Things sure look different these days. The United States of America that I have grown up in has drastically changed. Our standard as a nation has been in decline for a long time.
The word “standard” is really a broad term in our language and understanding. According to Merriam-Webster.com, it means: “Something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example.”
“Synonyms: bar, barometer, benchmark, criterion, grade, mark, measure, par, touchstone and yardstick.”
In the context of this article, it is a noun.
Its meaning applies to every sector of business; construction; medical care; law and governance; health issues; and how food is prepared in grocery stores, restaurants, hotels and resorts.
There are standard safety features in the car you drive, depending on what year it is. I can remember the collective groan from my parents when all new cars in 1964 were equipped with seat belts.
Journalism has a code of ethics, too; it is a rather large list. Frankly, I was very surprised at the list. It was very understandable though, even to a regular person like myself. The most outstanding ethic to me was truth-telling in journalism. That would mean—don’t lie in your reporting.
Measurements are standard – and have been so for a very long time. Our currency system used to be backed with gold and silver. I’m sure you remember that, before fiat currency, legal tender was backed by the gold standard or silver standard, or both.
As a nation, what is our standard? Well, if a standard is set by authority, which it is by definition, then the Constitution of the United States of America, along with our Bill of Rights, is our rule or standard to live and be governed by. Let’s look at the preamble to the U.S. Constitution:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and to our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Source: constitutionus.com.
We have a really great Constitution and Bill of Rights.
They were set in place to secure our rights and our liberties, for every single citizen. The amendments were set in place to protect and establish a nation free from tyrannical rule.
But as good as the Constitution and Bill of Rights are, it is only as good as those who uphold it. Just like a house made of brick and mortar: the brick being symbolic of the standard, and the mortar representing a moral code that holds everything together—the moral code being faith in God, belief in His Son, Jesus Christ, and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
This mortar, or moral code, comes from God. There is no other way to attain it.
Here are a few observations of what I see in America today:
We are not living in the kind of nation our founding fathers had hoped for us. We are very far away from it.
Simple pleasures that God has given us are simply not enough. We are a driven culture for pleasure, even if it brings us to a place where we forget God.
Our constitutionally granted freedoms are being assaulted daily. What was once the right thing to do is now being questioned. The laws of the land are changing. It’s okay to kill an unborn child, but not to protect oneself or our families.
Abortion marches on. It continues to be the absolute worst sin of our nation and times. Don’t agree with me? Check the abortion clock. It can be found at these websites:
- US Abortion Clock.org
This is absolutely sickening—adding to the abortion totals every second!
Truth is being removed, along with God, and we are paying the price. Prayer in public schools was removed in 1962 when my husband and I were young children.
Freedom of speech has been stifled; guest speakers and lecturers with a leftist/socialist view are the only ones allowed to speak on a college campus.
Propaganda is continuing in our mainstream media; truth is removed and a lie is propped up in its place.
Marriage and family has been in moral decline, with values being attacked daily. The family and family unit are not upheld in honor. The womb of a woman is no longer a safe or sacred place. Natural affections and family togetherness are dictated by pop culture.
We make laws that are not upheld or enforced. The current administration is trying to restore and uphold immigration laws, but it has been an ongoing, uphill battle for our new president. Open borders have, in effect, made us a lawless nation. Sanctuary cities are hiding criminals – the local and state leaders aiding and abetting millions of them.
Our walls of protection have been breached.
The enemies to our way of life and our Judeo-Christian heritage are now entrenched in our government. It has been a real fight to take back just a few of these areas since President Trump was elected.
How did we get here?
And, how do we get back—back to a standard of goodness and righteousness?
Where do we start?
There was king that lived a very long time ago. He was a wicked king, and the great city he ruled was just as wicked. The city was huge, a three day journey on foot from one end to the other. The circumference measured approximately 60 miles. It was the capital city of the Assyrian Empire – Nineveh.
A prophet of God was sent to Nineveh, twice to be exact. He got scared and took a detour on the first try. He ended up being swallowed by a great fish and spent three days in his belly. The fish expelled him, and he got another chance to go directly to Nineveh with God’s word of judgment for the sins of the city. The prophet of God was Jonah.
The warning of judgment reached the people and the king by way of Jonah.
“Then the word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself in sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles saying, let neither man nor beast, herd or flock taste anything; do not let them eat or drink water, and cry mightily to God, yes, and let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent and turn away His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?
“Then God saw their works; that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He said He would bring upon them; and He did not do it” (Jonah 3:6-10, NKJV).
This is a beautiful story of citywide repentance. This is a capital city in a Gentile nation that does not know God or His ways.
Let’s break down this story of repentance for deeper insight.
* The word came to the king, and he arose from his throne.
* He hears and responds with humility. He is the king and moves away from his throne. He immediately assumes a humble posture, being humbled by God’s decree delivered by Jonah.
* He laid aside his robe.
Our clothes represent our spiritual condition. Clothes can represent self-righteousness or righteousness found in Christ. He needed God’s righteousness here, for himself and for his city. He must remove his royal dress first to repent of his wickedness.
Covered himself in sackcloth.
He now has put on scratchy clothes, the exact opposite of royal attire. This represents his need and spiritual poverty.
* He sits down in ashes.
Ashes represent ruin and mourning. He is abased in his sin and the sin of his great city. Only God can remedy this situation. The king identifies with his sin in hope that God will have mercy.
* He sends word to his people, both spoken and written, to fast both food and water; including all the animals, and to cry out for God’s mercy – that he would relent in his destruction.
He leads by example here and unifies the city in his repentance.
The Lord sees the repentance, and thus turns back from his judgment. Mercy has been given and Nineveh is spared.
History books tell us that after this time the violent expansionism of the Assyrian Empire ceased for approximately eighty years. The fruit of repentance? I think so. True repentance yields good fruit, and with it, change.
I share this biblical account as it is the key to our nation and its survival. This applies to all nations, every tongue, tribe and people.
This is where we start to return to our standard, with repentance – individual and nationwide repentance. Our nation has a great need. Our decline seems to be speeding up, in my observation. We are also at the close of the church age. The rapture is at hand and the urgency to return to God in Christ has never been clearer.
In these end times, the standard is fallen because we need God in order to hold it up.
We can’t do it without Him. If the wicked king of Nineveh repented, along with an entire city—so can we.
If you are a Christian, as I am, then we are all the standard-bearers in these end times. We are to lift high the perfect one, the standard of the person of Jesus Christ. By the power of the Holy Spirit in us, we can do this.
“So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19).
“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 will I hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).