Righteousness Exalteth a Nation, but Sin is a Reproach to any People
What makes a nation truly great? Where is Australia today? Our society is in trouble. Our culture and values are lacking. Sin abounds but grace doth much more abound! A plea for a revival of righteousness in the land.
RIGHTEOUSNESS exalteth a nation: BUT SIN is a REPROACH to any people.
What makes a nation GREAT?
Some may think of a country’s MILITARY might, or ECONOMIC power. Some will consider the MINERAL wealth; if there is lots of oil or precious metals in the ground. Or they will look at the STANDARD OF LIVING of its citizens.
Some will measure a nation by the quality of its HEALTHCARE system, or STANDARD OF LIVING, or by its GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT.
But do these things, really, make a nation GREAT?
The Bible tells us, rather, that it is RIGHTEOUSNESS that makes a great nation.
And – in contrast – SIN is a REPROACH.
In other words…
- It is SHAMEFUL.
- It is a DISGRACE.
Let us consider the truth firstly that SIN IS A REPROACH TO ANY PEOPLE.
When wickedness prevails in a land it brings God’s JUDGMENT.
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
Where is Australia today?
Some of this following description I read in some commentary about America, but it can so easily apply to Australia, as well:
It is a national disgrace.
- We are, largely, a godless nation.
- We have forgotten God.
Our nation is in a fog spiritually.
SIN is a REPROACH to any people.
Australia’s biggest problem isn’t global warming.
It is SIN.
Who says WHAT SIN IS?
God knows what’s RIGHT or WRONG.
And God NEVER CHANGES (Malachi 3:6).
ABORTION is SIN.
- It is wrong because God says it is.
- It doesn’t matter what I think, nor what you think.
- All that matters is what God thinks.
- We need to protect life in the womb.
About 80,000 abortions are performed each year in Australia.
(13) For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
(14) I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
(15) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
(16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
HOMOSEXUALITY is a SIN.
As a nation we need to stand up for what is right.
Marriage is something that should be held sacred and special. God says what marriage is. It is a uniting of husband and wife as ‘one flesh’.
There are moves to push euthanasia to get rid of older people.
Our nation is increasingly swept by violent and graphic video games. It is SIN
LYING is a SIN.
Most people today are living for agendas popularised by the liberal newsmedia and demonic Hollywood.
1 John 3:4
“Sin is the transgression of the law”
There is an addiction to gambling, gaming machines, and an expansion of gambling venues.
Drunkenness is prevalent. And drug abuse. We see the damaging effect of alcohol abuse in how it damages people and families.
There is a constant undermining of Christian values, traditional family values.
Our society is in trouble. Why?
Because God’s laws are just as real as the physical laws of science—just as real as the law of gravity.
A society that is lying and cheating and stealing is sowing the seeds of disruption—and of the destruction of everything in it that is solid and that is real.
We ought to be living according to the principles of God’s Word.
Only by RIGHTEOUSNESS can a nation be exalted.
Australia is a disgrace, an embarrassment to the world today.
Our women walk around immodestly.
They are rude and crude.
Australian women are an embarrassment to our nation.
Homosexuals are immoral people.
Homosexuality is a vile sin condemned by God’s Word; therefore, anyone who chooses to live the homosexual lifestyle is an immoral person by choice.
People who choose SIN are guided by their own sense of right and wrong, and not by God’s morality.
There are not different levels of morality.
There is only one level of morality, and that is God’s Word.
Sinful men continue to change, and move further away from God’s holy standard in the Bible.
And our nation grows ever more godless.
Churches are following the world’s sinful patterns, accepting what society accepts.
But God says SIN is SIN.
Where are those who will stand for RIGHTEOUSNESS?
John Bunyan refused to apply for a license to preach, so the court imprisoned him for 12-years.
Bunyan authored the entire book of PILGRIM’S PROGRESS while in prison.
He wrote on the back of milk-bottle lids. His wife smuggled the caps out. Today the book PILGRIM’S PROGRESS ranks as one of the highest selling book in history, next to the Bible.
Bunyan stood for his Christian convictions and paid the price!
Would to God that we had more Christians today who are willing to pay the price.
2 Timothy 3:12 says that Christians who live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION.
Many people who call themselves ministers, are a disgrace to the name of Jesus. They don’t suffer, because they are spiritually dead, worldly, and compromising.
May we, as Christians, stand up for what is right, like John Bunyan did, valuing the praises of God instead of the praises of man (John 12:43).
Nowadays our children are being paganised and humanised at school, and are ever more godless and being conditioned to accept more and more sin and abomination.
Even Christians are growing up with these so-called values that they have been brainwashed with.
