Pride and Deceit

I vividly remember thinking the United States was about to undergo change the moment I heard Bill Clinton’s comments about his relationship (or lack thereof) with Monica Lewinsky. His statements gave life to behaviors and thoughts that are still very prevalent among young teenagers today (I’m not going to restate what he said in case there are children reading this). Ask most teenagers what accomplishments Clinton had while in the White House and they will most likely stare at you without a response. However, if you ask them what he is most known for, they can repeat his words verbatim.
While the country was then in the early stages of a moral free-fall, the Oval Office found itself in a deep mess—a symbol of how our country was slowly undergoing its own defilement. Fast forward to the current elections and we are living one big reality show as the election edges closer. It is utterly sad, and in most cases, not appropriate for young eyes to see or hear.
Most will say, “We aren’t sure how we ended up here. These two candidates are not who we thought would be on the ticket.” Yet, they are.
Although some will say not to over-spiritualize things, I’ve been reading through the book of Jeremiah, and I find it both comforting and disturbing in light of the political state of the United States. It is disturbing because we should know better, but I am also comforted, as a believer in Jesus Christ, because God still reigns. His love never fails, and it is His love that is pleading with us to return to Him.
Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet.” He wore his heart on his sleeve and wasn’t embarrassed by it. He didn’t want to answer the call God placed on his life as a teenager. He didn’t feel qualified enough to speak the things of God to the people. Yet, God had created Jeremiah for that purpose and for that time. He was to rely on God as God gave him the words to speak to the people of Israel and Judah. God wanted Jeremiah to speak words of conviction and warning. God desperately wanted the people of Israel and Judah to stop doing wrong and admit they were making mistakes. He promised to spare a remnant, but God would have loved to have all of them repent. Sadly, very few repented in Jeremiah’s time and destruction eventually came.
While Jeremiah was referring to Judah and Israel’s worship of idols (including all that went along with idol worship…sacrifices to many gods and murder of their own children), our two presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, fall in line with some of the issues Jeremiah was addressing. More specifically, if you had to classify Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in one word each, I would say that Trump represents “Pride” and Clinton represents “Deceit.” Neither is a character trait that glorifies God.
We know how much God detests pride. Proverbs 8:13 states, “All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.” God isn’t too fond of deceit either. God said in Jeremiah 8:5, “Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return.”
Jeremiah was tormented for what God told him to speak. People hated him and they abused him (Jeremiah 20:7–10). To me, the worst torture to Jeremiah’s tender heart was the words uttered by God to Jeremiah. On several occasions, God told Jeremiah not to pray for the people (Jeremiah 7:16, 11:14, and 14:11). God so knew the condition of the hearts of the people that He knew nothing was going to change their hearts. Jeremiah cried. God wanted Jeremiah to warn the people, but unlike in times past, God wasn’t offering a second chance. He was giving them the play-by-play as to what was about to unfold.
Listen and pay attention. Don’t be too proud because the Lord has spoken to you. Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings darkness and before you slip and fall on the dark hills. You hope for light but he will turn it into thick darkness; he will change it into deep gloom. If you don’t listen to him, I will cry secretly because of your pride. I will cry painfully, and my eyes will overflow with tears, because the Lord’s people will be captured (Jeremiah 13:15–17, NCV).

I feel like I am living in Jeremiah’s time.
The Israelites needed to be obedient in the things God had told them to do and He would provide everything else. Yet time and time again, the Israelites failed to obey His commands, and in some instances, completely failed to acknowledge their sin when they were caught. God is speaking to us, citizens of the United States, as He is the one who has placed “Pride” and “Deceit” on center stage for us. However, instead of looking inwardly, we are looking at these two candidates to be perfect, moral people when we, if we are honest, wouldn’t do so well if they opened up some of our closets and exposed our skeletons.
What we need to worry about more is whether the leader we are going to elect will be one who fears the God who can destroy nations, admits past sin and stands for life and liberty in this nation. There is no third candidate right now, and we have never had a coup in this country. A statement of lack of support or endorsement is ambiguous and dangerous, especially for leaders. A third party write-in vote only hurts us all. It won’t count because there will be far too many third parties written in. Am I sorry that this is what we have to choose from? Yes, I am. I am sorry for what it means for our country as the world watches our trash being tossed around for everyone to see. I am sorry that our country looks like a really bad reality show. I am embarrassed for our country and I am shamed by it…much like Jeremiah was for his people.
Bobbie Houston, the wife of Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong, recently said, “I’m not American, but we really do need some divine intervention here. The world needs a stable America.” I think it was similar during Jeremiah’s time. Jeremiah needed divine intervention and he craved stability within the Israelite people. As God was giving the prophecy about the judgment against evil kings to Jeremiah, God said this:
People from many nations will pass by this city and ask each other, “Why has the Lord done such a terrible thing to Jerusalem, this great city?” And the answer will be: “Because the people of Judah quit following the agreement with the Lord their God. They worshiped and served other gods” (Jeremiah 22:8–9, NCV).

Honestly, let’s just remove the word “Jerusalem” here and fill in “America.” What are people going to say about our nation? This race is about so much more than two people. It’s about Americans looking at ourselves in the mirror and saying, “What part do I play in the Pride and Deceit that is plaguing America? Am I so proud to think I can do life alone without the grace and favor of God? Can we remain as a country without God in the center? Will He allow our pride to consume us like a fire? How am I unfaithful or deceitful to God? How has our country been deceitful and unfaithful to God?”
Through the prophet Jeremiah, God presented the people of Judah with their sin. But according to God, the people were very stubborn, wouldn’t listen to a word He said, and would continue to do what they wanted (Jeremiah 18:12, 19:15). In the final moment before God scattered the Israelites, God would say, “At that awful time they will not see me coming to help them; they will see me leaving” (Jeremiah 18:17). These people were not changing their hearts no matter what and as a consequence, God was leaving them because they had already left Him. I pray that God does not leave this country and cause us to be scattered and/or have our enemies destroy this place. What a burden for our children and the generations to come.

Why did God give other nations an opportunity to repent before destruction, but didn't allow it this time? Because He is God. I don't know if God will respond to our prayers for help or if we are so far gone that He needs to start over, but I will keep praying. Maybe this election is ushering in the return of Jesus Christ. What I do trust is that He is in control and my thoughts and actions need to be in line with His thoughts and commands. Just as in theology, I need to focus on the majors, not the minors. What is completely egregious in the sight of God? Death of children. Throughout the book of Jeremiah, God mentioned how He just didn't understand how people could kill their own children. America, are we suffering the consequences of the blood that is on our hands? Are we so proud that we play God when we choose what to do with a life, and so unfaithful to Him that we don't care if we break His heart? Can we elect someone as president for the next four years who says it is okay to do something that God doesn't even understand? I pray we don't.
“But if a nation will not listen to my message, I will pull it up completely and destroy it,” says the Lord (Jeremiah 12:17).
***Curious about the number of abortions that have taken place just since you've read this blog? Click HERE for a live counter. I think the numbers will shock you.

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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Joy - October 13th, 2016 at 8:09pm

Thank you. I agree completely. %uD83D%uDE22

Priscilla - October 13th, 2016 at 9:53pm

Very well said!