive to our nation than any economic concerns.
Since the recent election, we’ve seen same-sex couples lining up at courthouses in several states to receive their marriage licenses, and hundreds of people gathering in public places to light up marijuana cigarettes in the states where it has just been decriminalized.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. The moral decline we see on television programs—blatant immorality, senseless violence, media-friendly gay and lesbian behavior—is just a reflection of the moral corruption that has infected our entire nation. These are indeed dark days ... but there is hope.
The Bible says, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3, ESV). No question our country’s foundations are being destroyed, but I am reminded of an era in the Old Testament where the Lord moved in a dramatic way to bring godly change to a spiritually dark and depraved nation like Judah, whose moral foundations had been seriously eroded.
Manasseh was the wickedest king to rule over Judah. Throughout his 55 years of evil reign, the land had been defiled with innocent blood. He led Judah into witchcraft, sorcery, and the worship of false gods and idols, including the fertility goddess Asherah. He even sacrificed his own son in the fires of idolatry.
Not many years later, God worked in an extraordinary and unexpected way to bring national revival.
Josiah, Manasseh’s grandson, became king at age 8. Ten years after becoming king, Josiah asked his high priest, Hilkiah, to collect funds to repair the temple that was in disrepair. As they worked, they uncovered the book of the law (the first five books of the Bible). Apparently it had been lost and neglected for a number of years. When Josiah heard the books read aloud by a scribe, he tore his clothes and said, “Great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us” (2 Kings 22:13).
When the Word of God was then read aloud to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, it pierced their souls and the stage was set for national repentance. Idols were smashed, spiritists and mediums forcibly removed, and the worship of the one true God reinstated. Once again, righteousness ruled.
For far too long, as a nation we have neglected—and even rejected—the Word of God and His commands. Yet the Scriptures are mighty, able to penetrate even the most hardened and darkened hearts with convicting, life-giving power. They are God-breathed, and any new season of repentance and revival in America can only come through a renewed focus on the great truths of God’s Word.
Just as the Lord used an 18-year-old king to begin revival in a corrupt nation more than 1,500 years ago, He can use us as we earnestly seek Him, stand for His truths, and pray for America. This is the only cure for a sin-sickened country that is about to slip into a moral abyss, and it is why we must proclaim the Good News.
My hope and prayer is that the Lord will once again move in our land. It can happen, and we are trusting that a fire of revival will ignite as tens of thousands of homes are opened up this year to share the Gospel through My Hope with Billy Graham. It will be a tremendous outreach across our country, the most extensive we have conducted in the history of this ministry, and we need your prayers and financial support as we put this massive evangelistic effort together.
Only the Lord Jesus Christ knows what lies ahead of us in the coming year, but I do know that He promises to be with us every step of the way, “even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Click here to read the original story on BillyGraham.org.
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