The United States in Prophecy
Generally, Bible believing
Christians affirm the US as favored by Divine providence. Some
in their ardor would like to craft the US into a vehicle of the
church or an ideal of God’s Kingdom even though most realize
God’s Kingdom will not begin until the Church of Christ is
united with her returned Lord. Isaiah 18, a remarkable prophecy,
seems to define the US role in the Divine arrangement. The
following is a translation of Isaiah 18:1-2, based on three
highly recognized authorities of Biblical Hebrew.
1. Alas oh land
[United States] shadowed by wings, which is beyond the river
of Ethiopia. 2. That sends heralds, even as books of paper,
across large bodies of water, …saying [by it’s favorable
laws and Christian preference], Go, you swift messengers, to
a nation scattered or dragged and polished by scouring, to a
people reverent from their beginning hitherto; a nation measured
and trodden down, whose land the river has cut off.
Vs. 1 refers to a “land” or
nation under the shadow of wings located “beyond the river of
Ethiopia,” or beyond the known world of ancient Bible times. It
was a small world back then–Southeastern Europe, Asia Minor,
Egypt, and Ethiopia. Beyond that, little was known. Vs. 2
locates this nation beyond a great “body of water.” This is true
of the US.
The phase “a nation shadowed [or
protected] by wings” certainly is true of the US. The affairs of
our nation have been divinely overruled for Christians. Since
its founding, the religiously and politically oppressed have
been welcomed. Christianity has thrived in this haven of divine
Vs. 2 tells us something
additional about the US. From its shores, “messengers” in the
form of “printed books” “herald” the Gospel to a “nation.” Who
is this nation? Remember 1Peter 2:9 designates the church as
the “holy nation.” Isaiah shows this [holy] “nation” or
Church is “dragged” or “scattered” around the world and
“polished,” that is, made noble by the “scouring” of the Word of
truth. Indeed, the Church “reverent from its beginning” endured
“trodden down” experiences as “meted or measured out” by the
Lord for their character development.
From God’s standpoint, the US is
not perfect. Yet it has been a blessed haven of liberty and
prosperity for Christians so that they could herald the Truths
of God’s Word over the seas and around the world. But times are
changing. Since the US became the “lone superpower of the
world,” the corroding effects of pride have become evident. This
is why Isaiah begins the prophecy with a Hebrew word that can be
translated “Woe,” pronouncing calamity. But according to
Gesenius (noted Hebrew lexicographer) it sometimes, and probably
here, means an exclamation with a touch of pity—alas. The
prophet is saddened. The Church, the antitypical Isaiah, is
saddened as we see the accumulation of shortcomings tarnishing
“America the Beautiful” whom we highly esteem. The following is
a partial list.
US Stonewalling on Pollution
The scientific community agrees
that greenhouse gases caused by the burning of fossil fuels
(coal, oil, natural gas) largely contribute to global warming. A
certain temperature peak would melt the massive icebergs causing
a flood that would wipe out coastlines over 20 miles inland.
Cities like New York would be destroyed, while large fertile
land areas are baked into deserts. Being a nation of SUV
gas-guzzling drivers accentuates this problem. Industrial
nations like the US cause 75% of the world’s pollution, yet the
US reneged on its International commitment to reduce pollution
according to Kyoto Protocol criteria.
The Saudi Intrigue
The “US News and World
Report” (Dec. 15, 2003) has a nine-page article identifying
Saudi Arabia as the main exporter of global terrorism. From 1996
the CIA knew of the export of global terrorism, but chose not to
probe. “Vast sums from Saudi contracts bought friends and
influence here.” Big Washington names were involved. Many think
this US cozy economic relationship with the Saudis provided a
“good friendship” cover for the Saudi clandestine exporting of
The fruits of the Saudi support
of bin Laden was the 9/11 Twin Towers/Pentagon tragedy in which
15 of the 19 terrorists were Saudis. What acerbates 9/11 is
evidence indicates it could have been prevented. President Bush
appointed former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean to investigate
if 9/11 resulted from any negligence. After reviewing thousands
of documents, Kean in a preliminary report of Dec. 18, 2003,
stated that there was negligence in the FBI, the CIA, and even
the White House. Now, belatedly, the US is forcing the Saudi
Government to crack down and eliminate the elements within the
Saudi royal family and it’s economic tycoons that finance the
exporting of Islamic fundamentalism.
Don’t “spoil” Israel.
The US has been Israel’s staunchest friend. But if Arab oil
causes the US to force Israel to surrender the West Bank and
Gaza, rendering Israel vulnerable to Palestinian attack, then
the Lord’s promise of Jeremiah 31:16 will come into play—“they
that spoil you [Israel] I will spoil.”
Beating Plowshares into
“For 45 years of the Cold War we
were in an arms race with the Soviet Union. Now it appears we’re
in an arms race with ourselves.”–Admiral Eugene Carroll, Jr., US
The US will spend $399 billion
on defense this year. It is claimed a fraction of this expense
could eliminate humanity’s tragedies.
Costs of solving the world’s
top global issues:
Eliminate Starvation ($19 billion)
Provide Shelter ($21 billion)
Landmines ($4 billion)
Democracy ($3 billion)
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons ($7 billion)
Refugee Relief ($5 billion)
Eliminate Illiteracy ($5 billion)
Provide Clean, Safe Water ($10 billion)
Care & AIDS Control ($21 billion)
Deforestation ($7 billion)
Prevent Global Warming ($8 billion)
Stabilize Population ($10.5 billion)
Prevent Acid Rain ($8 billion)
Provide Clean, Safe Energy ($50 billion)
Ozone Depletion ($5 billion)
Prevent Soil Erosion ($24 billion)
Debt 3rd World Nations ($30 billion)
Figures are from the World Game
Institute, based on an annual budget with a 10-year period
needed to achieve complete success.
Only $217.5 billion would
eliminate man’s devastating problems. Subtracting $217.5 billion
from the US defense budget of $399 billion would still leave
$181.5 billion for defense. This far exceeds Russia who has the
second highest defense budget–$65 billion.
Remember the Abrahamic promise.
“In thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be
blessed.” Genesis 22:18. In Galatians 3:16 the Apostle Paul
identifies Jesus as this “seed.” Jesus’ death is the sole basis
for salvation. In vss. 26-29 Paul reveals an incredible promise.
The Church being one in Christ will, as part of the “seed,”
bless all mankind. What a hope—fulfilled when Christ reigns with
his Church in the Millennium. Revelation 20:6.
End-time prophecies speak of a
great increase of knowledge. Daniel 12:1,4. The Lord seems to be
saying to Christian nations like the US—I have given you the
technical know-how to alleviate the problems of the world. What
are you doing about it? No matter how noble, Christian and
political leaders are flawed by human frailties. They
are unable to arise above vested interests. Still
most of us would rather live in the US than any other nation.
But, Isaiah 18:3-6 predicts the destruction of the nations.
Yes, all nations “shall
be devoured with the [symbolic] fire of his[God’s] jealousy
[zeal for moral perfection].” After the removal of these
imperfect governments, the people are still here. Then
the people will be taught “a pure language, that they may all
call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.”
Zephaniah 3:8,9; John 5:28,29.
Isaiah 18:7 ends with this
thrilling climax! The “trodden down” of verse 2 are
exalted into the presence of the Heavenly Father. Then the
glorified church together with Christ as “mount Zion,”
the government of God’s kingdom, will reign as kings and priests
offering eternal peace, happiness and the “water of life” to
“whosoever will.” Revelation 22:16.