Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 13, 1967

Israel's Sin Is America's Sin

Floyd Chappelear

Much good can come from reading and studying the Old Testament. And, contrary to the thinking of many, the Old Testament is a book designed for our use even in this day (Rom. 15:4; I Cor. 10:6.) To fail to use it properly is to deny the fitness of God's word, and we know it is quite fit for the problems of today.

Of particular note is a passage found in the book of Zephaniah which reads, "Woe to her that is rebellious and polluted! to the oppressing city! She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in Jehovah; she drew not near to her God." (Zeph. 3:1,2) In this passage we can clearly see a similarity in the actions of Israel and in the actions of the America's. And of even more importance, in the actions of the children of God - Christians.

Israel's sin was in four parts. They are: (1) "She obeyed not the voice. Similarly, mankind does not today obey the voice of God nor that of His Son. Yet, of grave importance is it that we hear and obey that voice (John 5:24.) Our very future destiny rests in our hearing the voice of the Son of God. However, we must not be like those who were the companions of Paul; hearing the sound but understanding it not. We must truly hear and understand.

(2) "She received not correction." Interestingly, "every scripture inspired of God is profitable for correction," (2Tim. 3:16) and not merely for conversion. One can be converted to some doctrine without the scriptures, but, if the scriptures are used and obeyed one is not merely converted but one corrected. That one no longer is in error. That one now resides in the rightness (or, righteousness) of God. Paradoxically, many people seem to thrive on hearing good sound, hard, gospel lessons but are wont to show any correction at all. It is disheartening indeed for the gospel preacher who preaches the truth sermon after sermon and still sees no correction taking place in the lives of those who hear the message.

(3) "She trusted not in Jehovah." Again, how little trust in the Lord we evidence in our daily conversation. That the Lord assures us that our material needs will be provided us if we will but trust in Him (Matt. 6:33), none could deny. Yet our lives would indicate that we do not believe He will provide. We retain those jobs which cause us to forsake the assembling of ourselves together with others of like precious faith with the feeble, albeit scriptural sounding, excuse, "I must provide for my own." Certainly one must provide for his own but he does not have to deny the Lord to do it. If you will follow Jesus "God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:19)

And, finally, "She drew not near to her God." How far we are today from Jehovah. We lack the closeness to God that a Christian should feel. Remember, God is indeed our Father and Christ is our brother. Let us shed the nebulous concept that God is some being far removed from mankind. Inasmuch as he cares for even the insignificant sparrow (Matt. 10:29) how can we say, or behave as if we believe it to be true, that God is some foreign, far off, being to us. God is a very real God, and a very personal God. He so loved and cared for us that His only begotten Son was given for our sins. Let us draw near to that God and care for and love Him as much as He cared for and loved us.

Indeed, Israel's Sin is the sin of the modern Christian. Israel would not turn from her wicked ways and was eventually destroyed as a nation at the destruction of Jerusalem. Are we going to imitate the Jews and meet our destruction at the righteous judgment of God? Let us repent of our evil doings and return to God.