Tony Elder

Tony Elder

As we have been celebrating the founding of our nation this week, we have given thanks for our freedoms and all the blessings God has mercifully poured out on us as a people. Nevertheless we shouldn’t let our patriotism blind us to the faults of our country. We should be greatly concerned about the direction our nation and society are going. I believe we are guilty of forsaking the Lord and His Word, therefore resulting in God’s judgment looming on the horizon. However, our problematic condition is not what I’m focusing on today, but rather the hope of a solution.

There was a time when the people of Israel found themselves in similar circumstances. They had forsaken God and were facing His judgment in the form of an attack by the king of Egypt. Yet God decided to show them mercy and grant them some measure of deliverance. Why? It was attributed to the action taken by their leaders. “So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, ‘The Lord is righteous”” (II Chronicles 12:6). God held back His wrath because they humbled themselves.

Notice that humility isn’t just getting down on our knees and praying for God to deliver us from our troubles. True humility is about coming to the place of admitting, “The Lord is righteous.” It’s not enough to confess, “Lord, we need You.” We need to go further to confess, “Lord, You are righteous. You are good. Whatever you do is right. Whatever You say is right.” It means submitting to Him and saying, “Your Word is right and true, regardless of how I feel about it or how I’ve been living contrary to it. What You say in Your Word is right, regardless of what our society says and regardless of my own opinion about it. If I’ve thought or acted otherwise, I’m wrong and need to get in line with Your Word.”

This is why we’re in such a desperate condition as a nation today. We aren’t willing to set aside our pride, humble ourselves before God, and admit that He is right and righteous. We’re too set on proclaiming our own rightness or righteousness rather than that of God. The attitude of much of our society is, “God is right as long as He agrees with me. God’s Word is right only if I can make it fit in with what I believe and with how I live my life.” Many today suggest that the Lord can’t be righteous if He condemns certain practices as sin. Therefore they reinterpret His Word and try to reinvent God and Jesus. Rather than submitting to God and conforming to Him, many are insisting that God submit to them and conform to their views. That’s a far cry from a spirit of humility. It is pride manifesting itself — a spirit suggesting that we know better than God and that we’re more righteous than He is.

For our nation to turn around and for us to experience some deliverance from God’s judgment, somehow there needs to be a humbling of ourselves to this extent. I don’t know what it will take for our society to be willing to say, “What the Bible says about these issues is right. I’ve been wrong, God is right, and I’m willing to submit to His will.” It can happen, but we need the Holy Spirit to convict people of pride, soften hardened hearts, and bring them to that place of humility.

What about us? It may need to start with us. Let’s seek God’s cleansing of any such pride in our own hearts and humbly submit ourselves to Him and His Word.

The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at


I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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