They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshiping YHWH, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did. – 2 Kings 17:40-41
After the Israelites were conquered by the Assyrians, they were deported and scattered among all the ethnicities of that pagan nation. In order to repopulate Samaria (from where they had been taken), the Assyrians sent idolaters from other regions and forced them to live there. These “new” Samaritans only came to “worship” YHWH (the God of Israel) out of fear that they would be wiped out otherwise. As a people, they were very syncretistic in their beliefs and accepted almost any form of religion. In other words, they professed a fear of God, but continued to love their idols.
The United States’ founding fathers certainly feared God. A perusal of their writings reveals many references to the Almighty and the need for His providential care; however, rare are the references to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the need for a personal relationship with Him. As a result, many in our country today might agree to the existence of an Almighty Deity, but like the Samaritans of old, their “fear” or respect of God does not translate into belief and trust in Christ. They maintain, in some cases, a semblance of faith, but lack any power to live it.
It is an unfortunate truth that many (even popular preachers) believe a “nation” can be revived. Where there is no Jesus, there is no life; therefore, there can be no “re-vival.” America has never “lived.” Christ’s church within her once did, and can again, but the path back is not through party or politics. It is through the hard work of conviction, contrition, and repentance. If we truly desire a change in our nation, then we must make much of Christ again in His church.
If revival is being withheld from us it is because some idol remains still enthroned; because we still insist on placing our reliance in human schemes; because we still refuse to face the unchangeable truth that, “It is not by might, but by My Spirit.” – Jonathan Goforth