Is the United States in Bible prophecy?
My fellow Americans, we fearfully worry and debate, especially during an election year, whether the actions or inactions of a particular candidate or party are going to destroy the United States. The answer to the debate is, “Yes! Yes, they are.” After all, as a nation we’ve kicked God out of just about every institution in our society. Our leaders, no matter what party, just do not seek the counsel and wisdom of God.
The greatest ruler of Israel — King David — warned his citizens that when, “they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High, He brought down their heart and there was none to help” (Psalm 107:11–12). As long as we as a nation ignore the eternal wisdom of God and try to go it alone based on one, our own very limited understanding of the universe, and two, because we’re working off a broken moral compass, we most definitely as a nation are doomed to failure.
Bleak? Yes, but not hopeless, if only we as a nation repent and turn back to God (2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 107:13).
Does the Bible contain any prophecies concerning the United States that will help Americans make an informed decision during an election? Here are four biblical references where it is believed the United States can be found in end time Bible prophecy.
1. “A nation tall and smooth of skin” (Isaiah 18)
Verse seven prophesies how, “a present will be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and smooth of skin, and from a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down, whose land the rivers divide.”
When it comes to describing the United States, the reference to a powerful nation divided by great rivers, such as the Mississippi River, fits the bill. But, the smooth skin part? Context is vital to interpretation, and verses 1–2 address the country of Ethiopia, which in Isaiah’s time included the Sudan, so therefore the dividing river is the Nile River. These people are Ethiopians/Sudanese, and clearly not Americans.
2. “The merchants of Tarshish and all their young lions” (Ezekiel 38–39)
In this future prophecy, the people of Tarshish sit back and do nothing but watch Russia and the Islamic nations of the Middle East attempt to invade Israel. In Ezekiel’s time, roughly 600 BC, Tarshish was considered the nation at the Western end of the earth. So, it’s assumed, her “young lions” must be the New World colonies of the West. But, was Tarshish Britain or Spain? Historians aren’t sure. So this may be a reference to the Spanish–speaking colonies, and not the English–speaking ones, which would have included the United States.
3. “A great eagle” (Revelation 12)
Revelation 12 tells a story of a Dragon who is cast down to the earth, and he persecutes the Woman who gave birth to the Male Child. But the Woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is protected.
Some have interpreted this passage to mean that in the future the Dragon (Satan) will persecute the Woman (Israel) who gave birth to the Male Child (Jesus), and a great eagle (the symbol of America) will rescue the Jews from the Antichrist with something like a massive airlift. Well, everything up to the Eagle is interpreted correctly, but God in Deuteronomy 32 describes Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery as, “how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.” The eagle’s wings, God explains, is Himself and not the United States.
4. Babylon the Great (Revelation 18)
This passage foretells of a coming one–world ruler who will reign from “Babylon”. The ruler’s empire is described as having made the nations drunk on her fornications and the merchants of the earth rich through her luxuries. God then destroys this evil empire in “one hour.”
Some conclude that since the United States is powerful, wealthy, and the moral polluters of the world that Babylon must be the United States, or at least New York City or Hollywood. The context, though, is a new global government where all the nations of the world are members. America, if it still exists during that future time, would only be a member state, never having reached the status of a global empire.
So, where can the United States be found in Bible prophecy? Not in any of those four passages. But, God does say, “the indignation of the Lord is against all nations, and His fury against all their armies” (Isaiah 34), and that He will utterly destroy the nations of the world when Jesus returns to set up His Kingdom (Jeremiah 30:11; 46:28; Daniel 2). So, in these general prophecies which address all the nations of the world, the United States, like the rest, can be found.
But, remember, Christians, the Apostle Paul reminds us that our true citizenship is not of this world, but in Heaven (Philippians 3:20). So, while we wait for Christ’s coming kingdom, do as Jesus commanded, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:13–16).