The Israelites probably said Sennacherib was “not my king.” The Judeans no doubt felt the same about Nebuchadnezzar. But the pagan armies of Assyria and Babylon overran both kingdoms, destroyed their cities, and dragged the people into exile.
And God’s prophets were clear: The fall of the kingdoms was the fault of God’s people themselves. They repeatedly refused to live God’s way. They stubbornly insisted on living like their pagan neighbors. For their disobedience, God finally delivered his judgment and the kingdoms were destroyed.
The United States are anything but united. This election proves it once again. But the blame for division and hatred should not be laid on the pagans (of both parties) overrunning the country. The blame lies with God’s people, and their refusal to obey his commands, their insistence on blending in with their pagan neighbors instead of living “set apart” for God’s purposes.
We have chased the American Dream, instead of pursuing the Kingdom of God. We have preached a fragmentary Gospel in search of converts, instead of making disciples who make disciples. We have not loved our neighbor the way we love ourselves. We have not even loved each other the way Christ loved us. And when the Spirit of God left our temples, we cooked up circus experiences and told people their emotional highs were the work of God’s Spirit.
It does not matter who wins this election. The barbarians have conquered the country. Like the people of God carried off into exile, we worship money, power, and sex — just like our pagan neighbors. And the collapse of our religious institutions mirrors the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. When judgment begins, it begins with the people of God.
Perhaps you voted for Sennacherib. Maybe you cast your ballot for Nebuchadnezzar. It doesn’t matter. We have taken on the Lord’s name in vain. We have dishonored the Almighty by tolerating — even participating in — the slaughter of innocents, the indecency of promiscuity, the normalization of perversion, and the oppression of the poor. The barbarian conquest will proceed, and (once again) the righteous will be swept away with the wicked.
Destruction will be our reminder of the majesty, holiness, and power of the Almighty. Humility before him will be the fruit of our humiliation before the world.
Yet there is hope. God’s judgment must be completed, but a remnant (again) will survive. And the healing of the land will await the confession, repentance, and obedience of those who would be his people.