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WHO WILL TAKE OUR NATION BY THE HAND? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jim Jordal   
Friday, 29 April 2016

WHO WILL TAKE AMERICA BY THE HAND?

By Jim Jordal

 There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she has brought forth; neither is there any who takes her by the hand among all the sons who she has brought up.                                                                                             Isaiah 51:18, WEB

If you’re having trouble choosing between political candidates, consider the prophet Isaiah’s complaint about the dearth of compassionate, wise leaders among God’s people---2700 years ago, and now.

God’s people have had several notable, wise, compassionate leaders. Remember Moses, Samuel, David, and Daniel? More recently, we also had such leaders as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and others. These were people having Prof. Rufus Fear’s essential qualities of bedrock principles, an accurate moral compass, a vision as to what could be, and the ability to gather a consensus to support the vision.

The touching metaphor of a leader taking a frightened, struggling nation by the hand and guiding her to safer paths has great relevance today. These leaders comforted, consoled, guided and protected their people just as a shepherd does for his sheep. It seems only yesterday that we had such leaders, one of whom was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who in his First Inaugural Address during the darkest days of the Great Depression took a terrified and mystified nation by the hand. His never-to-be-forgotten words were: “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Even though the nation did not recover for five more years, yet the people gained hope for a better world from their leader’s steadfast confidence.

Great Britain had Winston Churchill, who addressed the House of Commons and his terrified people doggedly enduring the Battle of Britain with these immortal words: “I have nothing to offer but blood toil, sweat and tears.” He didn’t promise victory, but he did communicate an enduring empathy with the suffering of his people. He didn’t make empty promises or threats against Germany, but he did provide what was most needed---a steely resolve that no matter what transpired, Britain would endure.

And President Abraham Lincoln in his “Letter to Mrs. Bixby” offered compassion and understanding to the mother who reportedly lost five sons in battle during the Civil War. Among other condolences, he recognizes her sacrifice with these words: “And the pride that must be yours for having laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.”

But where are such vitally needed leaders today? A nation that deliberately forgets God’s demands for righteousness and justice cannot expect such leaders to arise, unless it would be to once again explain to them why God is angry and what can assuage that anger.

I don’t know how it is that nations can claim God’s blessing in spite of their grievous sins against widows, orphans, immigrants, earth, water, animals, and seemingly all life. Scriptures again and again equate national welfare with obedience to God’s laws regarding righteousness, justice, mercy, and truth.

God reveals his will in his word, but we generally listen only to platitudes concerning his power, love, mercy, truth, and general goodness. Therefore we can’t understand what is happening when everything seems to go against us. It’s like today, when the weather, violence, collapse, suffering, destruction, dysfunction, and all shades of trouble make up the major portion of the news.

What’s happening is that God is angry at our continued avoidance of his will and is attempting to get our attention through world events. Should we begin to awaken to our failures God will provide leaders who can take our nation by the hand and lead us into better national pathways.

All our struggles as evidenced by the political circus now transpiring are relatively futile unless accompanied by a new vision of national obedience and mission in carrying out God’s  will. All other “gains” are temporary and inadequate.