I’m sure this is great news for all of us! I found the United States of America in the Bible.
Well, to some of us it may not be good news. After all, if your nation is not described in the Bible, then your nation is not accountable to God, right? It’s like traffic court: the best defense is a good technicality.
But getting back to America being in the Bible. I was amazed that we are mentioned in the Old Testament, of all places. Yeah, that’s a long time ago! But as I read this passage, the personalities that emerged were from America, today.
You will need a little background from before and after the scene. Here it is: Jeremiah the prophet got a word from God telling him to grab a scribe and write down God’s concerns about the current government – and then have it read to the king.
The scroll gets written and makes its way to the king’s scribes, who will have to read it to the king. They delay. Colder weather is approaching. The king moves to his winter quarters and has a nice fire built. He assembles his key advisers to hear God’s complaints. He orders an assistant to get the scroll (roll). Here is the passage from Jeremiah 36:
21 So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king.
22 Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.
23 And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he (the king) cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.
You can attach whatever names you like around America’s current political personages, but isn’t this scene just so 2013? The election is over. The opposition party has fallen silent. Ninety percent of the media are a cheering squad for more, more, more. And the only one still complaining about the government is God.
I personally picture Barry in a smoking jacket, lounging in an overstuffed, red velvet chair, cigarette in hand, smoke circling up toward the rafters. Eric the Just is passing around a pile of white powder, heaped on the latest drone kill list. Dirty Harry brings greetings from the state legislatures and casino owners, while he sips his pocket flask of whiskey. And John the Gofer, representing we the people in our new role, bows and fetches whatever the other princes ask, constantly updating a list of the new taxes needed to pay for it all.
Jeremiah sums up the result at the end of Chapter 38, before going into more detail: “So Jeremiah abode in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken: and he was there when Jerusalem was taken.”
In the event you don’t like Old Testament drama, Proverbs provides this more intellectual summary of the event:
“They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them” (Proverbs 1:30-32 KJV).
To paraphrase, “Every day, in every way, we are more and more the same.” After I read this, I understood why the Bible is truly a timeless book. Well … until the end of time, anyway.