Delivered: Feb 5, 2012 by Pastor Tim Johnson Othello Washington: Bible Baptist Church
As the Nation Goes, So Goes the Man
(Note: This message was written as a stand-alone sermon, but it then became obvious that it is the prequel to the "Chains" sermon series that I will begin preaching in two weeks. Please tune in for these sermons, as they can and will change lives, period.) Open your Bibles to the 115th Psalm. I was just talking to a friend of mine in North Dakota. He was telling me about the horrible blizzard they’re having; below zero, two feet of snow and still falling. He said his wife has been staring at the window all morning. He said if it gets much worse, he may have to let her in.”
Psa 115 : 9 O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. 10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. 11 Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
All three of these verses say to trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. But the verses all have different subjects. Verse 9 says O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: This verse is directed to a nation. Verse 10 says O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: This verse is directed to a family. Verse 11 saysYe that fear the LORD: This verse is directed to an individual. I was working on another sermon when I read this passage and the Lord immediately told me that there was a message here. This is what happens when God turns the pages for you.
O Israel, O house of Aaron, and Ye that fear the LORD: These three verses show a natural progression and a logical order in that, as the nation goes, so go the families and, as the families go, so goes the man. You see, every nation is made up of its individual constituents; that’s you and me. And every individual is greatly influenced by the nation that he or she lives in. The nation and the individuals that comprise the nation are inextricably woven together, and control each other. Thus, as the nation goes, so goes the man, and, as men go, so goes the nation.
Does anyone know what the first governmental document was that was drawn up in America? Not the Constitution. Not the Declaration of Independence. The first American governmental document predates both of those by 150 years. It was the Mayflower Compact.
The fascinating thing to me is that America really did start out right. We started off on the right foot which was actually a bended knee. The purpose and guiding principles were 100% correct and I doubt there has ever, in the history of man, been a more perfect piece of governing literature written.
Listen to the Mayflower Compact
In ye name of God Amen· We whose names
are vnderwriten, the loyall subjects of our dread soueraigne Lord King James by
ye grace of God, of great Britaine, franc, & Ireland king, defender of ye
Haueing vndertaken, for ye glorie of God, and aduancemente of ye christian ^faith and honour of our king & countrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia· doe by these presents solemnly & mutualy in ye presence of God, and one of another, couenant, & combine our selues togeather into a ciuill body politick; for ye our better ordering, & preseruation & furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hearof, to enacte, constitute, and frame shuch just & equall lawes, ordinances, Acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete & conuenient for yegenerall good of ye colonie: vnto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witnes wherof we haue herevnder subscribed our names at Cap Codd ye ·11· of Nouember, in ye year of ye raigne of our soueraigne Lord king James of England, france, & Ireland ye eighteenth and of Scotland ye fiftie fourth. Ano: Dom ·1620·
Being the first governing document to be drawn up in North America, this was, in a way, the first American constitution. John Quincy Adams was our sixth President and a descendant of Mayflower passenger John Alden. In an 1802 speech, he called the Mayflower Compact the foundation of the U.S. Constitution.
But, for the purposes of this sermon, we need to look at the history behind the Mayflower Compact; the reason the document was even written.
As the text of the document states, the Pilgrims had originally intended to settle in Northern Virginia. But the plans had changed and now they were anchored in Provincetown Harbor, quite a ways north. Because of these changes, there had been some “mutinous speeches”. Some of the men felt that they had no legal obligation to remain within the colony and supply their labor. And there was no government to regulate them otherwise. The Mayflower Compact was drawn up to temporarily establish a governing body until something more official could be drawn up in England.
Now note the objective stated in the Compact: for ye glorie of God, and aduancemente of ye christian faith. The Pilgrims understood that their objective of glorifying God and advancing Christianity would fail, or be greatly diminished if everyone started drifting apart and going their own way. So they wrote this document to bind everyone together to create strength through numbers.
The point is this; there are situations, like the Mayflower, where every single member is needed to give the best chance of success. A single defector can have a great negative effect on the cause. And, as the number of defectors increases, the effect increases exponentially. It doesn’t take long to reach the point where failure is certain and complete.
