Has America Crossed the Line?

Are America’s days of greatness over? Have we tested God’s mercy and patience and crossed the line?

Has America had her Manasseh moment? Many may wonder what I mean by that.

There were a couple of important men named Manasseh in the Bible.

One was Joseph’s son, who was destined to become a great nation (Genesis 48:14-19). Interestingly enough, America is the great nation that was prophesied to come from Joseph’s son Manasseh. (For more on this, see the articles in the section “Where Is America in Prophecy?”)

Another Manasseh

However, I want to look at another Manasseh in the Bible. This was King Manasseh who ruled Judah for 55 years. He was a very wicked king, and he did things that were more abominable than the nations that surrounded Judah. He was the most evil king of Judah and may even have rivaled wicked King Ahab of Israel.

It took King Manasseh being led away captive with a hook in his nose by the Assyrians and being locked away in a dungeon for him to change his ways. That’s a rough way to hit rock bottom!

After that, it says he knew that the LORD was God. He humbled himself, repented of his wrongdoings and changed his ways. He was allowed to return to Judah, and he tried to clean up the mess that he had created beforehand. He was able to correct a few of the things he had done, but then he died.

After he died, King Josiah came on the scene, and he was one of the more righteous kings of Judah. What is interesting is that the Bible states that none turned to God more than King Josiah, before his reign or after it, yet God would not turn from His wrath for the things King Manasseh had done. The good that Josiah brought could not overturn the evil that Manasseh started (2 Kings 23:25-26).

Why was God still angry?

But didn’t King Manasseh repent? Wasn’t Josiah one of the more righteous kings who set a great example for others to follow? Doesn’t God grant mercy to those who repent and change their evil ways? What happened?

Why was God still so angry with Judah that He wanted to remove Judah as He had removed Israel over a century previously? Where was the mercy, the love, the patience and the forgiveness of God?

It comes down to a couple of things. During most of his long reign, King Manasseh continued sliding in the wrong direction, away from God; and he led the people of Judah this way. It was not all his fault, but Manasseh’s sins were great. He set up pagan altars in the temple of God. He practiced human sacrifice and served pagan gods. He shed a lot of innocent blood. He allowed witchcraft and sorcery to abound. He did so much evil that it was greater than the nations that God had done away with previously (2 Kings 21:9).

Second, God has limits on His mercy and patience. He is a merciful God and He grants His grace and love to all. However, God will put up with only so much wrongdoing, hoping that change will eventually happen.

Evil trends had been building in Judah even before Manasseh arrived, but he pushed his nation over the edge. Even though King Manasseh repented, the people of Judah had learned from his wicked ways and were too steeped in them.

Has America crossed the line?

Is the United States as a country like King Manasseh and his people? We have set up other gods in place of the true God. We worship things such as money, power, sex, the environment, atheism and ourselves. We spend our time, energy and money worshipping these other gods.

We have kicked the true God out of our courts and our schools. On the one hand, we want our Heavenly Father out of our lives, but then when our lives become a wreck, we ask why He isn’t around. Like King Manasseh, we are kicking God out of our lives and then filling them with other gods and even witchcraft and sorcery.

Our entertainment, for example, is laced with horror movies, demonic video games and worship of the occult and the demon world. We like to push the sadistic line, as we watch others suffer torture, brutal pain and death.

There were only about four horror flicks in the United States in 1950, and they were mild by today’s “standards.” By 2006 there were 874. And not only are Americans watching them, we are producing them to export to the world. In 1961, 32 percent of horror movies were American-made; but in 2006, 68 percent were made in the U.S.

Considering these and many other negative trends, are we waiting to hit rock bottom before we humble ourselves and then get to know who God really is?

Only so much God will take

There is a breaking point for even the most patient and loving Being in the universe. Has America had her Manasseh moment yet? Did we cross the line years ago? This is an important question to ask ourselves, but only God knows the answer. God is an extremely merciful God, and we cannot grasp the amount of mercy that God grants us daily.

Consider that after the death of King Manasseh around 642 B.C., Judah remained another 50-some years before its final captivity around 587-586 B.C.

We never know if God will continue to give us chances when we break His laws and make weak justifications to satisfy our selfishness. When we sin, we can repent and change of our ways and, as King David said, “Please let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are great” (2 Samuel 24:14).

One has to ask, would Americans today rather fall into God’s hands or the hands of men? Too bad we cannot ask King Manasseh—the one who was taken captive with a hook in his nose. After he was locked in the dungeon, then he came to know God and repented. We must get to know God before that point. Let us not test the limits of His mercy and forgiveness.

Let us all seek and follow His way, look to Him and pray for His mercy in this critical time in American history.

For more about how God views America today, see our section on “America in Prophecy.”

About the Author

Adam Sanders

Adam Sanders is a member of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, and attends the Columbus/Cambridge, Ohio, congregation with his wife and four children.