Jeremiah and the Nations

Christians in America often make the mistake of viewing the United States as a chosen people on a par with old covenant Israel. This American exceptionalism is untrue and certainly un-Biblical. God’s nation today is the Church, which is the Israel of God.

So can we speak with any certainty of God’s judgements on individual nations, now that no particular nation is chosen by him? Is it right to consider if 9/11, Katrina or the financial meltdown might be judgements of God on our nation if we are not a chosen nation?

Jeremiah 25 indicates that God does indeed deal with nations other than just His chosen people. In this chapter, God’s word comes to Jeremiah and tells many nations that God is sending a sword against them. The group of nations mentioned is numerous. These nations will be recompensed ‘according to their deeds and the work of their hands.’

So even in the age when Israel was God’s chosen nation on the earth, the Gentile nations were held to account for their deeds. Given this, I think it is entirely appropriate to hold nations to account in our day when they embrace evil and reject the rule of Jesus the Messiah.

4 thoughts on “Jeremiah and the Nations”

  1. Joel, I’ve been working on a post on a similar topic. It’s pretty striking how American Christians explicitly or implicitly identify America as a chosen nation.

    I noticed from some of the other posts that you’ve read “America’s God” by Mark Noll. What did you think? I’ve picked it up a couple of times (and liked what I’ve read) before being overwhelmed with other things, but I should have time this summer.

  2. The phenomenon is not new, I think most Christian nations have some form of it. Holy Russia, for example, or the way that the Dutch viewed their republic during the height of Reformed hegemony. And the close identification of Rome with God’s kingdom on earth probably started it all.

    I have a few chapters left in Noll’s book! I have a really bad habit of starting things, putting them down and moving on to something else. I like the book a lot, I think it should be a must read for American Christians. All of Noll’s work is great IMO. I suggest his book along with C. Gregg Singer’s work to truly understand the outlines of our history. I find our revulsion with authority, class and tradition to be key to our problems in the US and the Church.

  3. Yeah, it seems like with the model of Israel in the OT, it would be very attractive to present, Rome, Russia, etc. as the next in line.

    I’ve found Noll’s work to be good as well. I read “Is the Reformation Over”” that came out of his engagement with Catholics and found that to be good, and I am really looking forward to finally reading “America’s God” along with Singer’s book. Thanks for the suggestion!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.