As with the Pilgrims, so it is with America today. Our very nation was founded for the purpose of securing individual freedom. That principle, freedom, has been under attack worldwide for many years and is now under attack in our own nation and by our own leaders.
Turn to Josh 7.
Ultimately, what we need is about 100 million American men to stand up and say …as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Sadly, the opposite seems to be true. In His inaugural address, John F. Kennedy said it this way: “Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.” As America progresses toward a welfare state, every year, millions more make the transition from “what can I do” to “what more can I take”.
JFK was a Catholic and there are quite a few things that I would disagree with him on, but the man did make a few points in his inaugural address that I agree with. First, he pointed out that “...the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.” Amen. Everything we are and everything we have is by the grace of God. And we continue to receive His blessing, but we are moving frighteningly close to the point where God is going to say, “No more.” If we ever stop supporting Israel, America is done as a nation. And a Muslim sympathist like Barack Hussein Obama is the worst thing that could possibly happen to US / Israeli relations.
JFK also said this, “Let the word go forth.....that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.” Yes, John, it has. And this “new generation” is busy occupying Wall Street because they are too damn lazy to work. An entire generation of Dad’s failed to teach their sons to be men. Now we have an entire generation that doesn’t know how to be a man, lead a family, or do anything but whine about their own pathetic self-induced situation.
JFK said, “The world is very, very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life.”
Kennedy was 2/3 right in this statement. The world is very different. If JFK could see America today, he would be stunned. If Washington and Jefferson and Adams could see us today, they would vomit.
Kennedy was right that we hold the ability to end all forms of human life. But he was wrong in stating that we have the ability to end poverty. Because, there is a righteous God watching us, judging righteous judgment and using poverty and natural disasters and disease and death and war as means of punishing sin. And mankind can never abolish God’s righteous judgments. Amen. Not a popular message, but true.
In Joshua chapter 7, God was using Israel to punish the inhabitants of Canaan for their pagan religions. He was also clearing the land for Jewish occupation, but He was certainly ridding the land of idols and pagan rituals. Joshua had just led Israel in this great victory at Jericho. Josh 6:27 So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country. And then…
Josh 7:1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
Josh 7:4 So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.
5 And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.
In verse 11, the Bible points out that the sin of this one man was charged against all of Israel. Verse 12 says Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies…
Josh 7:16 So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken:
17 And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken:
18 And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.
Joshua called out the nation of Israel, and, from the nation, he called out the tribe of Judah, then the family of the Zarhites, then the individual man, Achan. In Verse 25b …And all Israel stoned him (Achan) with stones, and burned them (Achan’s entire family) with fire, after they had stoned them (the family) with stones.
The sin was committed by one man, but the accountability for the sin was passed up the chain and held against the entire nation of Israel. The punishment for the sin was initiated by God, when He allowed the men of Ai to defeat Israel in battle. Israel then passed punishment on down to the entire family of Achan – every one of them died. Achan got the worst punishment, because he saw his entire innocent family die because of his sin and then died himself. They all died, but he died with guilt.
Pass it up; pass it down. In the story of Achan, we see that, as the one man goes, so goes the nation. And as the nation goes, suffering God’s punishment, so goes the family and the one man.
This principle works in the world of sin and punishment. Turn to 1st Sam 17. It also works the other way.
In 1st Sam, Israel was facing another enemy; this big dude named Goliath. The nation as a whole was terrified of Goliath, but one young man named David had enough love for his nation and faith in his God that he went single-handed against this giant, professional warrior.
1st Sam 17:49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. Final score: David 1; Goliath 0.
1st Sam 17:51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. 52 And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron.
1st Sam 17:58 And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
Just as one man, Achan, brought punishment to his family and his nation, so David brought victory to his family and his nation.
In the 115th Psalm, we saw a connection between Israel, the house of Aaron and Ye that fear the LORD. This is a connection between the nation, the families that make up that nation and the individuals that make up that family. This connection proved true with Achan and David; one for good and one for evil.
