In the 1970s, Don McLean wrote a song about America which became one of the most popular songs of his day. American Pie was listed by the Recording Industry Association of America as the number 5 song of the 20th century.(1) A notable and favorite line of this oldie is “the day the music died.”(2) McLean was more prophetic than he knew. “The land of the free” has become the land of the bound. America the Beautiful still describes us on the outside. Internally, however, we are discordant, ugly, ravaged by societal disease and moral decay. Like Hebron, we have become a stronghold of giants.
In their desire to be encouragers, many religious leaders refuse to point out the true condition of America. I get it. No one wants to bring discouragement and, to be sure, a defeatist attitude must be guarded against. Faith believes what God says as the final verdict, not what is seen. But no serious doctor would begin treating a patient without first diagnosing the problem. To blindly declare that everything will be okay, simply because God is good and gracious, is beyond naive; it is unbiblical and untrue. An accurate diagnosis is not only sound wisdom, it is compassion and part of the healing process.
Having spoken in general terms about America’s condition in Monday’s post (My Honest Evaluation of Today’s America), I will not share most of what is laid out in this chapter of the book. In summary, however, over the last 60 years, God has been pushed from America’s heart by strongholds of pride, materialism, humanism, and pleasure. It was inevitable that we also expelled Him from our schools, government, and the core of American life.
Abortion followed. The giant named Death drank from the blood of our children. Many of the survivors now follow our disregard for life, killing one another and themselves. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death in young people. Over 5,000 commit suicide every year—more than 13 each day.(3) A sexual assault occurs on a teenager every 8 minutes.(4) Seven hundred nineteen teenage girls undergo abortions every day.(5) Roughly 10 million new sexually transmitted diseases and infections occur in teens every year in this country.(6)
During the twentieth century, the divorce rate rose 700 percent in America. Thirteen million children under the age of 18 are growing up with one or both parents away from home. Seventy percent of all juveniles in state reform institutions come from fatherless homes.(7) We wonder why young people grow disillusioned and dysfunctional? They’re the product of our rebellion, reaping what we have shamefully sown. [There are more facts and information in my book.]
Other signs point to our true condition. We are a nation of addicts and lawless rebels. The United States is the single largest market on the earth for illegal drugs and leads the world in the export of pornography.(8) We cannot build prisons fast enough to hold our criminals. We’re rich in goods and poor in character— powerful without, weak and self-destructive within. America’s music has become horribly discordant, yet we’re so tone-deaf we don’t notice. Our wealth and power have anesthetized us to our true condition; we’re bleeding to death internally while continuing to party on.
Our Denial Must End
Things are shockingly out of control. Like Goliath taunting Israel’s army and Arba, Hebron’s demonic conqueror who mocked the memory of Israel’s Fathers, the giants in our land mock us in the name of their gods. Every part of American society is screaming for cause-minded, impassioned followers of Christ to arise and help resurrect our song. As Nehemiah observed about his nation, our walls are down and our gates burned (see Nehemiah 1:3). Hosea’s description of ancient Israel is also appropriate—we have sown the wind and are reaping the whirlwind (see Hosea 8:7).
We have become the proverbial frog in the kettle—slowly dying and unaware of it. Like the band on the RMS Titanic, we continued playing while the ship was sinking. Our propensity for only treating symptoms has been foolish and futile. The water cannot be bailed fast enough. It is time to abandon our denial. Like the causeless army of Israel when facing Goliath, we convinced ourselves that if we waited long enough, the shocking giants of the land would go away and leave us alone.
This will never happen! Satan has no intention of letting up in his relentless assault on America.
Teenage, worshipping shepherd boys are showing up with harps and slings - Davids are arising.
85-year-old warriors have heard Heaven declare, “It’s time!” - Calebs are picking up swords.
Uncompromising prophets are making their way to Mt. Carmel - Elijahs are challenging the prophets of Baal.
Mega-church pastors, who traded sheep transfers and innovative performance for the power of Holy Spirit have awakened from their Sardis ways (a name that is alive but are dead).
Many starving and thirsty followers have decided the shallow, performance driven services can’t satisfy their hungry spirit and thirsty soul. They’re searching - by the thousands.
Fed-up moms, dads, soldiers, businessmen, and women - patriots - all have decided to confront and replace political eunuchs who have bowed to Jezebel’s system and sold out to mammon.
And the heavens are shaking.
