Like Israel of old, America has lost her glory. The glory of Israel was the blessing of God and, therefore, the glory of God. Now I see a striking similarity between Israel of old and America.

No other nation had such a Christian beginning as America. In the Mayflower Compact, our Pilgrim forefathers said their express purpose in coming to these shores was to propagate the gospel. The glory of God was upon America.

The Glory is Gone

But we have abandoned God, and the glory is gone. Like Israel in the days of the judges, America is doing "that which was right in [its] own eyes" (Judges 17:6).

In fact, in Judges 9, I see a striking parallel to the condition of America today. I want to show you three things that characterized Israel in those days and that characterize America today. These problems suggest three needs we must address before we can talk about bringing the glory back to America.

The Need for Gratitude

Judges 9 is the story of Abimelech, an ungodly man who seized power in Israel through violence and deceit and led the nation straight into God's judgment. The amazing thing is that all of this happened on the heels of Gideon's great victory.

The key to Israel's slide is found in Judges 8:33-35, where we read that as soon as Gideon was dead, the Israelites forgot the God who gave them victory and chased after other gods.

In other words, they became an unthankful people whose ingratitude led them into apostasy. America has become a thankless nation. We have forgotten the God who made us a great nation. We must become a thankful people again.

The Need for Godly Leaders

Israel's "reward" for its thanklessness was Abimelech, whose arrogant and ungodly reign is detailed in Judges 9.

Now I'm not pointing any fingers, but Abimelech built his reign on a godless coalition in which he bough his supporters with silver (judges 9:2-4) and the blood of the innocent (v.5). America is being built on the "silver" and the blood of the innocent unborn. We must elect godly leaders who have the courage to put a stop to this ungodliness.

The Need for Committed People

In Judges 9:7-15, a prophet named Jotham stood up and told a parable of the trees. All of the trees and the vines were too busy doing nice, but unnecessary, things to take the reins of leadership. So the bramble - a useless, thorn-covered bush - gladly agreed to be king.

The apathy of Israel has its parallel in the apathy I seen in America. Apathy is the twin sister of ungratefulness. Edmund Burke's great statement is still true. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. You and I - and every Christian in America - have the responsibility before God to take the action of voting in order to place godly people in positions of leadership.

Returning to the Source of Glory

If the glory is to return to America, we must return to God, the source of glory. He is waiting for us to return to Him. God does not work through the unsaved. He works on the unsaved, but works through His people.

The book of Judges reveals that God would rather forgive than judge a nation or a people. If we will stain heaven with our prayers and if we will press the battle, we can take this country back for Jesus Christ. Let's pray that God will send America a mighty revival!