Cody's Corner: Imagine our country if we returned to God

by Cody Biby

Malachi 3:7 and Zechariah 1:3 both contain this message from our God: “Return to me, and I will return to you.”

There are times in life when we are so dumb. Some days, I will wonder why I am so tired when I have forgotten that our one-year-old got us up at 4:30 a.m.

Going for a run one day will feel so good; I won’t hurt at all that night, but I will be shocked sometime the following day when my knees are practically screaming at me. I scratch my head, wondering why.

Sometimes, I shudder at my lack of intelligence when the causes and effects of what we choose to do in this life display themselves openly, and I completely miss what could have been used as a learning experience.

This is so true in the Christian life. I believe God is always working either behind the scenes or openly to teach us, mature us, correct us, inspire us, convict us – and do so much more – all because of His great love for us.

Unfortunately, we live in a society and culture that has willingly rejected God. Our schools, government offices, banks, public servants, and society once radiated to the whole world the values of honesty, integrity, wisdom, justice, love, actual equality, courage, compassion, and honor. The list goes on.

There are certain segments of our country that have only wanted us to focus on the negative things in our country, including our differences. These seem to have only resulted in division, hate, and frustration. We can never point out how great this country has been; we can never say what we have learned throughout the years; we cannot state that all countries and leaders are imperfect; we cannot seek to unify as Americans anymore.

I remember how our country came together after 9/11; I remember how everyone was proud to be an American. Maybe we should think more about the cause and effect process in our country instead of reacting with extreme emotion.

When we are called to return to God as individuals, as a family, and as a country, we should realize that this is on His terms, not our own. Please try not to let that upset you. God would not be God if His ways were not better, higher, and sometimes altogether different than ours.

The fact that he pleads with us to return to Him and promises to return to us is a great act of love on His part. Throughout the Bible, God pours out judgments on His people, allows them to face consequences, and withdraws His blessings from His people.

God did these things because the people forsook Him, rebelled against Him, forgot Him, or started deliberately disobeying His commandments, ordinances, and precepts. The effects on society, the economy, and almost all facets of life were horrific.

God states all of what He did in the Book of Amos, and then repeats the phrase, “Yet you did not return to me.” It is as if God is genuinely surprised and upset that His correction did not lead to repentance – and did not make people turn back and follow Him again. Parents share similar feelings; we can be frustrated when certain ways of correcting our own children do not have the desired effects in changing their thoughts, actions, or feelings.

I challenge anyone to prove to me that the way our country has gone since the 1960s and ‘70s has been beneficial to our country. I would say that, since we abandoned and rejected God in our schools, government, and homes, we have felt the repercussions in every facet of our lives. Since we don’t adhere to Biblical morality anymore, we have seen consequences in society, economy, and culture at levels that some think are irreversible.

The only light of hope I see is in the promise of returning to God, at which point He will return to us. This does not mean that we half-heartedly return to Him or just do it by word of mouth. God expects us to return to Him completely and forsake all of the sins and lies that led us away from Him.

We could offer no excuses for sin and try to justify ourselves before a holy God. We would have to unapologetically stand for and by God’s truth in the face of intense persecution, backlash, and criticism. Throughout history, countries that have returned to God have been rewarded with peace, prosperity, freedom, actual equality, and unity in the land across all ethnicities and socioeconomic groups.

Just imagine our country if we even tried to follow some of the 10 Commandments listed in God’s Word. Think about all of the causes and effects – or rewards and consequences – that would happen at every level of society if we taught these again.

Here are just some of them: First, honor your father and mother (This one also comes with a promise, Exodus 20). Second, do not murder. Third, do not cheat on your husband or wife. Fourth, do not steal. Fifth, do not lie. And sixth, do not covet anything from anybody (my paraphrase).

Imagine if we applied all of these equally to everyone, giving no one a “free pass” based on his or her ethnicity, salary, or last name.

What if these values were taught again and displayed openly for all to see? What if our society and culture pointed to these values as rules to live by?

Just imagine.