A candle was lit two thousand years ago. It was lit amongst a people that for hundreds of years had dwelt in darkness and paganism. They were lost, but they did not know it. The candle or flame that was lit amongst them was lit by some of those who had seen the true light for themselves and had walked beside the light and had talked with the light.
And so the candle burned and for some time it burned brightly until after awhile, through persecution and suppression, the candle burnt low and was all but extinguished and again the people lived in darkness, a darkness that lasted about a thousand years. It was a time when the Vikings were pillaging all the coastlands, a time when the Normans invaded England, a time when Rome had taken control of the Word and kept it from the people that were searching for the light. But then came a time that the candle flickered and became brighter again. In England a man named Wycliffe translated the written Word into the English language so that the people searching for the light could read it for themselves, Johann Gutenberg printed the first Bible and not so long after King James commissioned the now famed Bible named after him, and the light of the candle became brighter again.
The people started to live according to the Word and the blessings started to flow in abundance. But who were those people and who were those nations on whom all these blessings started to fall? They were the Covenant Nations that were formed by the dispersed twelve tribes of Israel, when they finally settled down in the lands that God in His wisdom had appointed to them.
With the blessings came riches and with the riches came growth and growth demanded expansion. This expansion took place when these Israelite Covenant people started to look for other places to settle and to establish colonies for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom on earth.
The Spanish went with the blessing of the Church of Rome to South America to pillage and plunder in search of gold of which the church benefitted immensely. But the North Western Europeans went with a gun for protection, a plow for cultivating, a bag of seed and a Bible. In other words, they went to settle and to build. They went to South Africa, to Australia and New Zealand, to the East Indies and the West Indies and to North America. Most of the native people in those lands lived off the land and were few in number, which makes me think of the story in Genesis, where God saw everything that He had made and it was very good……, but there was not a man to till the ground (Gen. 2:5). So, in order to solve that problem, the Lord God formed Adam, the progenitor of our race and just like Adam we were sent to till the land. So, we tilled the land and built our nations and prospered and grew and the blessings flowed. The candle was burning brightly.
But history has a way of repeating itself, just as Israel of old we have again forsaken the way of the Lord as nations. Again, we are groping our way in darkness and despair. Through higher criticism and humanistic philosophy man has become his own god, and we as nations have become lovers of self and not lovers of God. The candle is again sputtering and on the verge of going out altogether. In Ezek. 18 we read verse 24 “But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned; in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.”
Not really a nice scenario.
I think that that verse applies to nations as well as to individuals, but Ezekiel goes on in the same chapter verses 31-32 by saying, “Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which ye have transgressed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why will ye die, O House of Israel. For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore, turn yourselves and live.”