"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people."Proverbs 14:34
What does it mean when a nation is exalted? That sounds like a good thing, but how good is it? What are some specific benefits wrought by righteousness?
Let me share at least three things that are meant by "exalted".
Exalted means "lifted".
Righteousness lifts a nature and a culture. It lifts the morality of that people. It lifts the civility of that society. The morale of that nation is higher than cultures where people don't value righteousness. Doing the right things obviously results in positive and constructive outcomes.
Exalted means "lightened".
Righteousness flows from truth. Truth originates in the character and very nature of God. With God as your source and His Word as your resource there is going to be knowledge and wisdom. Jesus said that He is "the light of the world". When you have Jesus you have light and in Him is no darkness. From the light of God's Word, truth and wisdom beam forth revealing what is right and what is wrong. Being "lightened" by righteousness leads to rightness in actions, attitudes, values and moral decisions.
Exalted means "liberated".
A people who are lifted by the truth and lightened by the truth will find freedom and liberty from His Word. Truth results in freedom. Ignorance leads to bondage. Ignorance leads to confusion and doubts. Ignorance leads to strife and fear.
A people lifted by truth and lightened by truth are free to become who they want to become in Christ. They will act right and have the right attitudes which will enrich their relationships and increase their opportunities for freedom. Listening to His truth and living in His truth shape a godly character that is free to pursue godliness.
How is a nation exalted by righteousness? Simple!
A nation is exalted by people who are lifted by the righteousness of God's Word. As a result they tend to think right, which leads to right decisions, which translates into godly living. Godly living results in lifting God high in the estimation of those who may be seeking for solid answers. God is exalted by the practical everyday decisions, actions and values you make.
A nation is exalted when lighted by the truth of God's Word and the principles it gives to live by. It makes better decisions and is better able to make quality decisions. Truth reveals the right thing to do in all decisions, and clarifies the application of that truth in daily situations. God is exalted by a people who know and show His truth.
A nation is exalted when God's children live in the liberty of His knowledge and His love. God's children live within the law and finds freedom in self-governing his thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. An ignorant nation will not endure as a free nation. Study history. You will see.
I know you love the USA and desire to see her rise to the exalted standard. You, of all people will understand the value of self-governing and liberty of self-discipline. God WILL set you free!
"Righteousness", or "rightness", allows God to get involved personally in that project. God will be strong and powerful in the life of those who have chosen to walk in the light of His power and glory. And over time, people will be set free and God will be glorified!