SIN is a REPROACH.
Back in the Old Testament, there was a man named Achan from the tribe of Judah.
Achan brought SHAME on an entire nation.
Israel was warned before the battle of Jericho not to covet and steal anything they found there.
They were given clear instructions and a warning, in
And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
ACHAN’S greed was too great, however, and he “took some of the devoted things,” causing the anger of the Lord to burn against the people of Israel (7:1).
The Lord PUNISHED THE NATION by allowing their defeat in the very next battle, at Ai.
A search revealed that someone had stolen these items and eventually Achan was exposed.
And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.
Achan had brought shame and punishment upon all the people by his sinful greed.
The nation was disgraced at Ai. Their determination to conquer Canaan had been shaken by the actions of just one man.
SIN is a REPROACH.
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
Let’s look at where we need to go.
Our nation needs righteousness and purity.
RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTS A NATION.
WHAT is RIGHTEOUSNESS?
God inspired the answer in His Word:
“All Thy Commandments are righteousness”
When you lay aside the law of God, you have no basis to even know what is right and what is wrong.
There may be good therapy offered. And maybe yes, some young people may “feel better about themselves,” but the conduct that lies behind their lives—and what they are “feeling better about”—is destructive.
What is righteousness?
Righteousness means RIGHT CHARACTER.
This is what makes a nation great.
RIGHTEOUSNESS means a rendering to all their due, whether to God or man.
A righteous PERSON and a righteous NATION will have both a vertical and a horizontal dimension.
RIGHTEOUSNESS means to be upright.
RIGHTEOUSNESS speaks of people with integrity.
The Bible describes God as righteous.
Righteousness is a Godlike characteristic.
The Bible speaks of:
- Righteous PATHS Pr. 23:3
- Righteous OFFERING Pr. 33:19
- Righteous SPEECH Pr. 32:5
- Righteous LABOUR Pr. 10:16
- Righteous DESIRES Pr. 10:24
- Righteous FRUIT Pr. 11:30
- Righteous THOUGHTS Pr. 12:5
- Righteous HOME Pr. 15:6
- Righteous HEART Pr. 15:28
This verse speaks to us of the importance of our nation HONOURING God and His Word.
What are the VALUES of OUR CULTURE?
We have given up our children to false gods—the gods of MATERIALISM and CONSUMERISM.
People are rejecting such qualities, as VIRTUE and RIGHTEOUSNESS.
What makes a nation STRONG?
NATIONAL GREATNESS comes from RIGHTEOUSNESS.
God has blessed us with many wonderful natural resources.
God has blessed us with the beauty of nature.
God has given us a good form of government.
God has given us freedom of speech.
God has given us a country where everyone has a chance.
What a country we live in. We ought to love it, stand up for it and do what we can to preserve the freedom we have in our land.
Our hope is in this verse.
RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTETH A NATION
RIGHTEOUSNESS means we GLORIFY GOD.
We Christians can glorify God by letting our light shine.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
We can glorify by telling others of His goodness and greatness.
Ye that fear the LORD, praise him… glorify him…
All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
RIGHTEOUSNESS IS DEMONSTRATED BY LOVING OTHERS
Loving even those who oppose us.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
The love we demonstrate proclaims who we are.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
These things I command you, that ye love one another.
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
1 John 3:18
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
1 John 4:8
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
RIGHTEOUSNESS IS DEMONSTRATED BY HELPING OTHERS
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
RIGHTEOUSNESS IS DEMONSTRATED BY SEPARATING OURSELVES FROM THE WORLD.
Christians must be obviously not of the world.
know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God ? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
1 John 2:15-17
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;
2 Cor 6:17-18
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.
BLESSED is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
- Righteousness is Revealed – In the Word of God.
- Righteousness is Known – Through the Word of God.
- Righteousness is Experienced – Through Jesus Christ
- Righteousness is Promoted – By God’s People
A righteous nation will stand up for what is right.
The Sanctity of Life
The Sanctity of the Family
As we do we will be truly blessed as a people.
As our society has moved to become more secular, Bible-based values have been put aside. So where are the ethics coming from for students, and for young people—growing up?
Where are their moral values? If you live in a society that is based on situation ethics—if you just do what feels good—who defines morality? Who defines right and wrong? Who determines what a person ought to do or not do?
In Elijah’s day the nation was saturated with wickedness
1 Kings 18:17-18
(17) And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?
(18) And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.
We need more troublers to arise! God’s people need to rise up, like Elijah did.
We need to challenge this nation as it is busy partying its way to hell.
Moses was a man of prayer, totally shut in with God.