Hell and its hierarchy are nervous. Compromising, power-hungry politicians are, also. And well they should be. A remnant of the church and yes, many unsaved patriots, as well, have taken their harps down from the willow trees and decided to sing again (see Psalm 137). Maybe the music didn’t die. Perhaps it is only asleep.
Most importantly of all, the King, the Lord of the harvest and leader of angel armies has been moved by a praying remnant. A passionate lover of people - yes, even sinners - He has stood up. The Creator is now coming to save. And giants will fall.
Consider these comforting promises:
“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to Me with all your heart and with fasting, weeping, and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving-kindness, and relenting of evil. Who knows whether He will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him?” (Joel 2:12-14)
“Come let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us: He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us as the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth,” (Hosea 6:1-3).
“Fear not, for you will not be put to shame, neither feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; but you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more,” (Isaiah 54:4).
“Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land,” (Isaiah 61:7).
Repentance of sin and a turning back to God by an intercessory core has prevailed. A Third Great Awakening is beginning. Will we see the fulfillment of these and other hope-filled promises? YES! God is gracious, Caleb’s are arising, and Hebron is being pioneered again.
In their book Is It Real When It Doesn’t Work? Doug Murren and Bard Shurin recount:
Toward the end of the nineteenth century, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel awoke one morning to read his own obituary in the local newspaper: “Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who died yesterday, devised a way for more people to be killed in a war than ever before, and he died a rich man.”
Actually, it was Alfred’s older brother who had died; a newspaper reporter had bungled the epitaph. But the account had a profound effect on Nobel. He decided he wanted to be known for something other than developing the means to kill people efficiently and for amassing a fortune in the process. So he initiated the Nobel Prize, the award for scientists and writers who foster peace.
Nobel said, “Every man ought to have the chance to correct his epitaph in midstream and write a new one.”(9)
Profound. And worth emulating.
God is giving America a chance to re-write her epitaph. If written yesterday, even today, it would read, “Weighed in the Balances and Found Wanting,” or perhaps, “The Giants Won.” But our gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness, forgives sinners and heals nations.
And to cause-minded Caleb’s...He gives anointings to slay giants.
Pray with me:
Father, we thank You for Your mercies which are new every morning. We give thanks that You love to demonstrate mercy. We are confident that it triumphs over judgment. Of course, America has done many things to deserve judgment. Our song of freedom and covenant with You is, indeed, dying.
But You are the God of resurrection. You bring new life into death. You forgive and You fully restore. And now, it is the singing of principalities and powers, spiritual giants in the earth, that will end. Their songs of mockery and destruction will give way to the song of redemption.
So, we ask You to raise up the David‘s and Caleb’s - giant conquering warriors You have ordained and prepared for this hour. May they be filled with zeal, boldness, and faith. They will raise the dead, spiritually and physically. They will preach a powerful gospel of the kingdom and millions will come to know You. We decree this over the earth NOW and we declare that this is the most significant season of taking out giants in the history of this planet. We decree this confidently because of Jesus and in His name. Amen.
We decree once more that Hebron is, indeed, being pioneered again!
Some of today’s post was taken from my book Giants Will Fall.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
CBSNews. “Best Songs of the Century?.” CBSNews. com, March 8, 2001. www.cbsnews.com/news/ best-songs-of-the-century/
McClean, Don. “American Pie.” Universal Publishing Group, 1971.
National Institute of Mental Health. “Suicide.” NIH, 2015. www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide/index. Shtml
RAINN. “Children and Teens: Statistics.” RAINN, 2018. www.rainn.org/statistics/children-and-teens RAINN. “The Criminal Justice System: Statistics.” RAINN, 2018. www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system
Dudley, Susan. “Teenage Women, Abortion, and the Law.” Prochoice, September 2015. Prochoice.org/ wp-content/uploads/teenage_women.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Reported STDs in the United States.” CDC, November 2015. www.cdc.gov/std/stats14/std-trends-508.pdf
U.S. Department of Justice. “Special Report.” U.S. Dept. of Justice, September 1988. www.fathermag.com/ news/1780_stats.shtm/
Warner, Jennifer. “US Leads the World in Illegal Drug Use.” CBSNews, July 2008. Cbsnews.com/news/ us-leads-the-world-in-illegal-drug-use/ Family Safe Media. “Pornography Statistics.” TopTenREVIEWS, Inc., 2007. www.familysafe.com/ pornography-statistics/
Larson, Craig Brian. Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1993). p.123.