Why Is America Shutting Down?

With Congress unable to reach a spending agreement, parts of the U.S. government have shut down. Is this only temporary, or does it highlight deeper problems?

It’s been 17 years since the U.S. government last shut down. That shutdown lasted 21 days. Many wonder how long this current shutdown will last, with both the House of Representatives and the Senate digging in their heels refusing to compromise.

Can two walk together?

For the last several years it seems our elected officials have been fighting each other instead of trying to work together for the good of the nation and its people. Personal and political agendas, as well as self-interest, drive our leaders—and this nation is now paying the price for this selfishness.

Through the prophet Amos, God asks a simple question: “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3). But before we point fingers at our leaders, shouldn’t we first take a hard look at ourselves? After all, the leadership of our country is only representative of those who elected them.

Our leaders cannot get along and work together because they are divided politically and philosophically and driven by self-interest. But what’s even worse than that is that we are not walking and agreeing with God. And this is one of our biggest problems.

A wall ready to break

As if this government shutdown isn’t enough, there is another looming problem that Congress has to address just a few days from now, and that is—once again—the debt ceiling.

By Oct. 17 the United States will be unable to pay its bills unless the debt ceiling, which is nearly $17 trillion, is increased. In other words, we have maxed out our credit limit. Congress will have to authorize an increase in order for the government to pay its bills.

But why doesn’t our leadership address the real cause of our problems, instead of treating the effects of bad decisions?

God gives us the answer: “This is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the LORD; who say, …‘Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us’” (Isaiah 30:9-11).

Isn’t this what has happened? God has been pushed out of the way. The ways of God—which include fiscal responsibility and striving to work together for the good of all—are ignored. And what have been the results? Government shutdowns and debt ceiling crises continually persist. But we shouldn’t ignore the even deeper moral problems that face our nation, such as broken families, abuse and crime.

Yet God goes on to say what will be the result of our not walking with Him: “Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perversity, and rely on them, therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant” (verses 12-13).

The shutdown of America’s government is only the beginning of our problems apart from God. And, when America really falls, it will be sudden, almost unbelievable—as a wall that breaks.

Will America prevail?

The Bible is clear—if the modern nations descended from Israel continue to push God away and ignore His laws, He will punish them. Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 are known as the “blessings and cursings” chapters to ancient and modern Israel. In these chapters incredible blessings are promised when God’s people follow Him. But incredible curses will overtake them when they reject God (Deuteronomy 28:2, 15).

In Leviticus 26:19, God says He will break the pride of our power as one of the curses. It is hard not to see this recent government shutdown (which makes America look foolish to other nations) and the recent lack of military backbone in the Syrian crisis as evidence that the pride of our power is being broken.

Yes, this government shutdown should concern you and me. Its real cause is not political, but spiritual. We are not walking with God. And God will not let us go unpunished since it was God who blessed America in the first place (read “Blessings of Abraham: How They Came to the United States”).

In the short term, we will come out of this present shutdown. And the debt ceiling will be raised so the American government can pay our bills—for now. But there will be a day of reckoning if America continues its current habits. 

Bible prophecies show that unless this country turns to God, national captivity will come. Not only will the government shut down, but life as we know it will shut down when the whole nation falls.

During this government shutdown, it would do us all good to remember the words God spoke to our ancestors long ago: “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).

Yes, as this shutdown shows, America is in serious trouble. And the only real solution is to turn to God. But, even if we don’t nationally turn to God in repentance, you can. Seek God and put His laws into practice now.

To learn more about the economic problems facing the United States, read “U.S. Economic Collapse: Will It Occur?

(Photo by Walt Otto/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

About the Author

Tim Groves

Tim Groves

Tim Groves attends the Jefferson, Georgia, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, where he serves as a deacon. 

He has been married to his wife, Teresa, for over 30 years. Together, they have two daughters and two sons and live in South Carolina. They moved there from Ohio in 1997 to flee the cold northern winters and allow him to do the things he really enjoys, like roaming though automobile junkyards looking for hidden treasures from times long past.

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