The prophet Jeremiah wrote these words with great sadness and fear as he could foresee the invading armies of Babylon coming from the north on their way to attack and sack his beloved Jerusalem. The only hope of deliverance would be for his people to repent of their rebellion against their God and forsake their sins, but they would not.
Jeremiah's sad lamentation could remind us of the stirring words of our national anthem. "Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?" It is significant that the Hebrew word translated "standard" in our text was translated "banner" when David wrote: "Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Psalm 60:4). It was surely correct for Francis Scott Key to call our nation the "land of the free and the home of the brave," but it would have been perhaps even more appropriate to call it "the land of the truth and the home of the faith."
Our nation's beginnings were surely as a God-fearing nation, as Francis Scott Key himself recognized in the last verse of his anthem. "Blest with vict'ry and peace may the heav'n-rescued land Praise the power that hath made and preserv'd us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto, `In God is our Trust'."
That last clause has even been placed on our coins. But now there is a growing pressure to remove this and all other public recognition of our Biblical foundations. Unless we also repent and come back as a nation to our beginning faith in God's Word and Biblical Christianity (with tolerance, but not equal acceptance, of others) we also may (even on Flag Day) have to echo Jeremiah's cry: "How long shall we see the standard?" HMM