Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011

"Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth— he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,  to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you."      Psalm 33

Summer in the Psalms is into week five already! As I prepare for a message appropriate for the Fourth of July week-end I will be dissecting Psalms 33 beginning this morning. So, far this is how I have outlined it and I believe I see a pattern consistent with what motivated the Founding Fathers to develop the greatest nation to grace the face of the earth.

I understand that the immediate context of these verses applies to the nation of Israel but I can see the "big idea" that looks like what America became. See what you think.

The Purpose of Our Nation, Vv. 1-3

God raised up the nation of Israel to be a people who would worship Him! He raised up a nation of people through whom He could demonstrate His great power and grace. He formed a nation out of whom a Savior could be born.

While I will be developing this thought throughout the week, I believe the freedom to worship God without pressure or interference from the government was a driving force toward the founding of this nation.

The Principles of Our Nation, Vv. 4-11

Two of the foundational prinicples upon which our great nation was established are mentioned here: rightousness and justice. Righteousness essentially means that we look to God to determine what is right and wrong and justice is the implemetation of right and wrong. A sincere wholesale return to righteousness and justice would sure help restore our nation today!

The Protection of Our Nation, Vv. 12-19

Where should we look for national security in a post-911 world of terrorists who are developing nuclear weapons? Ours is a world governed by the aggressive use of force, is it realistic to think that trusting God can keep us safe?

God did a good job of protecting His nation, Israel when they trusted Him. But Israel maintained an army, too. But I think the big point here is that security comes from the inside out. Like everything else in our world, it is fundamentally a spiritual issue.

The Promise of Our Nation, Vv. 20-22

Is fundamental change really the hope of our future? Doesn't it make more sense to understand what has worked for us in the past and project that forward? Should we not rediscover the roots of our greatness and replant the seeds of our success?

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD" ..........