Woe to the Land Shadowing With Wings ... Bob Moore

Jesus said, "Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required" (Luke 12:48). God expects those receiving His blessings to act more responsibly than those not receiving His favor. Jesus illustrated this principle in his parable of the talents. He who received the one talent was condemned for not using it. His talent was taken away and given to the person producing the most from the talents given by the Lord.

When God gave the Hebrews the land of Canaan, He expected them to build a holy nation on it. They were required to live separate from Babylonish ways. Achan disobeyed and was executed for simply keeping some coins and a garment he found. Samson lost his divinely-given strength when he violated his Nazarite oath and cut his hair. Saul forfeited his right to rule Israel because he brought Agag, king of the Ama1ekites, home as a slave instead of executing him after his defeat.

God has blessed America. He has graced its land with productive soil so its citizens might not know want. He has favored its industry with success so that its people might enjoy prosperity. He has crowned its laws with justice so that its residents might not know oppression. He has magnified its devotion so that believers might know Him. He directed its colonization, guided its formation, and established its course. When its leaders sought His help, He inspired them. When its inhabitants begged His protection, He delivered them.

God blessed America for a reason. He has a plan for our nation. One of its divine purposes is to gather a remnant of Jacob under its banner. The liberty, bounty and protection He gave America were partly to help it attract, sustain, and evangelize descendants of the northern nation of Israel. Some of them have already gathered under its banner. Their roots reach to Scythia, the first place to which Ephraim was exiled. Others may wait their gathering. God provided the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States so its citizens could have sufficient liberty to assemble descendants of Jacob and instruct them in righteousness.

The reason God scattered Israel was that it hardened its heart and worshiped stones. When He gathers them in the last days, He will remove their stony hearts and give them a new heart that will gladly obey Him. He said, "I will take you among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God" (Ezekiel 36:24-28).

Jacob gave part of the land he received to Joseph, which was the coasts of the earth and the isles of the sea. Jacob ca1led it the "utmost bound of the everlasting hills" (Genesis 49:26). In recent times England, which literally means "land of the bull-calf," the bull-calf being the emblem of Joseph (Deuteronomy 33:17), has peppered the world with colonies of democracy. America is one of those plantings. It sits on land given Jacob and has been commissioned to assemble to it the outcasts of Ephraim, Israel's northern kingdom and to remake them into sons and daughters of God through the gospel of Christ.

As long as America was pursuing God's purpose, even if in a lackadaisical or apathetic way, God continued to bless it. Now that it is departing from its heritage. and rejecting its commission, it not only risks "losing those blessings, but it risks facing God's wrath. America has been given much. God requires much from it. Just as He punished wayward Hebrews, whether as individuals or as a nation, when they occupied the promised land in the Old World, He will also punish wayward Americans who occupy the promised land in the New World.

God's judgment on America has been described by Isaiah. He said, "Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia" (Isaiah 18:1). "Ethiopia" is one translation of "Cush." According to Isaiah, Israel was scattered to Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the islands of the sea (Isaiah 11:11). Jewish scholars maintain that when the exiled Israelites occupied Scythia, they named parts of their country there with those names. They conclude that this verse refers to those refugees. Ezra recorded that these people refused his invitation to return to rebuild Jerusalem and went beyond their rivers, the Lord staying them like He did the Red Sea, so they could migrate to a new land (2 Esdras 14:44-45). Their migration beyond those rivers eventually led some of their descendants to America whose emblem is an eagle with outstretched wings. The land shadowing with wings beyond the rivers of Ethiopia refers to America.

This conclusion is clarified by Isaiah. He continued by telling what the land shadowing with wings would do, when he said, "That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down" (Isaiah 18:2). The nation referenced in this verse is the northern kingdom, Israel. It was scattered after it was peeled off the land it received from Moses and exiled to Scythia. At its beginning, under Moses and Joshua, it was a terrible, or frightening, nation that was "meted out." "Meted out" means to be divided by lot, which is precisely how the tribes received their land from Moses. Seven hundred years later they were trodden down by the Assyrians and dispersed throughout the earth. America has sent missionaries throughout the world. Part of their mission has been to gather the dispersed of Israel to the gospel. When Isaiah announced, "Woe to the land shadowing with wings," he mentioned its primary purpose: sending ambassadors to scattered Israel.

America has been and will continue to be a refuge for scattered Israel. Under its banner, the eagle, its people can be gathered, cleansed and prepared for the descent of the Savior when he returns in clouds of glory. By the Holy Spirit they can receive a new heart and spirit. Through the gospel they can bring forth the fruits of righteousness. God calls the gathering of the fruits of righteousness at the end of the world "the harvest." Isaiah described the harvest in his prophecy against the land shadowing with wings. He said, "He shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches. They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth" (Isaiah 18:45). Jesus also referred to this event when he said, "In the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them" (Matthew 13:30). He explained, "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire" (Matthew 13:41-42). God will take away the wickedness that cumbers the land shadowing with wings so that it can complete its divinely appointed task.

The perversion of American ideals and purposes will end through divine judgments. He will prune, purge, and purify the nation he established to gather and prepare a remnant of Israel. All efforts, activities, philosophies, principles, people, and powers not conforming to His purpose will be cut off and cast away. Americans must repent and return to the Lord. Those disobeying the invitation will be swept out of the land when God cleanses it. He will not allow violence, immorality, disbelief, greed, perversion, insolence, pleasure, or vice to reign. Abomination will not prevail. To preserve the nation He established for His purpose and save the land He gave to Joseph through Jacob, He will judge this nation. Those clinging to Him will remain, while those clinging to wickedness will be washed away.

Isaiah warned America of God's judgments when he cried, "Woe to the land shadowing with wings" (Isaiah 18:1). Those judgments will bring great tribulation. Afterwards America will be glorious. It will be properly fitted for its mission. It will complete its task. It will present the outcasts of Israel as a present to the Lord. Isaiah said, "In that time shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion" (Isaiah 18:7).