Scripture on Divine Judgment

Yesterday’s first reading from Genesis 18:16-33 about Abraham’s prayer for Sodom sheds light on, and to some degree qualifies, what I wrote in my last blog about the prospect of severe judgment on America and the Christian West.

The story of Abraham’s intercession illustrates God’s readiness to withhold judgment on the wickedness of many for the sake of a few who are righteous.

In fact, there is still a great deal of Christian faith and faithfulness in the United States that might preserve this country from judgment for awhile. Although many among our political, educational, media, and entertainment elites and ordinary people whose conduct resembles Rom 1:18-32, still there are many  whose conduct shows love of God.

A battle is raging for the soul of our country. Although the trends don’t look great, it’s probably a mistake to write off America for destruction just yet, even if severe warning judgments may be expected.

From a biblical perspective, it’s interesting to see how long God is willing to wait before bringing definitive judgment to bear. Abraham is told that his descendants will not receive Canaan until the fourth generation, since “the iniquity of the Amorites is not complete” (Gen 15:16). Amos prophesies doom on Israel 30 years before it descends in 722 BC. Micah and Isaiah prophesy the destruction of Judah 150 years before Babylon destroys Jerusalem and exiles the people in 586 B.C. Along the way Hezekiah and Josiah bring reforms that stay God’s hand (2 Kings 18-20; 22-23); the repentance of even the most wicked kings like Ahab (1 Kings 21:27-29) and Manasseh (2 Chron 33:11-19) delays the outcome.

The truth is, we don’t know how much time is left to America and the Christian West.  A major cultural change for the worse, when judged by the standard of obedience to God’s word in Scripture and Tradition, began in the 1960’s with the sexual revolution, legalized abortion, and atmosphere of rebellion against and denial of God, followed by the rampant consumerism of the period that followed.  We’ve had about fifty years of heading in the wrong direction.  How long will America and the West be allowed to continue?  The judgment that comes on Sodom and Gomorrah teaches that God will eventually deal with those who persist in doing evil.

Nevertheless, this story also sets before us the magnanimity of Abraham, who boldly pleads with God to spare Sodom if even ten righteous people  can be found there. Let us also intercede for America and on the other nations of the West, that God treat them and us according to his mercy rather than according to what we deserve.

More on the biblical perspective on divine judgment later this week or next!

First, we have the example of the righteousness and magnanimity of Abraham, who boldly pleads with God for mercy on Sodom if even ten righteous people (the NAB’s “innocent” is less precise) can be found there. We also should intercede for America and on the other nations of the West, praying for God’s mercy for the sake of the just men and women who stand to suffer greatly if North America receives what it deserves.

Comments

  1. Could you all fix your blogsite so that the proper author can be recognized to his or her posting?

    Thanks.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

    • Peter S. Williamson says:

      Sorry, Tito, some comments are obviously posting okay. Can you try again and then, if it doesn’t work, explain where it goes wrong? Thanks.

      • P Forsling says:

        Sounds like Tito is referring to the author of the blog piece, not the commenter.

  2. At least one of the prophets foretold that the nations who hated Israel and treated it harshly would be punished by a failure of fecundity in their females. Isn’t that what is happening in Russia, the West and the United States. The difference being that now the women and their abetors destroy their own fecundity or the fruit thereof. It is also interesting to note that the Checz Republic is the only Western nation to outlaw abortion. Russia is making belated attempts to stem the demise of its civilization but not out any sense of repentence. Will such questionable intentions be blessed, can you turn around the moral depravity of a people to save secularism?

    • Peter S. Williamson says:

      Hi LInus,

      Thanks for your comment. I don’t recall a prophetic text that speaks of judgment through the Lord hindering fertility, although I don’t doubt you. If you can find it, I’d be interested.

      Meanwhile, to respond to your question, I think if people stop doing evil even for inadequate reasons, it does them good, delaying if not averting judgment.

      Shalom!

      Peter S. Williamson Sacred Heart Major Seminary Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture http://speakingofscripture.wordpress.com/. To follow blog, click email button in left column.

  3. Shut… up.

    I am so tired of you false prophets pulling on the strings of sensationalism, half-truths and apocalpyticism.

    Adhere to the Catholic Church’s teaching on God!

    • You need help brother.

    • Peter S. Williamson says:

      Hey Nick,

      I edited your comment to make it PG like the rest of the blog.

      If you’re willing, how about making a reasoned argument regarding what you disagree with? I appreciate honest dialog.

      Shalom,

      peter

      Peter S. Williamson Sacred Heart Major Seminary Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture http://speakingofscripture.wordpress.com/. To follow blog, click email button in left column.

  4. David Carlon says:

    I agree with Linus… since the atheist / bolshevik revolution of 1917 there have been over 1 BILLION abortions worldwide. A genocide of such magnitude has consequences for mankind. We live in another era of “evil is good and good is evil.” The planet is dying. Our political, military, business, and most religious leaders lack wisdom… and it isn’t a stretch to state they are flat out stupid… a generation of educated but stupid morons. The signs are everywhere… too many to list here.

    • Peter S. Williamson says:

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your comment. So given the mess we’re in, what would Jesus do? What is he doing?

      peter

      Peter S. Williamson Sacred Heart Major Seminary Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture http://speakingofscripture.wordpress.com/. To follow blog, click email button in left column.

  5. On a side note, the new edition of the NABRE uses ‘righteous’ in Gen 18 instead of the original NAB’s ‘innocent’. A good change.

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