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Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34, NKJV). “Righteousness” is only properly understood in relation to the Lord’s holy will. To Israel, a theocracy, God’s will obeyed resulted in the Lord’s direct blessings on them (cf. Deut. 4:6-8). Consequently, “righteousness” is NOT to be understood as virtuous actions apart from the Lord express will. Many in our country today are doing “right” by their neighbors, but that is not the righteousness that is in view by either the proverb, or the Lord. The spiritual and moral corruption in people (including ourselves) brings much reproach upon the land. The USA is not a theocracy, but we can still do what is right because of who God is. Because we are not doing what is right, theocracy or not, the Lord’s reproach is on us. RT