Read 1 Kings 16:29-19:18
“…one nation under God…” That familiar phrase from our Pledge of Allegiance described the original author’s perspective of and, I trust, every Christian’s desire for the United States.
There was a day when that phrase also described the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They had become a people identified by their submission to Yahweh God. But, as we read today in 1 Kings, a day came when it seemed they were no longer “one nation” nor “under God.”
After the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, this one nation split into two. Ten of the twelve tribes located in the north rallied together under one banner and around common kings. They retained the name “Israel.” Meanwhile, two southern tribes, referred to as “Judah,” banded together under different kings. The descendants of Jacob were no longer “one nation.”
And could it be said anymore that they were “under God?” After all, Ahab turned his back on God, married Jezebel, and invited the worship of Baal to have a primary place in the “spiritual life” of the nation of Israel.
But wait a minute…is it possible that Israel, even in her pagan pursuits, was still “under God?” For that matter, is America, in spite of her politically correct “don’t exclude any religious or atheistic leaning” approach to life, still “under God?” Is it possible that Israel was, America is, and all nations are “under God” whether that nation recognizes it or not?
That’s where Elijah enters our story. Even though the people in his day gave more attention to Baal than they did to God the Creator, God demonstrated His sovereignty over the nation by withholding rain…for three and a half years. Yep, they were under God! At the end of that time, rains came as God responded to Elijah’s prayers. To be sure, the nation was under God. When faced with a showdown between Baal and God on top of Mt. Carmel, Elijah made a laughingstock of Baal’s prophets and a spectacle of God. Indeed, Israel was under God.
Certainly, there is a difference between reality and recognition. You need not fret that America is no longer “one nation under God.” He reigns supreme. You can pray, however, that more Americans will acknowledge and submit to His supremacy.