Have you ever thought WHY this nation was birthed? Have you ever thought WHO was behind those Pilgrams as they practically "Dog Paddled" the Mayflower across the Atlantic? Once I went to view one of the few original manuscripts of the Declaration of Independance. As I looked at that print and those autographs I got to thinking---way behind all that ink on paper was the invisable hand of Jesus! Well, listen! If there's ever been a time when we need a touch from the invisable hand of Jesus--it would be such a time as this we're living in now! The invisable hand of Jesus is seen through the visable church! And folks, America needs the church---in a bad way!! Proverbs 14: 34 says that "righteousness exalteth a nation!" Only a righteous church can lift this nation up! And listen! God's ears and eyes are not focused on the White House! Rather they are focused on the Church House! He works through the Church House so that the Church House can influence the White House! There's a few dangers the church can call America's attention to. Psalm 80 is a plea from the nation of Israel. A plea for God to "turn" their nation around. Verse 4 says that God was mad at them! Not only that but verse 6 says that Israel's neighbors were also mad at them! Its something--folks--for both your foe and your friend to be mad at you! Just like America! Do you think God is pleased with the Democrats? With the Republicans? Listen, they both need to repent and fall on their faces before Almighty God!! Do you think God is able to put His "Amen" of approval on some of the Supreme Court decisions made recently?? Do you think that God would want any CEO doing business with Him--who would "hoodwink" American investors and milk billions of dollars from company shareholders??!! If I think anything like God thinks--I'd think not!! Its no wonder God isn't any madder at America than He is right now!!!! Look at verse 6 of Ps. 80! "And our enemies LAUGH among themselves!"(emphasis mine) Back in WW2--Hitler made the comment that his "Brown Shirts" could beat up American "Boy Scouts" any time of the day! And the German citizens just laughed and laughed--they thought that was funny! But Americans got their hearts right with God after that and WE SEE WHO'S FLAG IS STILL FLYIN' IN THE WIND, DON'T WE!!!! But what about here recently? Everyone remembers 9-1-1!! And the World Trade Centers, don't we? Did you notice the cameras focused on the enemy behind the tragedy---and they were just laughin' and laughin', weren't they?? How about when those US troops were killed over in Somilia and their dead corpses were paraded through the streets there?? and all the citizens were dancin' and partying and haveing a jolly good time!! Verse 7-11 is a plea. I think also that it can be a prayer of the church can can bring cleansing to America. Its not a plea, "Lord! Make us what we USE to be!" but rather its a plea, "LORD! Make us what we NEED to be! Make us what YOU intended us to be all along! Make US what YOU need us to be so that we can make America what she needs to be!" Psalm 80: 12-16 speaks of certain dangers from within, without, and above that will push any nation to the breaking point! (1) The External Danger v. 12 There are certain hedges of protection that God plants or places upon people. Job had a hedge of protection upon him, remember?? The Israelite farmer would plant vineyards and then would surround those vineyards with hedges that would protect the vineyards from outside invasion/theft. The farmer would think--"The same way these hedges protect my crop is the same way God is protecting me!" Did you know, America isn't safe anymore from the outside?? You can be sitting wherre you are right now and somebody from the other side of the world can somehow get into your computer and rob you from the other side of the world. Folks living in London can rob somebody living in New York City and visa versa!! Trade secrets can be stolen! Military secrets aren't secret for long!! During WW2--volunteers manned lookout stations on top of the Empire State Building watching for airplanes that never came! Nowadays, a foreigner can comendeer a jetliner and fly it a few miles and cause major disaster!! (2) The Internal Danger (v. 13) Now these verses are speaking figuratlvely--but figures in the Bible always point to reality!! It's bad enough that the enemy can come in and steal--what's worse is when wild hogs follow behind and finish it off!! I can't put a figure on the #'s but I wondered--when that group of "crazies" flew those jetliners in to the WTC's---at the same time that was happening--at the same time the enemy was percing the skin of those buildings---how many other robberies, rapes, and murders were taking place at the same time!!?? Just watching those planes collide with those buildings should have been enough for every "Bonnie and Clyde" of America to "return back four fold!!!!!" And there are other "wild hogs" out there! The wild hog of alcohol! The wild hog of pornography! The wild hog of abortion. These wild hogs will waste your family! They will ruin your career! They will destroy your marriage! (3) The Eternal Danger (vs. 14-16) Now, God can be our best friend! But if we don't watch it, He can also be our worst enemy! Oftentimes we look to God for blessings! The Pilgrams on the Mayflower could give testamony something like, "The Lord God planted us here! His right arm preserves us!" But verse 16 also says that oftentimes God will ax down the very trees He planted! He can be our worst enemy--but dear friend, He is our only hope!! What are we to do? How can the church be the visable hand of invisable Jesus?? How can we steer America back on to the "Straight and Narrow?!" We can: 1. Look Up (v. 19) Keep our eyes on Jesus! Study His word! Stay in His word! Saturate ourselves in His word! 2. Confess Up 1John 1:9 is written for the church! You see, God's word says that judgment must begin at the house of God. and I kinda figure--if judgement must begin there--then confession must begin there! It isn't up to the White House to begin confessing! Its up to the Church House! You get a church house confessing---you'll see a White House confessing---but it'll never be the other way around!! (3) Speak Up Ps 80:17 says that there is hope in the Son of Man! The Psalmist is looking by faith--forward through the corridor of time to the point where Jesus is here!! Matthew 10: 32 says that we are to "Profess" Jesus before man! At work! At school! At play! At all times! (4) Stand up verse 19 says, "Turn us again, O Lord God" Listen, America! The very God who caused the Philistine hearts to MELT before David and Israel can have you, too, to stand like David before the giant!---and whoever you are---and whereever you live---while you live there---stand there for Jesus!! Amen???