Reading Isaiah and Jeremiah can be harrowing. But in both books, even as God’s judgments upon Israel and Judah are repeatedly and graphically described, there is also a constant call to repentance, the assurance of the Lord that He receives those who repent, and the promise of days of restoration that are supremely sublime. The mercy and grace of Christ make themselves known even in the midst of God pronouncing the severest of judgments. How great the wonder of the power of Jesus’ death for us.
Now one principle which is repeatedly addressed in these 2 books as well as others, is one established long ago in Eden, and is vital to the Gospel as well: That God created us both as individuals, and as members of one another.
In Eden, we all died in Adam. We were joined together with him in his sin, in that Adam and Eve were the entire human race at the time. And in falling, the race fell. Not just Adam and Eve.
Some rebel against this notion. After all (we say) “I didn’t disobey in Eden, it’s unfair!” But God imputes that sin to us nevertheless. He bound us together as a common humanity. A bond which we have no power to dissolve. But we must beware our protest against this arrangement if we would desire salvation. For it is the imputed righteousness of Christ which saves us, and not our own. So if we want to reject our union with Adam and its negatives, we should – being consistent – reject our union with Jesus and its positives. This however is how God made us. These are His rules of reality. This is His appointed economy.
But there are more unions than just these two. This comes out in stunning reality in the Scriptures as we see the righteous in Israel and Judah suffering captivity along with the unrighteous. Even as we see the unrighteous returning to Judah after the Babylonian captivity along with the righteous. The righteous in a nation share in God’s chastisements of the unrighteous, and the unrighteous in some ways enjoy the mercies of God along with the righteous. At one and the same time.
During the Trump era in America, it became common for some to say “he’s not my President.” And now, during the Biden administration, we hear the exact same from the other side. Of course, this ignores the ties that God has established between nations and their citizens. It is in fact a fiction. As citizens of the U.S., whoever is in office IS our President, no matter how much we might like or dislike, support or abhor them or their policies.
Like it or not, Adam was our head. And like it or not, Christ is now head of the human race, tho many would say “He’s not MY God.” Saying it, doesn’t make it so. Saying it, will not somehow remove the responsibility to obey Him; the basis upon which every human being will be judged.
So Christian, we cannot isolate ourselves from the sins of our nation. We own them in some degree corporately. We must recognize this. Own it. And pour out our confessions for the sins of our nation, even as Daniel did in Daniel 9. He wasn’t guilty of the idolatry that landed him in Babylon, but his people were. Not only that Scripture affirms the Babylonian captivity was a direct result of the sins Manasseh led Judah into – and that was both nearly 100 years before Daniel, and in spite of a great subsequent revival under the leadership of Josiah. But Daniel confessed and plead for mercy regarding those sins of both his forefathers and his contemporaries.
And God heard.
As Christians, we can do no less even today.
Think on that some.