He said no to the pleasures, ease and temptations of Egypt, living instead under the total rule of the Holy Ghost.
He had no agenda or ambition of his own. He forsook all his human ability, relying on the great I AM as his sole provision and resource.
And he came from holy ground, with a firsthand vision of God’s holiness.
So, in the blackest hour of Israel’s history, when it looked as if God’s people would succumb to the enemy, the Lord raised up in the midst of it all a man who would act as a testimony. And this one man brought down a whole nation while raising up another. God did it all through one man!
A nation that does not honour God cannot and will not be blessed of God.
Psalm 9:17 curses any nation to Hell that forgets God. Australia has certainly abandoned the God of the Bible.
How can we be an exalted nation?
Righteousness exalts a nation.
God has three institutions that he calls to RIGHTEOUSNESS…
The HOME – spoken of in Genesis 2 & 3.
The HOME is GOD’S PRIMARY INSTITUTION FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
The GOVERNMENT – is God’s SECOND Institution – spoken of in Genesis 9 and Romans 13.
It is GOD’S PROTECTIVE INSTITUTION FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS
And then, the Church – is God’s THIRD Institution – seen in Acts 2.
We See This Same Plan in the days of Samuel.
Here we see another generation of apostasy, depravity and backsliding. At the time, the ark was gone from Israel.
Eli, the nation’s high priest, was lazy and complacent, allowing his sons to corrupt the priesthood.
Under their leadership, adultery and fornication were rampant in the temple.
But Eli had become so used to his life of ease, that he wouldn’t do anything to stop them.
At one point the Lord wrote the word “Ichabod” over the whole religious system, meaning, “The Spirit of the Lord has departed.”
Once again, satanic forces had risen to great power. And to the natural eye, God’s work had lost so much ground, the odds of recovery seemed improbable.
But the Lord had a man in place all along — a little child named Samuel.
While all the ministers around him were indulging in fornication and gluttony, Samuel was learning to hear God’s voice. And as he became more and more intimate with the Lord, the Holy Spirit filled him with a prophetic word.
He became a testimony – and living proof of the power of God!
Scripture says that as Samuel grew, none of his words fell to the ground — meaning, he consistently spoke with power and authority.
And because of his godly authority, no nation was able to lift a hand against Israel for over forty years.
Once again, the Lord raised up a single man as a testimony to a whole nation.
God needed no army, no human organisation, no “new thing.” All he needed was one righteous man — someone whose ministry was committed totally to his holy ways!
In Nehemiah’s day, as well, the walls of Jerusalem were in ruins.
The city was a literal pile of stones.
It is a picture of the church, as totally backslidden, with no witness left.
The wicked powers surrounding Israel persecuted them severely, mocking every work they tried to undertake.
How did God respond in such a time of ruin?
Did he send a well-trained militia out of Shushan to help them?
Did he send a palace guard to smite their prominent enemies?
No, God once again raised up a single righteous man — Nehemiah.
Here was a man with God’s burden on his heart.
Nehemiah spent his time praying, fasting and mourning, because he was broken over Israel’s condition.
He also continually dug into God’s word, heeding God’s Spirit.
Although Nehemiah served as cup-bearer to King Artaxerxes, he remained separate from all the wickedness surrounding him. In the midst of all the sensuality, immorality and godlessness taking place in Israel, he maintained a holy walk with the Lord.
And, in turn, everyone who heard him preach was purified in soul.
Soon a revival of holiness swept the land.
“The priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall”
The house of God also was purged, and corruption and compromise was cast out.
Nehemiah sent workers into the temple, telling them, “I want every piece of filth out of here. Don’t leave anything that has to do with idolatry or sensuality. Take it all out and burn it!”
This is God’s concept of REVIVAL!
Likewise, with our hearts, the Lord wants everything cleaned up.
Where did Nehemiah get such spiritual authority, to cause compromisers to tremble, and to bring back godly fear to the temple? The king didn’t give it to him. No church bishop gave it to him. He didn’t learn it from a Bible school.
No, Nehemiah got his authority on his knees — weeping, broken, wanting to know God’s heart. And because he was a man of prayer, he was able to confess the sins of a whole nation:
“…that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night…and confess the sins of the children of Israel…both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments…” (1:6-7).
For our nation to be truly great we need to get back to the Bible.
We need to preach repentance, so that the standard and banner of righteousness can be raised again over this country.
Australia must repent and turn back to God’s righteousness.
This is our only hope for removing the reproach of sin that rests upon us and restoring us to a place of honor and favour with God.
We must get real. We must get serious. There is a cost.
Salvation is free, but discipleship costs everything we have.