Thursday, June 30, 2011

July 2, 2011

“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 33:20-22

For the Founding Fathers, the doctrine of the providence of God was inextricably linked to the idea that Jesus Christ was the Creator who decrees law and sustains life. It was these men who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, having acknowledged their “firm reliance on divine Providence.” It was these men who repeatedly passed laws calling for days of national thanksgiving, humiliation, and prayer in response to the work of providence which they specifically defined in their official acts in terms of Jesus Christ and the moving of the Holy Spirit. It was these men who officially recognized the Trinitarian view of providence when they signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783 on behalf of the United States, “In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity, It having pleased the divine Providence...”
George Washington describes his capture of Boston, 1776:
"Upon their discovery of the works next morning, great preparations were made for attacking them; but not being ready before afternoon, and the weather getting very tempestuous, much blood was saved, and a very important blow, to one side or the other, was prevented. That this most remarkable interposition of Providence is for some a wise purpose, I have not a doubt."

In his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson had written:

"And for the support of this declaration, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
But Congress amended it to read:
"And for the support of this declaration, [with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence,] we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."  (And they did!)
The Israelites left Egypt and wandered in the desert in their quest for the Promised Land motivated by their hope and desire to establish a nation blessed of God where they could live in peace and prosperity. Their only hope was in their God and in His divine providence.
Likewise, our Founders were constantly cognizant of God's providence and divine intervention on behalf of the colonists against overwhelming odds in their fight for independence. They trusted in:

God Our Foundation - “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield…..”

A nation built on the Word of God, by the will of God, for the worship of God and the work of His Kingdom is built on a firm foundation!
God Our Father“In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name……”

The providence of God is based upon His role as a Father of His people. If we as human fathers are committed to provide for and protect our families, how much more would our Heavenly Father care for us?

God Our Future“May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.”

Just as God, our Father has provided and protected and blessed us in days gone by there is every reason to trust that He will continue to do so in the coming days if we choose to obey Him and serve Him as we have in the past.
We see that over 235 years ago when the Founders where fighting for their freedom while framing the documents that would shape the new nation, their hopes were pinned fully upon God's power and His providence.
If our great nation is to survive another 235 years, or even 35 years, our hope must be upon our Heavenly Father!

July 1, 2011

“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”.  Psalm 33:12-19

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?

Think about the Exodus! Think about the Red Sea! Think about Jericho! Think David and Goliath! Think Gideon and the Midianites. But more recently, consider this:

Numerous miracles were reported during the famous 1967 war. One such story involved a Catholic journalist who was reporting on the front lines during the war. Ernie Miller had personally met this man in Baton Rouge, LA. The journalist was reporting from the Sinai Desert during the 1967 war. The battle had become very intense and there were numerous casualties. At one point an Israeli soldier was rushed into the medical tent, where the journalist was wiring front line information.
The journalist observed that the soldier was severely wounded. In fact he had been shot in the intestinal area, and his intestines were hanging from his body. He knew it was only a matter of time until the man would die. Yet, the man, who was fully conscience, began praying and saying the various names of God in the Hebrew language. As he prayed he began to talk about God’s ability to heal him and to defeat the enemy armies. To the journalist amazement, the man suddenly screamed, and jumped up from the cot. His intestines were back inside his body and the entire area was healed! The man was jumping and screaming, and ran out of the tent praising God.

The journalist told Ernie, “I am a Catholic and I am suppose to believe in miracles but had never seen one. That day, I saw one with my own eyes that was a true miracle!”

This amazing story clearly demonstrates that the “Battle belongs to the Lord!”

Maybe it is just me but it seems the best way to anticipate what we can trust God for in the future is to see what He has done for His people in the past. Since He never changes and is the same "yesterday, today and tomorrow" it seems like making Him the foundation of our national security makes sense! God did a good job of protecting His nation, Israel when they trusted Him. But Israel maintained an army, too.
The big point here is that security comes from the inside out. Like everything else in our world, it is fundamentally a spiritual issue. God may preserve your life or He may choose not to. Christians die in war as pagans do. But we know He always preserves the soul who has trusted Christ for salvation. Have you received His salvation from your sins and entered into an eternal relationship with God? If you have you can live in this assurance:

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”     Psalm 91