Does any nation today have God's approval and blessing?
“In God we trust” is written on American currency. “God save the Queen” is part of the British national anthem. Some Islamic countries believe in a "Jihad”, a “holy war.” Several countries claim to be “One nation under God” and that their country is “God's own country.”
These are just some of the phrases used throughout history, by various nations, to claim that God approves of, and is blessing a particular nation.
Is it true that God favours one nation above another, and if so, which god, or gods are being referred to? There are many religions around the world, believing in gods and godesses of different names. Even among the nations of “Christendom”, those that claim to follow Jesus Christ, there are differences in beliefs and laws, which have sometimes resulted in international friction and even war. Often nations claim the support of God but - under their terms. The teachings of God have often taken a back-seat to political ambitions, national interests and modern popular opinion.
British historian Arnold Toynbee wrote: “The spirit of Nationality is a sour ferment of the new wine of Democracy in the old bottles of Tribalism. This strange compromise between Democracy and Tribalism has been far more potent in the practical politics of our modern Western World than Democracy itself.” Nationalism has not produced a peaceful world. Toynbee said: “The Wars of Religion have been followed, after the briefest respite, by the Wars of Nationality; and in our modern Western World the spirit of religious fanaticism and the spirit of national fanaticism are manifestly one and the same evil passion.”
The famous physicist and humanitarian, Albert Einstein once wrote "I never identified myself with any particular country," He called nationalism “An infantile disease ... the measles of the human race.”
So, does God approve of religious nations, whatever they do? How can we tell if a nation has God's favour and - what does the future hold for the various nations and sovereigntys of the world? The Bible is the oldest, most widely distributed and most influential religious book in history. Most western nations claim to follow its moral code (or at least some of it). Both Britain and the USA are widely considered to be “Christian” nations, although there are changes happening, with secularism creeping in to take control. What does the Bible say about nations and God? Does God support any nation today and, does he approve of everything they do? Let the Bible answer.
It is a fact of history that one particular group of people were pronounced as “God's” people. This was not so much a nation, as a religious designation. According to the Bible, the ancient land of Canan was promised to a group of people who originated in the lands of the Middle East but became slaves in ancient Egypt. The Bible tells the story of how God miraculously delivered his people from slavery, and his promise to give the land of Canan to these people. In time, one of these faithful men, Jacob is re-named “Israel” and is promised future blessings from God.
From the book of Genesis, which describes mankind's beginnings on the earth, the Bible tells of how the first man was told by God that, if he disobeyed him, he would die. However, it is worth asking the question – what would have happened if the first man had not disobeyed God? The Bible then goes on to promise that one day, paradise would be restored to the earth and humans would live in peace and harmony with God, nature, and each other. (Isaiah 54.11, Psalm 37.29). The promise made by God was first described as a “seed.” Among the disloyal and disobedient of those Hebrew-speaking people were a small number of faithful men and women who showed remarkable loyalty and faith towards God, even risking their lives for his worship. It was these faithful few that God made a promise to, a promise that the new world would come through their offspring. Eventually, after a succession of ancestors were given the same promise, it was foretold that a saviour would come into the world, God's own “seed.” This saviour would bring the new system promised by God and it would be called “God's Kingdom.” God promised the Patriarch Abraham that, by means of Abraham's children, or seed, “All nations of the earth will be blessed.”
The choosing of the nation of Israel as God's “Special property” was not as a result of any national or genealogical rights. Neither was it because of the obedience and faith of those people that had been released from Egypt, far from it, the Bible frequently describes those liberated Hebrew people as “Stiff-necked,” “disobedient” and “unfaithful.” In fact, God's descriptions of them gradually worsen over the decades uniitl he pronounces that nation an “Adulterer” and “Harlot.” Finally, after enduring thousands of years of betrayal and unfaithfulness by them, God abandons that nation and allows them to be captured and dispersed among the nations. Later, Jesus Christ, sent by God himself, announced to the nation of Israel - “Look, your house is abandoned to you.” This was an indication of a change and a new, future nation approved by God but, it would not be Israel. The identification of that nation has been an issue of hot controversy and conflict throughout man's history. Today, many nations lay claim to be the chosen people.
