The Real Change Facing America

The long, drawn-out campaign has mercifully come to an end, and the president-elect faces formidable challenges. What can he do to heal our divided nation?

Yesterday Donald John Trump, an American businessman, television producer and upstart politician, shook up the nation and the world as he was elected the 45th president of the United States. Tapping widespread dissatisfaction with the federal government, jobs and a lackluster economy, Trump surprised both Democrats and the Republican establishment with his feisty, combative campaign and win of the Oval Office. Defying polls, media predictions and controversial conduct, Trump’s win shocked the nation and the world.

While the candidate and his supporters are basking in their win, the losers are now dealing with their loss. While this is true in all elections, this time it seems worse. The fears, tears and concerns over what the new president will do are magnified. What choices will Americans have for health insurance? How can manufacturing jobs be brought back to the nation? Will immigration policy change? Can he truly make America great again? What can other nations expect?

Division and unrest were evident prior to the election. The citizens of the United States of America clearly weren’t united. A Rasmussen poll of Oct. 30-Nov. 3 showed that 63 percent of likely U.S. voters thought the nation was headed in the wrong direction. Furthermore, reports indicated that a record-breaking number of Americans thought neither Clinton nor Trump would make a good president. This perspective intensified as the campaigns largely focused on the negatives of the competing candidates.

The restlessness of the country spilled far beyond the polling booth. As the election tallies were reported last night, the financial markets reeled as Dow futures plunged over 800 points and Canada’s immigration website crashed—presumably as discouraged Americans contemplated moving there.

The only way to become great again

While Americans overwhelmingly agree that the nation is headed in the wrong direction and they acutely sense the polarization that exists between various factions, no one seems to have a clear, agreed-upon path to reconciliation and prosperity. It is time we consider what few have talked about this election season—what does God say about making a country great and healing divisions? 

Lost in this nasty political process was a timeless principle that reveals the greatest factor of all. Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” That principle is as true now as it ever has been.

If Americans want their country to be great, greatness will have to come through righteousness. And this principle will have to be practiced by all of us. We can’t have a politician or a surrogate do it for us. The moral fabric of our nation is woven by each of us, first individually and then through our families and relationships with others.

Righteousness defined

While opinions abound about what is right or best for our nation, God is quite clear about the moral code He expects us to follow. The instruction a father was to give his son includes “it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us” (Deuteronomy 6:25).

If Americans want their country to be great, greatness will have to come through righteousness. We can’t have a politician or a surrogate do it for us. The 10 Commandments comprise God’s timeless code of conduct to guide our relationships with Him and others. But will obeying these commandments make a difference? Will righteousness really work?  

History has already shown what happens to a nation when it obeys God’s laws and what happens when it disobeys those beneficial laws God gave for our good. Blessings for obedience to God’s laws and curses for disobedience to them are recorded in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. Ancient Israel learned the hard way that disobeying these important instructions led to its decline and eventual destruction.

The descendants of the ancient Israelites are found in the United States, Britain and many other Western nations, and the same biblical principles apply today. To learn more about where the descendants of the ancient Israelites are and what Bible prophecy says will yet happen to them, see our free booklet The United States, Britain and the Commonwealth in Prophecy.

Peace and unity

So how can America heal after such a bruising campaign? The answer again emanates from God’s law. As Psalm 119:165 notes, “Great peace have those who love Your law.”

Expounding upon this principle, the apostle Peter wrote: “For the person who wants to love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good. He must seek peace and pursue it” (1 Peter 3:10-11, International Standard Version).

Changes clearly need to be made. We Americans need to be honest. We need to speak the truth. We need to do the hard work of pursuing peace.

Our current environment of distrust and unease tells us we have rejected the way of life that produces peace and national prosperity. But we can change. Speaking to the ancient Israelites, God said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

The wounds are deep. We have wandered far away from God. It won’t be easy to get to where we need to be. Are we ready to pursue righteousness? It’s the only way to let the healing begin.

Learn more in the vital biblical principles outlined in our booklet Change Your Life!

About the Author

David Treybig

David Treybig

David Treybig is a husband, father and grandfather. He and his wife, Teddi, have two grown children and seven grandchildren. He currently pastors the Austin, Texas, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association. He has served in the pastoral ministry for over 40 years, pastoring congregations across six states.

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