Peoples, Not Just People

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When we gather to worship the Lord, we are crying out to Him. He is God, and we are the worshipers. He is the one who bestows, and we are the supplicants. He is the Savior, and we are those who need to be saved. He is the Deliverer, and we must be delivered. He is the one who rises up to scatter His enemies, and we are the ones surrounded by those enemies.

All this is true for individuals, and we go to Heaven, or to Hell, by ones. We must each of us be converted to God, or we remain in our unbelief under the wrath of God. Every individual conversion provides, in microcosm, a picture of what the Lord does. The individual who is being brought to salvation is brought to the point, as happened to the prodigal son, of repentantly detesting the pig food that he had been reduced to desiring. This is all true, and good, and glorious. Individuals repent and individuals are saved.

Unfortunately, we have somehow forgotten that cultures need to be brought to repentance in much the same way. We have forgetten that peoples need Jesus, not just people. Societies descend to the level of pig food, and not just individuals. We have forgotten that the prodigal son was not just an archtype for wayward teenage sons, but was also a vivid image of Israel in exile, given over to filthy living in a “far country.” That wayward teenage boy needs to return to his Father. But so does America.

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