Updated Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 28, 2013.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Nations that Forget God”
Psalm 9:15, 17, 19-20
The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. 17 The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God. 19 Arise, O Lord, let not man triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. 20 Strike them with terror, O Lord; let the nations know they are but men.
It is believed that Armenia became the first Christian state in 301 under the spiritual leadership of Gregory the Illuminator. (That’s probably why Gregorian Christianity is still strong in that country to this day.) However, there has not been such thing as a Christian nation in our globe for a long time—even the colonial America fell far short of that when considering slavery. Neither is today’s America anywhere near being a Christian nation when considering, for instance, how we treat the life of the unborn. It is one thing for secularists and unbelievers to think nothing of abortion, including third-trimester abortion, but for some Christians to feel the same way suggests that something is quite awry about American Christianity.
But some nations have taken an explicit stance against God, such as the former Soviet Union and today’s China and North Korea. And, without the acknowledgment of God, as the famed Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky so ably stated— “If there is no God, then everything is Permitted”— the unthinkable often became possible, like the mass murder of the undesirables of the State (which, of course, took place under Stalin and Mao, respectively.)
Do you see any difference between America and those nations that have forgotten God as a matter of national policy? No, there is hardly any difference between them when abortion is factored into the equation. The psalmist warns such nations that God will judge them.
This isn’t what we want to hear in the morning but consider this: Once we descend toward forgetting God in our lives and pay no attention to His sacred Scripture, we will be amazed by the ease in which we also do unthinkable things. So, as we start the new year, neither forget God nor His word! Today, go to work or school with Him. Read His word and obey it. Pray and desire for the filling of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Prayer: Dear God, I acknowledge that I often forget You in my busyness, frustration, and anger. I confess many sinful things I’ve done that displeased You. God, please help me to remember You throughout the day, whether I am at work or at home. Thank You. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 5
Lunch Break Study
Read Revelation 20:7-9: When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle [against] God’s people.
Questions to Consider
1. What does this passage reveal about the nations and the people in them?
2. While God wants to bless the nations (Gn. 12:3), He has destroyed certain peoples in the past (Amalekites who always wanted to destroy Israel). Why did God do that (Gn. 18:20-33; 1 Sam. 15:1-4)?
3. Why do the nations that are united (like those who had gathered at the tower of Babel) tend to oppose God and His truths (Gn. 11:1-8; Rev. 20:3)?
1. Regardless of how one interprets this passage, this shows a strong tendency for the nations to rebel against God, since this uprising occurred or will occur after a long period (i.e., 1,000 years) of peace and justice on earth, thanks to Satan being put out of operation by the LORD.
2. On the one hand, God destroyed Sodom because this city was totally given to sin in such a way that no one outside of Lot’s family (of eight people) believed in God; instead, they lived in active rebellion against God. On the other hand, God destroyed the Amalekites because, had they succeeded in destroying Israel, it would have foiled God’s plan to send Jesus through the lineage of King David. To redeem the world, any nation that stood in its way had to be eliminated.
3. For men, what unites them is a desire to be independent from an overarching authority, which interferes with the individual’s freedom to do whatever they want. Since God is that figure, His commands must be opposed. So, when the nations (i.e., collections of individuals) are gathered, man’s desire for self-autonomy is aggrandized.
It’s hard to imagine how we can be a part in blessing the nations when our lives are so hectic and sometimes full of turmoil, right? But you can do the simplest, yet most significant thing by praying for nations and missionaries. Take a moment to pray for those who come to your mind. Pray for the children around the world who are being exploited by bad men.