At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: But sin is a reproach to any people” (KJV).Proverbs 14:34
One of the more common mistakes that Christians make about the Old Testament is the mistake of thinking that the law of God was a standard that only applied to Israel. The fact that most Gentiles nations were wicked and idolatrous is taken as somehow tacit permission for them to be that way. Nothing other than that was expected.
But notice what this proverb states. It says that righteousness exalts a nation. And it goes on to point out that sin is a reproach to any people. Not just Israel.
For example, the prophet Amos denounced the transgressions of Damascus, and said that they would be punished for them (Amos 1:3-5). He declares that judgment is coming down on the Philistine cities of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Ekron (Amos 1:6-8). He does the same thing with Tyre (Amos 1:9-10), and Edom (Amos 1:11-12). Then comes Ammon (Amos 1:13-15), and Moab (Amos 2:1-3). After all that, he then gets to Judah. The holy standards of God are the very definition of righteousness, and righteousness exalts a nation.
The Queen of Sheba was consequently a blessing to her people when she sought out the wisdom of Solomon.
And so all this brings us to America. This verse was one that was frequently quoted by our founding fathers. They knew and understood that God is the governor of nations, and that His standards of righteousness were the standard by which He would either exalt a nation, or the terrible bar of justice that He would bring them to. And we are no exception to this pattern. Why would we be?