Tuesday, July 1, 2014

God and America

Christopher Columbus was more than an explorer, he was a devout Christian.  In his in a book entitled Book of Prophecies he wrote this introduction; “At a very early age I began to sail upon the ocean.  For more than forty years, I have sailed everywhere that people go.  I prayed to the most merciful Lord about my heart’s desire, and He gave me the spirit and the intelligence for the task: seafaring, astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, skill in drafting spherical maps and placing correctly the cities, rivers, mountains and ports…There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit…No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Savior, if it is just and the intention is purely for His holy service.  The working out of all things has been assigned to each person by our Lord, but it all happens according to His sovereign will…”  Christopher Columbus was highly esteemed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella who funded his expedition to “bring the gospel to unknown coastlands” using Isaiah 66:19 as his prophetic Scripture: “And I will set a sign among them and will send survivors from them to the nations: Tarshish, Put, Lud, Mesech, Rosh, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have neither heard My fame not seen My glory.  And they will declare My glory among the nations.” His last will and testament directed his son Don Diego to help "maintain four good teachers of the holy theology…help all these people become Christians.”

Our Liberty Bell had inscribed on it “Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof” Leviticus 25:10.  Then in 1873 the entire verse was inscribed on the base “And ye shall hallow the 50th year and proclaim liberty to all the inhabitants throughout the land.” The bell was moved, and the base is no longer on display. 

The first stanza of the Star-Spangled Banner is frequently sung on these patriotic holidays, but the last stanza speaks to the true strength of the nation;
"O thus be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace may the heaven rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must when our cause it is just
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave."

The Continental Congress in 1777 proclaimed the American tradition of an annual Thanksgiving;
“Forasmuch as it the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to Him for the benefits received…” 

Some years later the President wrote; “It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon,\; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord. We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven’ we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.”

 I left out one paragraph that would have given away the president who wrote these words. Curious? 

The missing paragraph; “We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world.  May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?” Abraham Lincoln, October 3, 1863.  

Two years later “In God We Trust” was added to our currency. 

Now, we are again a nation divided and in a civil war of sorts. This time, we are in a war about the sovereignty of The One God.  We can not exclude God and expect Him to continue to bless us.  Individually, and corporately, we must acknowledge God and His supreme sovereignty. Will you affirm that today, for yourself? your family?  your country? “If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, seek My face, turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from and heaven, and heal their land.”  “Blessed is that nation whose God is the Lord.”