Why America Must be Punished

From Issue: R&R – June 2012

As Moses’ life drew to a close, God issued to the nation of Israel the keys to national health, i.e., the specific principles necessary to sustaining national existence. The book of Deuteronomy records these great admonitions that serve as extremely relevant advice for America. One insight pertains to the level of wealth and prosperity that characterizes the lifestyle of the average American. Indeed, this country has achieved a greater level of prosperity for a greater number of its citizens than any nation in human history. America’s standard of living is the envy of the civilized world. Even the poorest American lives far better than much of the world’s population.

This circumstance was anticipated by the Founders who insisted that freedom coupled with Christian principles will enable a country to achieve unprecedented prosperity, progress, and happiness. For example, on October 11, 1782, the Continental Congress issued a proclamation to the nation that articulates this foundational principle, recommending to citizens of

all ranks, to testify their gratitude to God for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience to his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion,which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness (Journals of…, 23:647, emp. added).

America has graced the world with unparalleled technological progress, shared prosperity, and benevolent assistance. We literally wallow in abundance.

But this paradisaical status cannot last. America must suffer punishment for turning her back on the Source of her greatness, and for spurning the moral and spiritual principles that propelled her to the premiere position among the nations of the Earth. The reason for national punishment is the same reason given for Israel’s expulsion from Canaan. Their punishment? “[T]herefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you” (Deuteronomy 28:48). But why? Why did Israel merit such punishment? Moses articulated the reason in his farewell address to the nation—words that are eerily apropos to Americans: “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything” (Deuteronomy 28:47, emp. added). If only Americans en masse would awaken to reverence and serve the Master of the Universe.


Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 (1904-1937), ed. Worthington C. Ford, et al. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office), Library of Congress,


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