Jeremiah confronts the nation with their rebellion against God from the very beginning of their journey out of Egypt to the promised land to the day of their enslavement in Babylon. They went from slavery in Egypt to slavery in Babylon because they ignored God’s instructions. He explains that God saved Israel from their dire straights under the Egyptian Pharaoh, that intended to annihilate them. God destroyed Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea and brought the children of Israel into their promised land. He then provided them with a constitution that included laws to be observed in the land, which would establish a bright future for the nation if they followed them. But the prophet now charges them with this truth in Jeremiah 7:24-26. He says, But they did not obey or incline their ear but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts and went backward and not forward. From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants, the prophets, to them, day after day. Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.” The ten commandments stand at the heart of God’s instructions for a successful life and a successful nation.

It’s not a popular precept today, but I still believe America was founded on the same principles that Israel was founded on. God established a new nation on the North American continent. It was founded on the moral principles established in the ten commandments. 52 of the 55 signers of our Constitution were strong believers in God and the Bible. They were of various denominations, but their common bond was the bible. “It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society. Immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of Scripture for the people of this nation.” Our children are still being taught about the American Revolution and the heroic figures that founded our country. But in many cases, they are not taught the whole story. “Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, is still remembered for his words, ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ But in current textbooks, the context of these words is deleted. Here is what he actually said: ‘An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.’”[1]

As I reflect on my life from 1947 to 2023, I notice many changes. The moral decline is obvious to any objective observer. One might argue rightfully that we are advancing in knowledge, discoveries, technology, and conveniences, but that’s not what matters to the God that established Israel and the United States. I don’t agree with Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, who suggested that the attack on America on 9/11/2001 was God’s punishment for the decline of America’s moral values. This sounds like the three friends of Job who blame him for the sufferings he endured at the hands of his enemies. I don’t like that approach, yet I think that America’s moral fabric has gone wrong. Just compare the situation comedies of the 1950s to those of the 2020s. There is a huge difference between “Father Knows Best” and “Leave to Beaver” compared to the sexually graphic sitcoms and TV shows of today. Furthermore, the movies are filled with graphic scenes of violence that were once unthinkable. It’s no wonder we are plagued today with mass shootings nearly every day somewhere in the United States. One blogger said, “The more time goes by, the worse TV and film content get with the rating companies becoming more and more lax. This is the content that we are being exposed to and that our children are being exposed to. It is a frightening concept. Will we sit idly by and watch these things get worse and worse as generation after generation becomes desensitized to extreme sex and violence?”[2] Yes! Yes, we will. The nation would not hear Jeremiah or the other prophets. Why should I expect them to hear me?

[1] America’s Christian Roots (