“If ye break faith with us who die”

On July 1st, 2006, Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday. Three days later, on July 4th, America will usher in the 241th anniversary of its Declaration of Independence. In both countries there will be signs of patriotism everywhere, in the speeches, the marching bands, ceremonies, flag waving and of course, the finale fireworks. Better than most days, we will remember our history, our high points and our military successes. And when the lines of the national anthems are sung, “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee” and “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave,” even new Canadians and Americans will sing out with a greater sense of pride and wonder. In some quarters these words will even ring out:

My country, ‘tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
Of thee I sing
Land where my fathers died
Land of the pilgrim’s pride
From every mountain side
Let freedom ring!

Of certainty, we have so much of which to be proud and to memorialize. How about the early sacrifices of our pioneers who bequeathed firm foundations in both nations? Or the wisdom of leaders such as America’s George Washington and Andrew Jackson, or Canada’s Sir John A. MacDonald and William Lyon MacKenzie King. How about the two nations who stood hand in hand together during two fierce world wars and with our friends, rescued a world in peril? Two nations founded on Christian principles! What a legacy our predecessors handed down.

Still, I believe underneath all the singing and flag waving is a feeling of futility, perhaps nostalgia for days gone by, as we witness the growth of evil and death of freedom. When I think of the immortal words at the beginning of this editorial, that is, “If ye break faith with us who die” and look at what is happening in our nations, I feel somewhat sad that we have not kept faith with all those who passed before us and left us with such a wonderful inheritance, an inheritance we have squandered.

Where oh where did the downward slide begin? Obviously, long ago, but perhaps there is a specific moment in time and/or a specific event that can be pinpointed. As to the moment in time, I recall reading an article by a Christian writer that seventy jubilee periods from the Exodus (70 x 49) expired in 1945, that from that moment on, True Israel ceased to be “God’s battle axe and weapons of war” (Jeremiah 51:20). We should examine this and as we do, consider that the specific event was the formation of the United Nations the same year. Both Canada and the United States joined this alliance and we must recognize that so many of our difficulties stem from that action. George Washington warned against alliances of this sort but he was not first to do so. We are a part of those nations descended from Jacob Israel and as such we are under Divine directives as much today as we were in the days of our forefathers. So, when God, in all His wisdom, said “Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods,” (Exodus 23:52) we should have listened. Of course, we didn’t and it was the beginning of the departure from our greatness, the rapid decline of our faith and the growing acceptance of other gods.

After 1945, we began to fight under the banner of the United Nations. If ever evidence was necessary that we lost our vaunted position as God’s battle axe, we have but to review a few of our escapades. We lost our winning ways. Korea turned into a fiasco when the great military strategist, General Douglas MacArthur, was prevented from triumphing. Then, we failed to resolve the Cuban matter to our satisfaction, Vietnam was a disaster, with nearly sixty thousand of our young slaughtered for nothing and Lord knows how many maimed. We fought again under the United Nations banner in 1990 in Iraq and like Korea forty years earlier; we walked away without finishing the job. Then, we were immersed in Afghanistan, the second Iraqi conflict and numerous short wars. One thing we learned, [or did we?] overwhelming military superiority does not simply translate to victory. Now we are faced with the cruelest enemy of all, terrorism! Perpetrated by fanatics who have no fear of dying as they wreak fear and havoc, primarily in the Israel nations. It seems Canada has been spared to date but America has faced many instances since the turn of the century.

Where do we go from here, our leaders appear to be seeking new conflicts as the emphasis has focused on North Korea and Iran.

Still, internally, we are not the same nations that marched home so victoriously in 1945. Think on this! God commanded us to permit the stranger to come into our lands but only if they accept our customs and our God. We disobeyed this as well and today, the multi-religious factions have created such divisions in our country that it has led to a revision of our Christian faith, a softening down to the point it is difficult to recognize. We have gone against God’s Law with respect to economics, so much so that we have become nations immersed in debt, with our hands out like paupers beseeching non-Israelite nations to buy our bonds to keep us going. It is a terrible reflection on society that 1% of the population of America is said to control over 50% of the wealth and 5% control over 75%. I suspect the same could be said of Canada.

