Solomon, the third king of the nation of Israel, spake thousands of proverbs (I Kings 4:32). One of these is, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). This proverb is true, whether the nation of Israel was a righteous nation or an unrighteous nation at the time of the speaking. They certainly were not perfectly righteous at the time, but this proverb could have served warning to them, for their future held unrighteousness and wickedness, including idolatry. The nation of Israel turned so far from righteousness that the prophet Jeremiah twice said, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord” (Jer. 6:15, 8:12). Their wickedness and immorality had reached the point that they were not at all ashamed of things that should have caused them to fall to their knees, begging God to forgive them. Nothing could even cause them to blush. A sad condition for the nation that God had built and chosen to be His own people. Of course, that unrighteousness did cause their fall and captivity to other nations.
Such unrighteousness and lack of shame are not restricted to the old testament times and the nation of Israel. In the first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, he wrote, “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife” (I Cor. 5:1). Fornication was and is sinful (I Cor. 6:9). Many of the Gentiles practiced or had practiced idolatrous religions wherein fornication was a common religious practice. However, this particular occurrence was even worse, for it involved one committing fornication with his father’s wife, which even the Gentiles did not do such things. Obviously, one would expect the church to be upset and quick to denounce such an action. But, Paul said, “And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you” (I Cor. 5:2). Apparently they were not ashamed and neither could they blush either.
All of the above leads us to this present time and this present society of Americans. Ours is a nation that is full of people who are not ashamed of just about any immoral act and can walk right by and even indulge in any and all kinds of immorality without even blushing. Fornication is practiced openly, without any real stigma or rebuke from the general populace. One night stands and such are not only practiced, they are broadcast all over the social media without any shame or sorrow. Homosexuality is not only practiced, it is openly practiced, accepted by the masses and protected by the laws of the land. Even many of those who espouse to be “Christians”, look the other way.
These and many other examples of immorality can be cited, but these are enough to get to the point. Where is the shame for such immorality? It is not present. In addition, the populace has become numb to the immoral practices to the point that not only is there no blushing, there is no opposition to this kind of behavior. In fact, in may cases one is rebuked, not for committing such atrocities, not for speaking out against such atrocities, but for calling such things sinful, shameful and immoral. Political correctness has reached the minds of so-called Christians and others who, even if not trying to serve the Lord, know the difference between morality and immorality. In other words, we have become a nation much like Israel was, having no shame in immorality and not even able to blush.
Now, let us go back to our beginning proverb. “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). America is sliding backward. Many are calling it progression, but it is a progression in the wrong direction. Though the decline in morality started before then, beginning in the 1960s, a swift “progression” of immorality has gradually taken this nation to the brink of disaster. For Israel, there was a restoration. For America, there must be a restoration, back to the morals upon which this nation was founded. Otherwise, we can look forward to nothing but more and more corruptness and persecution of those who would serve God.
Friends, it is time for those who would serve the Lord to stand up. No longer can we sit idly by, looking the other way, for to do so will only cauterize our sense of shame that we will no longer be able to blush. The salvation, first of our own souls and secondly of our nation, is what is at stake. Look to God’s word as the pattern for that which is right (II Tim. 3:16-17) and then embrace those morals, being ashamed of immorality and blushing when seeing it.
Robert Oliver is pastor of The Church of Christ and a long-time columnist for The Sampson Independent. Send any questions or comments to: [email protected]