The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee saying, wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, thus saith the Lord God; behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
These words of Ezekiel were directed to a broken and divided nation. The major difference that divided them was idolatry. The northern ten tribes were the first to wander away from God and his teachings. The southern kingdom of Judah remained faithful for another 100 years. This divided kingdom made both kingdoms weaker. The first kingdom to fall to foreign domination was the first one to abandon God. When the naiton of Judah followed the nation of Israel in their moral decline, they fell into the hands of their enemies.
Another biblical writer stated, "The nation that forgets God will be turned into hell." There has always been diversity in the population of nations and this diversity has lead to the strengthening of a people. A problem occurs when the different fields of thought lose respect and love for each other.
If loyalty to God continues to be the central focus of a nation, then respect and caring for one another will continue to be a guiding principle for the people. America has always had different views in both religion and politics. With religion, the early period of westward movement was accompanied by what was known as union churches where several denominations would have a designated Sunday each month where their minister would be the preacher for that date. Sunday School literature was rotated among the various denominations. It did not matter what minister was preaching on a given Sunday, members of the other denominations would attend.
There was a time in America when people voted for the person rather than what political party they belonged to. We are seeing a decline in that attidude today.
By Glen Sage, Interim Minister
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