And here’s what has happened in America. Men have ceased to be men. It happened a little at a time, but once the snowball effect started working, it got beyond control pretty quick Fathers stopped teaching their sons to be men Fathers started letting the corrupt government-run school system teach their sons evolution, tolerance… And the grading system has been adjusted down, down, down so that kids can pass, but all that teaches is a sloppy work ethics Fathers stopped teaching their sons how to be dad’s. Stick ‘em in front of the TV; then I don’t have to deal with them. Fathers stopped teaching selflessness and self-sacrifice. The “me generation” was the final straw in the failure of American manhood. Young men started growing up with morals that they got from TV, and a worthless work ethic they got from the public schools. The only thing they got from their fathers was a me me me attitude. And, as each generation grew up less manly, they had even less ability to teach their sons how to be men. And, like Obama’s budget, it spiraled out of control very quickly.
Families need leaders and, in God’s plan, those leaders are to be men. And, with no men to lead our families, the family structure began to crumble. And, with this weakening family structure came a host of other liabilities. The biggest problem is the entitlement attitude that has swept the nation.
No men, no leaders. No leaders, families crumble. Families crumble, more people relying on government. People relying on government teach their kids to rely on government.
This quote was given by a famous politician. I’ll read it to you and see if you can guess who said this. “The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest (we) become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” Nope. It wasn’t Kennedy. Or Obama or George W. It was Cicero – Rome 55 BC.
As the man goes, so goes the family. As the family goes, so goes the nation. Psa 115:9, 10 and 11 O Israel…O house of Jacob…Ye that fear the LORD… The nation, the family, the individual, all inextricably tied together.
Psa 115:9 O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
11 Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
So, what is the solution? Well, the Lord put it right there, in the 115th Psalm, three times, addressed to men, families and nations; trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
Men, we need to be men. We need to trust in the LORD. We need to spend enough time in His word that we know His will for our lives, our families and our nation. We need to both accept the Lord’s help and expect the Lord’s help. The Bible says he is their help and their shield. Hold Him to it. Show your kids how you trust and honor your Heavenly Father and they will apply that lesson and trust and honor their earthly father, you, by imitating your godly walk and your simply being a man.
In order to take the nation back, we must take our families back. The man is, by God’s design, both the breadwinner and the spiritual leader of the home. Men must start reclaiming these roles and teaching them to their sons.
In a traditional home, Mama doesn’t run the show. But she should be respected, loved and tenderly cherished. Kids don’t run the show. They are to be taught humility, obedience, respect and life skills.
Will there be another period of national revival before the Lord comes back and the trumpet sounds? I don’t know. But, if there is, it will be because individual men break the cycle. It will be because individual men once again begin to lead their families. It will be because individual men begin, once again, to teach their children. If there is to be one last period of national revival, it will be because a million individual men have the guts to stand up and say as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!
In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy said this, “...let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”
Amen, amen, amen. Brother, you can’t change the world. It’s too big and too messed up. But you can change your family. And, if you do it and you do it and you do it and I do it, then, and only then, will the momentum begin to swing the Lord’s way.
Kennedy also said this, “All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”
Amen; let us begin. I’ll begin. I resolve to pray with my family more, to be their spiritual leader, to teach my sons a solid work ethic and godly moral values. I resolve to treat my wife like the lady and the woman that she is, and to love her and cherish her so that she will be content with me as the head of our household and she won’t want to be the leader.
Those of you with daughters, will you resolve to demonstrate to your daughters what a godly man is, so that, when the time comes to choose a husband, she will know what a godly man looks like?
Men, as leaders of our homes, can you, as the 115th Psalm says, trust in the LORD as your help and your shield? Every one of us here today, can you, will you join me in standing up and saying as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD! And, in doing so, we will take America back from the devil, one man, and one family at a time. Amen. Finally, every person here today, knows someone that needs to be here and hear the upcoming sermons on breaking the chains of sinful behavior. Every one of us knows a family that is suffering because they don't have a leader. Bring them in. Help them, bring them to a place where they can tap into the healing that God has lovingly made available. (Invitation) We will put this message on our website and send links out to all of our contacts and hope the message goes viral. It probably won’t, but I pray that, somehow, this message gets beyond these four walls and touches the hearts of a few million Americans.