Recently; I have been reminded that to live 'coram Deo', or before the Face of God, is to live a life in obedience to His commands, the imperatives of the Covenant that He has made with us through Jesus Christ. We, as Christians, or followers of Jesus the Christ, have willingly and knowingly entered into the bonds of this Covenant, and based upon our obedience or disobedience to that Covenant, reap the benefits, the just deserts of that Covenant, either the blessings or the curses. You can find these laid out most famously in Deuteronomy 28.
As in the original 'Garden', as recorded in Genesis 2; we all seek to live 'coram Deo', or at least we should! Too many of us, and maybe especially in America ( though other countries are not immune ), do not live as before the Face, or in the Presence of God. We have allowed, and in some cases, joined in, the murder of millions of helpless innocents! The statistics are horrifyingly astounding; The Guttmacher Institute, in a study completed in August of 2011, according to Pro-Life Action League, found that 'Since the legalization of abortion in 1973, there have been approximately 50 million abortions performed in the United States.' And through it all, we, as American Christians, expect God to bless us with His Presence, and to shine His Face upon this once-Christian nation. According to this same study, over 18,000 babies are murdered yearly, even after they have reached and in many cases, passed their 21st week! And we expect the blessings of the Covenant when we allow such atrocity to persevere?!
God told the Edomites, who were persecuting His people; 'Because you have had an ancient hatred, and have shed [ the blood of ] the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, [ when ] their iniquity [ came to an ] end, therefore, [ as ] I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you.' Although our situation is arguably somewhat different; I believe that the principle stands true; we, as a nation, have not repented of, and turned from the shedding of this blood, and I believe that it is overly evident that bloodshed has pursued this nation, much as this nation has herself, pursued bloodshed!
Abortion is not the only area in which this nation has not shied away from bloodshed. The hijacking of several different airliners, and the subsequent crashing of two of them into the Trade Towers in New York City on September 11th, 2001 is without doubt, probably the most memorable, and memorialized, events to happen within our borders, in recent history. In this tragic scenario; thousands of 'innocents', including the passengers of the planes ( not to mention the sequential event in Washington, DC ) lost their lives, and many more were tragically altered forever when rescuers attempted, to varying degrees of success, to 'rescue the perishing', to save what they could out of this horrible mess! Without launching into a tirade, here, about what might have prompted such a terrorist action, or even who may have been involved; let me just suggest that it might have been avoided.
Not long after these horrible events transpired; our illustrious ( and 'Christian' ) president, at the time, took it upon himself to embroil our nation and its valuable resources in the supposed 'War on Terror'; a police action which has shed the blood of countless Americans, as well as those of other nationalities, and has cost, besides those lives which could have been better spent protecting our own borders, millions, and likely even billions of dollars!
With all this blood on our hands, can we, should we really expect God to bless us? If you are at all familiar with the writings of Scripture; you know that such a scenario is entirely possible, even promised, but there is only one way that judgment can be turned from an adverse one, one of cursing ( more bloodshed ) into one of blessing. God told us, in II Chronicles 7:14; 'If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land'. This, you can be dead certain of, is THE ONLY way that this disaster may be averted; national repentance! If this nation, as a whole, turns from the murder of innocent babies, and repents of many of their wicked and detestable policies, both foreign and domestic, which have led to the loss of, not only many innocent, but many righteous lives, then maybe we can expect God to shine His fair face on our beloved country, once again.
Let us begin to live 'coram Deo', and honoring God and His Covenant; lead this nation back from the brink of disaster!
Charles Haddon Shank