The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah. (Psalm 9:16-20)
The Nations are extremely important in God’s economy and priorities for mankind. We must remember that it was God himself who divided the nations, as a consequence of the great failure at the tower of Babel.
Contrary to man’s stated desire to unify, that men might construct a tower, and a city and a name for themselves, God intervened and smashed the ideals of united mankind, confusing the languages and in the process, dividing men into nations. Originally there were seventy nations which flowed out of the Shinar valley to fill the earth, away from the ruined project, and which went on to develop culture and civilizations across the globe.
When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. (Deuteronomy 32:8)
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: (Acts 17:26-27)
One of the reasons God divided humanity into nations, was that we might be best able to “seek the Lord”.
Man’s earliest united project looked an awful lot like an attempt to create John Lennon’s song “Imagine”,
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world… You…(John Lennon,Imagine)
There would be no brotherhood of sinful, unrepentant man, instead came a judgment upon mankind that is in effect to this day, for the human race is as divided as ever. But there still be many who hold onto the Ancient dream, to dissolve all borders and hat the world would be One,(without Messiah).
Another consequence of the Babel Project was the election of Abram, an idolatrous moon worshipper, late in life and of one wife,also too late for child bearing. God introduced himself to this man and told him, He would make of him a great nation, give him a land, and that one of his many seed would be a blessing to every family on the earth!
Would all of the peoples of the earth defect from God himself, into idolatry? Then God would make for himself a new, miracle nation, Israel, through whom He would reveal his Word, His will, and ultimately His Messiah as Savior of the whole world! Thus Israel was born, when the barren couple miraculously conceived by God’s mighty power.
The rest of the nations of the world sunk ever deeper into idolatry, and all of the darkness, debauchery and misery that accompanies it.
…We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.(Acts 14:15-17)
But when the gospel of the grace of God through the resurrection of Jesus went forth, various nations received the good news and were transformed by the gospel. The apostles went out into all of the world, preaching among the nations, as countless missionaries have ever since, in the name of Jesus.
There was that fateful point in Acts, where Paul and his companions tried to go east, but were forbidden of the Holy Ghost, who ordered them to go instead into Europe,
Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.(Acts 16:6-9)
History turned on that little testimony. The rest of the classical World was indeed to hear and be challenged by the gospel, God had been dealing with the nations of the east for Centuries through the witness of the Jews.
But here for the first time, backwards, pagan, benighted Europe would be significantly penetrated with the light of the glorious gospel, and transformed over the centuries into the “Judeo Christian” world that we currently live in.
The light of the gospel was widely received and it transformed what was once a purely Barbaric world, including the Pagan Roman civilization, the celtic, Teutonic, Norse and other wild, pagan worlds, into something millions have benefitted by, and have sought to emulate. The wild, war loving Irish became missionaries and poets, the Germanic and Frankish tribes learned to read, and pray, and Just and compassionate Societies developed over the long centuries, due to the influence of the Gospels.
Obviously this is a gross simplification of two thousand years of history, furthermore there can be no Utopia in this fallen world, my point is that in the west we have an example of Nations who once knew God. Scriptural thought patterns, motifs and outlooks pervaded in our language, literature and institutions. Gentile children were nourished on stories such as David and Goliath, Jonah, Samson and Elijah.
Christianity instilled into our institutions a combination of elements of both Justice and Mercy which is the very core of the Gospel. The pursuit of Justice, equality before the law, the confidence to explore nature(rather than to superstitiously worship it), knowing that all was created according to the laws of the lawgiver, gave us western science.
The West is now in decline.
She has been so blessed, and so influential, and has created such wealth and seeming stability, to the extent that the mass movements of people flow from the rest of the world into the Western countries, is dying. We can see so much of the “dust of death” on display every single day; the inability to defend itself, the Nihilistic leadership, the infatuation with vanity, games, sports, drama, the gender confusion, these are all the death gasps, of a dying and rotting civilization.
In the Psalm I quoted at the beginning of this installment, two kinds of nations are mentioned,
- The Wicked…these are nations which are inherently unjust, paganism and idolatry has infused all of the institutions and mores of these nations with iniquity, these nations are just wicked. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Indonesia and Pakistan are all wicked, thanks to Islam. India has been deformed by Hinduism, and this is reflected in the institutions such as caste, etc. Africa, when left to herself always descends into anarchy, because of Ancestor Worship and animism which is really demon worship.
- But a second category of nations is mentioned, “those nations which forget God….”, they too shall be cast into hell, and perhaps because of the the fact tat they have sinned against what they once had, and knew, their sin is greater still.
The only hope is in the possible answer to the prayer at the end of Psalm 9,
Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men.
If we could ever get back to knowing that we are not supermen, we are not evolving into something higher, all we are is men. Needy sinners, dependent upon God.