The land is sick. The land to the Old Testament people was everything to them. It was their lodging, shelter, food, water, clothing and enjoyment. It was their grocery store and their shopping mall and everything in between. Without a healthy land where crops were grown, animals were raised for food, wells were dug and shelter was built, their lives were devastated.
The word makes it clear that their behavior would affect the condition of the land. Hosea prophesied the word of the Lord:
There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away (Hosea 4:1-3).
Clearly when the Hebrew people began to drift away from God’s will into the ways of the world around them with its rejection of God, swearing, lying, adultery ect.. the land began to mourn and all living things were affected. To them, the wells went dry, the grocery store shelves went empty, the malls shut down and their shelters wore out and became subject to the weather. In other words, the land was sick because they were spiritually sick.
God created the human species to have dominion on planet earth. The condition of the people of God affects the condition of the earth, the land. Paul makes that clear with these well-known words:
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Rom. 8:19-21).
The creation, all of earth waits for that time when the “sons of God” will get their act together. When the people of God are placed in a land they bring blessing or a curse by their behavior. To this point America has reaped great blessing because it maintained the principles of godliness revealed by God. Now the land is beginning to get sick. It is beginning reflect the spiritual disease of the people of God. The verse in Hosea begins with “There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land” (4:1). We Christians try to defend our lives and our churches but at some point we must simply realize that there is no faithfulness or steadfast love being exhibited to that the world can see and be pointed to God. There is much doctrinal knowledge but precious little “knowledge of God in the land.”
Jesus prayed in the upper room for a love and unity to exist among His followers so “that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21). The world is affected by the presence of the “sons of God” the followers of the King. They are to look at our lives and see God and His ways. They are to see His love manifested in unity in His people.
I am no talking about unity that comes from human programs that attempt to unite the factions of worldly Christianity! I speak of the unity of Psalm 133 which speaks of the oil of God’s Spirit pouring down from Christ the Head to the body bringing the very nature of God to His church. The psalm ends with “for there the Lord has commanded the blessing” (v. 3). True spiritual unity is the work of the Holy Spirit, not the work of clever men who try to bring Christian groups together to hold hands over their manmade fences in a false portrayal of unity.
Jesus prayed “…that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you” (John 17:21). The unity of the Father and the Son that is given to His children is not the unity of human systems. It is the supernatural unity of the Godhead being expressed in people who give themselves to Him.
The religious system will probably be the force behind the uniting of “all sorts of streams and traditions throughout Christianity,” as one preacher put it. Christianity as a religion has grown so powerful in its natural strength and ability that it will think it can accomplish anything. That will result in a great apostasy and a move to aid Satan in his end time plan. God’s way is to unify His people by His Spirit in His supernatural love that cannot be emulated.
We must respond to the conditions of this verse: “…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways…” before we can expect Him to move in power. If we seek doctrines instead of prayer; if we seek entertainment instead of His face; if we seek approval to live as we please instead of turning from our wicked, independent selfish ways, then there will be no move from heaven that forgives our sins and heals our land.
God may never heal America. She may be too far gone. God may never bring healing to all of the church. He will, however, bring healing to your land if you will return to Him. Your land is the place he puts you to proclaim His message of liberty. There in your land you can become an ambassador for Him to rest of the land.
If we claim to be followers of Christ we must find a way to rise above the clutter of the age and rediscover the simplicity of following Christ apart from religious compulsion and human cleverness. I can’t tell you how to find that simplicity but I can tell you it is found in the face of Jesus when we truly return to Him from our shallow religion. He is a person and He moves through personal relationship. He wants you to know Him and let Him reveal Himself fully. Nothing will change your life more than meeting Him face to face. There before Him the healing of our land will come.