Question:

It seems that the recession has had little effect on the call centers here because a lot of companies are in need of manpower. A visiting preacher had announced the deferment of some of his benevolence because some of the brethren were he is from are getting laid off from their jobs. It is a sad situation because a lot brethren here are dependent on him for a support but it is the reality that needs to be accepted. 

One Sunday he mentioned on one of his sermons regarding a brother who said something which is really backstabbing him: "Why did God make America alone a prosperous nation, and why not the Philippines also?" It may be a nonsense question, but I keep on thinking about it also. I understand that God has plans for each and every nation, as well as each one of us. I understand that the Philippines is better than Africa, but sometimes I just can't avoid popping up that question on my mind. A little effort of researching and studying is what I need to fully understand the reason behind it. I am sharing it to you with the hopes getting a better explanation that can help me. I dare not to ask the visiting preacher because he might get upset on me as well.


Answer:

The question "Why did God make America alone a prosperous nation, and why not the Philippines also" misses on several fronts. America isn't the only prosperous nation today, nor has it been the only prosperous nation in the past. Canada, England, Germany, Brazil and many others are all doing very well and at different periods of the past did better than the United States. If one went by shear wealth, the Middle East is currently making more money than most nations of the world. The difference there is that their source of income is more limited.

But the other important point missed is why America did well. I believe it is because for most of its existence it followed the laws of God. There is a famous quote that is generally attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, but doesn't appear in his writings, but still points to the same conclusion: "I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers - and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce - and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution - and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great."

God's laws work. As Moses told Israel, "And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day" (Deuteronomy 6:24). America's people and their laws were based on the laws of God. We didn't accept bribery. "He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live" (Proverbs 15:17). We insisted that people work for their living. "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat" (II Thessalonians 3:10). We demanded honesty in trade. "Honest weights and scales are the LORD'S; All the weights in the bag are His work" (Proverbs 16:11). And I could go on at length about the basic principles of honest living. Each law was based on biblical principles taught in both the Old and New Testament. But it wasn't just in the laws, it was in the people as well. America's people for a long while held themselves to a high standard of moral living. Now that the country as a whole is starting to stray from those standards, things are getting more shaky.

There is nothing magical about what was done, and it is certainly something any other nation could do.