August 23

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6

“You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!’” vs. 6

Even in its best years Israel was not a particularly imposing country. It lacked size and resources and wasn’t in a position to rule or conquer. Through most of its history it was subject to the whim of its more powerful neighbors and was always in danger of being swallowed up. As time passed they began to realize that their God was their strength–and no other nation had been blessed with the statutes and the commandments that they had been given. Their leaders told them that their obedience to those laws was a sign of wisdom and discernment–and their commitment to the rule of law would make them stand out among all other nations. In our age we’ve come to realize the truth of Israel’s conviction. The major reason for the breakdown of any nation is the dissolution of standards, those moments in which it fails to live up to the idealism of its founders. Again and again we’ve seen the corruption of ruling parties and their devotion to wealth and power undermine a country’s strength and morale. When money speaks more loudly than commitment to justice, and voices of wisdom and discernment are stifled, we can expect decline to follow. The basic commandments of God are immutable and when they are broken, disaster is sure to follow!

Thought for the Day: What makes America great? How are we doing?

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