Historically and legally, there are three ways in which the political control of land is acquired or transferred: conquest, purchase, or settlement. Sovereign control is transferred when one nation settles the land (e.g., America’s westward expansion), buys it (e.g. Louisiana Purchase), or wins it in war (e.g., southwestern United States).
Transfer of land through conquest can occur as a result of a defensive war, such as Israel waged in 1948 against five Arab armies, and again in 1967 when they gained military and therefore rightful political control of all of Jerusalem and the West Bank. They are not an “occupying force,” as President Trump’s National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster falsely believes. They have the moral right to every inch of territory taken from an invading enemy.
But there is another factor in the transfer of land through conquest that has rarely been discussed, and that is the moral factor. There are times when God will bring one nation against another as a form of judgment on the utter moral collapse of the invaded nation.
God, for instance, brought the armies of Assyrian against the corrupt and idolatrous northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. In Isaiah 10:5-6, God refers to Assyria as “the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury! Against a godless nation [Israel] I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him.”
He then brought the armies of Babylon as his rod of discipline against the corrupt and idolatrous kingdom of Judah in 586 B.C. In each case, Scripture makes clear that the invading army was God’s hammer of judgment on a morally wayward nation that should have known better.
The Scriptures make it clear that nations can morally forfeit the right to maintain sovereign control over their own territory through savagery, superstition, and sexual debauchery. When a nation indulges in such practices long enough, God intervenes in judgment, usually by bringing stronger nations in to transfer control of the land through conquest. Who can doubt that the Allied Armies of World War II were God’s rod of wrath against the Nazis for their genocidal treatment of God’s chosen people?
When God brought Abraham into the land of promise, he declared to Abraham that the entire land of Canaan would one day belong to Abraham’s descendants. But the transfer of land to his heirs could not happen for 400 years, for one simple reason: “[T]he iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete” (Genesis 15:16).
The Amorites, or Canaanite peoples, practiced one moral abomination after another, whether incest, adultery, sexual immorality, homosexuality, bestiality or child sacrifice, and God finally said, “Enough!”
By the time he brought Joshua and the warriors of the nascent nation of Israel to the borders of Canaan, he had already been patient with the native peoples for 400 years, waiting for them to come to the place of repentance for their socially and spiritually degrading practices.
His patience was not rewarded, and finally, the day came when their sin had reached its full measure. The slop bucket was full, and it was time to empty it out. Israel under Joshua was God’s custodian to empty the bucket and start over.
God explained that because of the “abomination(s)” of the indigenous Canaanite tribes, the land had become unclean and “vomited out its inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:25) as if the soil itself had been made physically sick through moral toxicity. Time eventually ran out for the Canaanites as they exhausted God’s patience by filling up the full measure of their iniquity.
But God wasn’t finished. He warned the ancient nation of Israel not to lapse into the abominable practices of the native peoples “lest the land vomit you out … as it vomited out the nation that was before you” (Leviticus 18:28). Israel could suffer the same fate for the same reasons.
America in 2017 is as guilty of “abominations” as the people of Canaan. We have the blood of almost 60 million babies on our hands through abortion. We have normalized sexual immorality, adultery, and homosexuality – all horrors in the eyes of God – and are witnessing a surge in incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and even necrophilia in our midst.
We honored notorious pedophile Harvey Milk by putting his face on a postage stamp, and we have so exalted the mental disorder of transgenderism that we are now punishing parents who dare to protect their children from its tragic deception.
This leaves a burning question: How much time does America have left to repent of its superstition, its savagery, and its sexual deviancy and debauchery before it is too late, before we will have filled up our own slop bucket and will have morally disqualified ourselves from sovereign control of our own land?
We have welcomed the worship of pagan gods into our land and have insisted that our people adjust to their traditions, beliefs, and practices rather than the other way around. The slop bucket is filling up.
The key to our national security is not a bigger military but a profound national repentance. It is our sin which has made us vulnerable because through our sin, we are forfeiting any claim on God’s protection for our land. Only our repentance can make us strong again.
We can empty the slop bucket through repentance or the day will come when God will empty it for us. The only question that matters today is this one: How much time does America have left to repent of its superstition, its savagery, and its sexual immorality before it is too late, before we will have filled up our own slop bucket and will have morally disqualified ourselves from sovereign control of our own land?
Perhaps, God forbid, the pagan armies of Allah will be the rod of God’s wrath on the United States today, as the pagan armies of ancient Babylon were the rod of His wrath in the days of Ezekiel.
Thomas Jefferson wrote at the time of the Founding, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” It is long past time for all of us to tremble once again.