The shortest verse in the Bible? John 11:35.
It’s in the account of Jesus raising His dear friend Lazarus from the dead. Though the body had been dead for four days and was deep in a burial cave...when Jesus called very loudly “Lazarus, come forth” the body stirred, and the man came out of the cave alive!
I’ve read this dramatic true story over and over lately, and I believe it carries a powerful message for America today.
“How so, Pat?” you say. Glad you asked.
Read it for yourself; Lazarus was one of Jesus' closest friends, but when He heard of his dire illness, He waited for two days before starting to go to him. He told His disciples that the illness “would not end in death,” but that it was happening “for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”
When Jesus arrived, Jesus knew already Lazarus had died...but that the story was not ending there. He would raise his friend from the dead and his life would go on. He told Lazarus’ sister Martha “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.”
He should have seemed confidant and jubilant, right? Reassuring and hopeful? But no...the scripture says “He was “deeply moved in His spirit”…and then He wept.
I’ve thought and prayed deeply about this, asking for wisdom to understand this scene…and I believe it relates directly to where we are in the United States of America.
God Himself was angry about the human condition Jesus faced in Bethany, a small town near Jerusalem. But not just there, of course. He was fiercely angry that because of Satan’s deceit and evil influence, human beings worldwide, created in God’s own likeness, were being robbed of their birthright and were all living under an inescapable death sentence!
He would bring Lazarus from the grave, yes...but the friend would inevitably come to another grave, and his body would rot again. He was fiercely angry, “troubled," with a divine heat.
And then He wept.
Friend, I want us to understand. God cares about us. He will not always pull us out of the messes we’ve gotten ourselves into, or even heal us from diseases and travails common to all of fallen humanity. He cares about us, His creation, the magnificent world we live in…and the country we have long called “One nation Under God." He cares so much that John tells us “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
And I believe He weeps today, grieving over what we as people go through because we ignore His guidance...and collectively, as a nation, reject His offered help.
Our nation was founded consciously on Judeo-Christian biblical principles. John Adams declared, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” The Founders warned that when people increasingly ignore the Bible and its principles, our very structure will crumble, be corrupted and perverted, and will fall apart.
School kids today are prevented from saying any kind of prayer at the beginning of the school day—and face drugs, threats of violence, perverted, godless teaching and sexual enablement throughout their school experience.
There are political and social campaigns to remove God’s name from all public structures and observances. Some are still determined to remove “Under God” from our Pledge of Allegiance. Some in Congress want to make public preaching of God’s Word “hate speech” if it confronts “politically correct” programs and policies.
Last year, addressing a huge women’s conference, promoting abortion, Hillary Clinton actually said, ”deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”
Do you see it? There are countless examples, more every day, of attempts to remove virtually all consideration of God’s will from our public life.
Is God abandoning America? No. America is abandoning God.
In 1 Samuel 8, the people of Israel demanded a “king to lead us, such as all the other nations have” and the prophet Samuel went to the Lord for guidance. “Do everything they say to you” the Lord replied, “for they are rejecting me, not you.”
Look at what happened. God Almighty simply stepped back and let His people enact their plan, not His, and with a few notable exceptions, watched that plan lead to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple...and the dispersion, captivity and enslavement in Babylon of His people. For 70 years.
Do you not believe God wept over these events? I surely do.
And He weeps over America, right now.
As we allow Him to be shoved aside, as if to say “we don’t need you now, Lord. We appreciate your giving us this land, but we’ll take it from here” — He lifts His hand of protection and lets us make our own choices independently. He knows we’re headed toward financial ruin, escalating internal violence, loss of world leadership, moral corruption and eventual collapse of our government---unless we collectively call Him back into our national life!
He is fully able, even now, to restore, revitalize and raise us up..but will only do that if we heed 2 Chronicles 7:14 and “humble ourselves and pray, and seek His face, and turn from our own wicked ways.” He will then “hear from heaven, forgive [our] sins, and heal [our] land.”
God weeps…and waits.
Pat Boone is a singer and songwriter, whose recording history has spanned five decades. He was also an actor and TV host.