Forget the fiscal cliff—it’s the spiritual cliff that’s going to kill us!
For months Americans have been wringing our hands as we’ve watched our politicians drive the nation’s economy toward a seemingly out-of-control, headlong plunge over what we called the “fiscal cliff.” Now a lot of people want to wring some necks in Washington! This wild ride got us scared and agitated, and narrowly averting economic disaster at the last minute only fueled the anger at the self-serving politics that got us into this mess!
All the same, though, we will heave a collective sigh of relief that our taxes aren’t going up, return to life as normal, and be totally oblivious to another cliff we’re heading for. The fiscal cliff is nothing compared to this one, folks! It’s a spiritual cliff, and it lies at the end of a long, downhill spiritual slope, and we’re picking up speed on the way toward it.
If history offers us a clear, undeniable lesson, it is that nation after nation after nation—the greatest powers ever—have fallen due to internal decay and rottenness of character! You don’t have to be a religious person to understand that, but those who are familiar with the Bible may recall an ancient proverb that states, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
It’s not the economy. It’s not the military. It’s not education. It’s not immigration. It’s not the Congress, the Presidency, or politics in any form or party. It’s righteousness! Righteousness! What a quaint, religious-sounding notion! But there is nothing old-fashioned about justice, equity, truth-telling, virtue, integrity, honesty, faithfulness, selflessness, sacrifice, godliness—these are the basic materials of an individual’s—and a nation’s—moral fiber. Righteousness has everything to do with every nation’s character; and as righteousness goes, so goes the nation.
Friends, do you feel the wind in our faces getting stronger as we accelerate faster and faster down the slope of immorality?
In a time long ago God spoke to another great nation and warned them of the coming disaster they were bringing on themselves. His analogy wasn’t that of a cliff, but something very similar. Their destruction would come, He said, “like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant.”
Just as He warned through the prophet Isaiah, Israel went over the cliff—the walls suddenly caved in on them. Why? Because, as God told them, they were like, quote, “lying children, children who will not hear the law of the LORD; who say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’ and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophecy deceits. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.’”
Where is God today in the consciousness of our nation? Do we think we will be any different than every other nation that God has ever dealt with if we turn our backs on Him, ignore His word, His way of life, His righteousness?
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin will destroy it. How is it we can be so alarmed and upset over the threat of the fiscal cliff, but apathetic and unperturbed over—even blind to—the deadly danger of the spiritual cliff we’re hurtling toward?
Do you feel the wind?
For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m Clyde Kilough.