God and Nations


On the Fourth of July this year, I drove my wife and kids up to Hope, Idaho, so that we could visit some extended family. On the way, I pulled up a playlist on a music streaming app that was full of patriotic songs. We were serenaded by Lee Greenwood, Alabama, Johnny Horton, and others (we all need more Johnny Horton in our lives). I found myself getting a bit... sentimental over the United States of America. I admit, these feelings of love for country have waned in recent history, and they caught me off guard.  

The Conflict

Certainly, over these past few years, much has happened in our nation that I lament. I’m thinking of continued abortion, sexual perversion, the destruction of the traditional family, miscarriages of justice in the courts, and an intentional invasion of the nation from the southern border, just to name a few. Not only are these things I just listed happening, but they are endorsed by our government. Many officials are cheering these atrocities on. 
For me, it’s been tough to feel warm and fuzzy feelings toward my nation at times, and there is a real temptation to disconnect from any love for the nation in which God has placed us. We don’t want to marvel at the purple mountains’ majesty or enjoy a trek through the fruited plain because we aren’t proud of many things happening in our home. As I drove north on the Fourth, though, those songs awakened in me a familiar feeling of love and affection for my homeland, and I’ve had to deal with them.

I’m reminded that it is exactly because I love the United States that these issues bother me. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t be worked up about the state of things. Now, so far, at this point in this short blog, any red-blooded American would agree with what I’ve said. This is our country and we ought to care about it. Everyone on the same page? Sort of. We can and should think a bit deeper.
As Christians, we should always be able to stand behind our convictions and answer why we hold them. So, here I am, a Christian, saying that I love my country and want what is best for her. Someone could ask, “Why? Why do you care?” When I answer that question, I don’t answer from a neutral platform. I answer as a Christian. That means my thoughts, affections, and actions are meant to be informed by the Bible.

Here is the short answer to the question I just posed: I care about America because God cares about America. Now, in saying that God cares about America, I am not saying that God cares only about America, and all other nations can fend for themselves. If I lived in the Czech Republic, or Argentina, or Iceland, I’d be saying the same thing about those nations. God cares about them.  

Before you go flipping through the Bible, let me save you some time. No, you won’t find Mozambique mentioned by name in the Scriptures. But here’s what you will find...

God and Nations

Through the biblical narrative, we see God dealing with people. He doesn’t just interact with individuals, though. He often speaks to people on a national level. I’m thinking of Egypt, Syria, Israel, Libya, Assyria, Edom, Persia, Ethiopia, Babylon, Greece, Rome, and Arabia as some nations that get attention in Scripture. Sometimes, they are being spoken to for blessing. Other times, it is for judgment. Sometimes, it is in passing. The point is, God does operate on a national scale, and we need to recognize that. His intent was always that people spread over the face of the earth. When they didn’t want to cooperate with that plan, God instigated it himself at Babel. Nations were God’s good idea. Now, with that in mind, consider these following passages:
Revelation 5:9
[9] And they sang a new song, saying, 
“Worthy are you to take the scroll 
and to open its seals, 
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God 
from every tribe and language and people and nation, (ESV)

Pause here. In God’s plan of redemption, he is interested in saving folks from every tribe and language and people and nation. This is exactly what was accomplished at the cross. Let’s go on.  
Revelation 21:23–26
[23] And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. [24] By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, [25] and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. [26] They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. (ESV)

In our God’s plans for total restoration, when his rule and reign are fully realized, all the nations will walk according to God’s light. Not only that, but the kings of those nations will bring their wealth and glory to God. This matters because it shows us that the concept of nations is not a secondary biproduct of a fallen world. The distinguishing between nations is actually part of what makes God and his redemption glorious. Here’s one more familiar passage to hopefully seal my case. 
Matthew 28:18–20
[18] And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. [19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)

Connecting the Dots

Allow me to attempt to connect these dots and wrap up.  
- God created the nations. We see this at Babel and moving outward from there.  
- God cares about nations. He saves people from each one of them.  
- God desires to be worshiped in each nation. This is why we are commanded to go and disciples the nations to obedience to King Jesus.  

With all that said, I draw this simple conclusion: God cares about this nation. If we take the words of the Bible plainly we conclude that Jesus desires and deserves to be worshipped in the U.S. of A. His desire is that His worship and fame increase here, in this place. This raises a lot of star-spangled implications for us, doesn’t it? Overall, it means that it matters how we live. “But I thought our citizenship is in heaven!” It certainly is. Also, for right now, our citizenship is right here, and God intends for us to live rightly in the nation in which he’s placed us (Jer. 29:4-7).

Each one of the following points should be its own blog post, but I’ll just list them for now. I think these are natural conclusions that we can draw:
  • How we live as citizens in our earthly nation matters.  
  • We should seek the benefit of our earthly home.  
  • We should promote the fame of Jesus in every sphere of influence we have.  
  • We should call our leaders to repent and call on Jesus. 
  • We should be desirous for a nation that increasingly worships the true God.  


The New Heavens and New Earth will not be simply an upgraded version of America, but there will be Americans there, by God’s design. So, even with all the current atrocities taking place on American soil and with American money, let’s not give up. We don’t have the option to throw in the towel over our national sins. Let’s listen to God’s voice, look around, and seek the fame of Jesus right here, right now. He will have his way in all the earth, and that includes our nation, state, county, town, and household. May God bless America.  
And seriously, go listen to Johnny Horton.