O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.; vss. 4-5Psalm 80:1-7
The psalmist believed that Israel was God’s chosen people. In fact, most people with any degree of familiarity with the bible would likely agree. For generations this is what we’ve taught our children. For the most part it can be a helpful teaching, but one of its corollaries has been the cause of enormous difficulty for the church. It simply isn’t true that the Lord is only Israel’s God, and that other nations are unloved or have false gods. Such a narrow view of God does no one any good, and needs to be rejected out of hand. It’s a heresy that has continued to show itself wherever people have come to believe that their country has favored nation status in the eyes of God. We see signs of it in the Christian nationalism that has shown itself in recent years. Too many have come to believe that the United States has special status in the eyes of God and that we are the new chosen ones. The psalmist believed Israel’s problems were a sign that God was angry with them, and he pleaded with God to restore the nation’s favored position. The truth is that the fortunes of any country will ebb and flow with the passing years. And through all the ups and downs God is continually present–all people are God’s precious children–even those we consider enemies.
Thought for the Day: What is Christian nationalism?