In the book of Acts, we are told that “God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.” - Acts 15.14. Who are these people? At Matthew 21.43, Jesus gives us a clue to the identity of that nation when he says “The Kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits.” What “fruits” is Jesus referring to? The Apostle Paul, under divine inspiration, lists the “Fruitage of God's holy spirit” in the book of Galatians (15.22). They are “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” Jesus also identified the hallmark, the sign of his future disciples who would make up that new nation. After warning about the turmoil and chaos that would engulf the earth in our time, Jesus revealed that “All will know that you are my disciples if you have love among yourselves” (John 13.35). Yes, love, self-sacrificing love would be the mark of a true Christian, a member of the new nation. It is not shaped like a star or a cross or a fish, and it is not worn around the neck or on the head, for all the world to see. It is not hung on a wall, and it cannot be mass produced and sold in churches and religious stalls, and unlike wood, metal, and currency, it never wears out or, as the Bible puts it, “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13.8).
The Bible also contains prophecies that describe this new nation. Those prophecies are very revealing. The prophet Isaiah foretold that “They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning shears.... They will not learn war anymore.” - Isaiah 2.4.
Jesus, himself, the “King of God's kingdom,” warned that “Whoever takes up the sword shall perish by the sword” and that subjects of his kingdom should “Love your enemy and pray for those persecuting you” (Matthew 5.44). So, this new nation would not take part in wars or battles, even for the country they are born in, even to stop injustice. Peter tried to fight for Jesus’ life but was stopped by Jesus himself. If a disciple of Christ can’t defend Jesus, the founder of Christianity, what cause could they possibly use violence for?
The Bible further tells us that citizens of the new nation would not become involved in the political activities of nations. Jesus said that his followers would be “No part of the world” and that they should not be “Lording it over” others. In fact, the Bible goes as far as telling us that "The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one" and that God is not "The ruler of this world" (1 John 5.19, John 12.31). The Bible commands God's people to be honest in all things, to pay taxes voluntarily, and to obey the laws of their land, unless they conflict with God's laws. It also condemns the financial gain from sharing spiritual guidance. Jesus told his followers “You received free, give free.”
The nation promised by God would not be of one race, one sex or one status. The book of Acts reveals that “God is not partial, (prejudiced) but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” In the revelation given to John, he sees a “Great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues.”
The new nation would not look to mankind's governments for salvation, or to solve this world's problems because, as the Bible says “I well know, O God, that man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man to direct his own step” and “Do not put your trust in nobles or the sons of men, for no salvation belongs to them” (Jeremiah 10.23, Psalm 146.3). Rather, God's kingdom promises to eliminate all other worldly kingdoms and governments when Jesus takes control of the earth - (Daniel 2.44).
Of those who are known for the above qualities, the Bible says “For you were once not a people, but now you are God’s people” – 1 Peter 2.10.
Can any nation today match these descriptions of a nation approved by God? The nation that God approves of, and blesses today is not a physical country or a registered sovereignty. It is a spiritual nation, made up of people who love God, accept his standards in the Bible, and are different from the nations of the world. God does not bless war, corruption, divisions, idolatry, patriotism or hatred. My own country, England, claims to be a “Christian” nation, and that the Queen is divinely appointed. But the truth is that - Britain is as divided and devoid of God's attributes as are all other nations in the world. Britain is breaking up into fragments of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, where there is resentment and hatred on all sides.This country desperately defends it's own interests, and is ready to go to war at the drop of a hat. This nation had become selfish, arrogant and ungodly, and it is certainly not led by God..
Long ago, Almighty God promised to create a new nation, under his loving guidance and protection. Today, the nations of the world have rejected God, by their selfish behaviour and their indifference to his wishes. Soon, when God's kingdom comes and his “Will is done on earth, as it is in Heaven,” all nations will gather together to fight against God in the battle of Armageddon. There is only one outcome. And when the dust settles, and God's people alone remain, the final prophecies of the Bible will come true;
“And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” - Revelation 21.4
"And they will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat [their] fruitage.They will not build and someone else have occupancy; they will not plant and someone else do the eating. For like the days of a tree will the days of my people be; and the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full. They will not toil for nothing, nor will they bring to birth for disturbance; because they are the offspring made up of the blessed ones of the "LORD", and their descendants with them. And it will actually occur that before they call out I myself shall answer; while they are yet speaking, I myself shall hear." - Isaiah 65.21.