Where is Our Fatherland?
“For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come” (Hebrews 13:14). There is only one “kingdom” that God has promised will endure forever, and that is the “kingdom which shall never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44). Jesus promised to build this “kingdom of heaven” in Matthew 16:18-19. Death cannot destroy this kingdom because its members are redeemed by the blood of Christ and live forever (Revelation 5:9-10). It is a “kingdom which cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12:28).
Yet there are kingdoms which are shaken. In fact, all things will be shaken so that the things which cannot be shaken will remain (Hebrews 12:26). This means that Christians must prepare themselves for changes in governmental institutions that are dear to them. Some Christians have fought and bled for government. Some have died. This engenders deep emotions toward these institutions. This elevates expectations and increases disappointment when circumstances fail to yield desires hoped for in government. Is this nationalism a false idol? It can be, if we do not remember what King is truly reigning.
Psalm 137 records the emotions of a people who have lost their fatherland. They are sad, bitter, and vengeful. Yet, God restored Jerusalem, and Judea continued as a province under the yoke of other masters. They eventually even won their independence only later to give it away to Rome who dealt the final blow in 70 AD. Rome burned the temple to the ground, and the people were scattered. They renamed that city to Aelia Capitolina–dedicated to the god Jupiter. The emperor Hadrian forbade Jews to enter it on penalty of death.
We often sing of heaven. Do we invest our patriotism (love of our fatherland) in that eternal home where resides the Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9)? God bless you, and I love you.