The prior post (“Twillight of the Gods – Greed and Money“) mentioned increasing economic distress throughout our nation. This is for real.

I expect it will continue, though the extent to which it spreads and strengthens, and it’s impact on our international positions, are very much debatable questions.

We could be facing major tragedies in our economic life. That means major tragedies for millions of individual Americans and their families.

But we could also be moving into a time of repentance. After all, much of the corruption of the past 20-30 years has often ridden on very slim electoral or congressional majorities, in some cases on clearly stolen elections, all enforced by brutally disciplined extreme partisanship. That means a large number of us were not really behind these attitudes and actions to begin with.

Today it is very clear that a large majority of the American people have had way more than enough.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be a price to pay. The mess is big, the damage is deep, the bad patterns are well entrenched. And at least some of the people who did it – and who will defend it to the end – will still be in positions of great power.

But the Bible tends strongly to the side of hope – on condition of a change of heart, a change of direction, repentance. If there is repentance happening, and to my mind there clearly is, there is also hope – even if we cannot imagine HOW in the world we will ever get through this. Hope is most useful, perhaps, when it seems most silly. In fact we have been in bad fixes before where it seemed very unlikely we would come out on the right side of things.

16 wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds
out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong,

17 learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow
.

18 “Come now, let us reason together,”
says the LORD.
Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow
;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.

19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the best from the land;

20 but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”

For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Isaiah 1

Did you realize that the “sins” of “though your sins are like scarlet they will be as white as snow” are explicitly sins of economic exploitation, injustice within one’s own society, even bloodshed against the poor?

It is possible for a nation to repent of such things – even if the actual change of direction and of pattern may be a complex project, may take some years to get well underway, and may not be completed in our lifetimes if ever.

Still, there are wonderful promises made to such repentance.

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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7

That’s a good thing!