I could go on and on but suffice to say that Israelites have stood back and passively watched as one leader after another has led us in the wrong direction. Still, God is not blind and even on such birthdays as we celebrate this month, He does not mince words, and our governmental and theological leaders should take notice. Look what God has to say to these leaders in Ezekiel 13: 5-8 (Amplified Version).

“You have not gone up into the gaps or breeches, nor built up the wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in the battle in the day of the Lord.”

“They have seen falsehood and lying divination, saying, The Lord says; but the Lord has not sent them. Yet they have hoped and made men to hope for the confirmation of their word.”

“Have you not seen a false vision, and have you not spoken a lying divination when you say, The Lord says, although I have not spoken?”

8. “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have spoken empty, false and delusive words and have seen lies, therefore behold, I am against you, says the Lord God.”

But don’t kid ourselves, we, the people, are part of the problem. The churches have gone along with false doctrine, that’s for certain. And when Jeremiah states says that the leaders bear rule at whatever means they wish, we can look around our nations and see that this too is true. So, how are we, the people, part of the problem? Because as God revealed to the prophet Jeremiah, “And My people love to have it so”. In other words, it is easier for us to just go along.

Still, if one does nothing more than reflect upon the downward spiral of our two nations for the past five years, it will reveal, as the old expression goes, “that the jig is up.” We simply cannot continue on the same path for very much longer. It’s not good enough for our leaders to simply mouth, “God bless America” or “God bless Canada,” or theologians to spout meatless messages, it is time for these people to look back and reflect upon what made us great in the first place. The trouble is, they don’t seem to really understand the signs of the time; that the return of Christ is on the horizon. They would do well to review the balance of Ezekiel 13 to understand the wrath of God and what could well be in store for them.

We have all read of the magnificent outcome of the days of prayer initiated by King George VI during the Battle of Britain and D-Day or the prayer that accompanied the Spanish Armada. Yet, there were others of equal significance. Some are recorded in the Rev. John Wesley’s Journal, telling of national days of fasting and prayer. On Friday, February 27th, 1778, in England, before the outbreak of the French Revolution, Wesley recorded a National fast, which was observed with due solemnity. All shops and stores were shut up; all was quiet in the streets; all places of public worship were crowded; no food was served in the King’s house till 5 o’clock in the evening. On another such occasion, Wesley remarked, “I shall not wonder if God should now interpose and send us prosperity, since at length we are not too proud to acknowledge there is a God that judgeth the earth.” Without question, by this medium of national and individual intercession, a moral and spiritual reformation ensued which changed the whole course of history as far as England was concerned.

Well, it could happen here in Canada and America too! Truly, what we need for a birthday gift is a darned good old fashioned day of prayer and for our leaders to rally behind God’s Law. I’m not talking about a prayer day like that last one in America, where all faiths took part, but one dedicated to the only God, the Almighty God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Look, the urge for national prayer could not be timelier than now. As someone once wrote, “The black clouds that have now burst upon the world have all the omen of another world war, far more terrible than before. The solemn crisis that has arisen, and world events generally, demand a national cry to Almighty God, together with humiliation and repentance for our many abominations and sins.” Ironically, we have the Lord’s assurance that He will hear us, “The Lord will be very gracious at the voice of our cry [and] when HE shall hear it HE will answer.” (Isaiah 30: 19.)

Still, let’s not hold our breath that in these days of apostasy it will happen. For one thing, our lands are now too filled with non-Christians and even if our leaders understood the benefit of devout prayer on a national scale, they would forfeit all in the name of fairness. It seems that leaders live for today’s comfort and tomorrow’s pensions. So, sadly, we shall travel along the same road of moral corruption, the same road of spiritual decline, the same road of spiraling debt, the same road of lessening freedoms and the same road of wanting stewardship.

Yet, we know from Scripture that we will one day seek intercession from the Lord. Ezekiel 36: 37 tells us this, “…I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel ….” Probably it will take some calamity of major proportions to get Israel to her knees but it shall happen sooner or later. In the meantime, Happy Birthday Canada and Happy Anniversary America.