Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 29, 2011

"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."  Psalms 33:4-11

These words were written centuries before the United States of America was ever thought of, so to apply the Psalm directly to our nation is foolish. However, truths and beliefs that are declared are timeless and bear resemblance to the principles upon which our Founders built our great nation.

I will highlight some of those for you in this post and I think you will see what I mean.
 The Principles of Our Nation

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

In addition, there are a couple of big concepts mentioned here that were embraced by the Founders and contributed to the greatness of the USA.

"For the word of the LORD is right and true"

The "word of the Lord" refers to the Ten Commandments. Those commandments were highly regarded by many of the Founders and would form the foundation for our system of justice, morality, and in defining our God-given rights. For example:

The first four commandments form the basis for the following rights: The Freedom of Speech, The Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of Religion.

Commandments five and seven form the foundation for the Sanctity of marriage and the primacy of the family.

The sixth commandment forms the right to life while the ninth suggests the right to justice under the law.

And the eighth and tenth commandments are the basis for the right to pursue, possess, and protect private property.

A representation of Moses with the Ten Commandments is etched on the wall of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC.

A statue of Moses holding the Ten Commandments is featured in the rotunda of the Library of Congress.

The Ten Commandments are symbolized in the floor of the National Archives Building in Washington , D.C.

Any objective scholarship will show the powerful impact that the Ten Commandments had on the Founders as they forged the foundational documents upon with their new nation would be established. The "Word of the Lord" has proven "right and true" for generations of free Americans over its 235 years of existence.

Little did Moses know the incredible influence of those words God etched on the tablets he carried down from his encounter with God on Mt. Sinai. Several great nations have been built upon their timeless truths.

But Commandments are not kept or carried out by nations, they are observed by people - individuals like you and me. Each time you obey God's commandment and put it into practice you not only benefit yourself but you strengthen your nation! What better way to prove the "Word of the Lord right and true" than to do right and live in His truth? Are you doing that? Will you?

June 28, 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."   Psalms 33:1-3

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.

Many Bible scholars believe this Psalms refers only and directly to the nation of Israel. That may be true, but no serious student of history can deny that one of the driving forces behind the founding of America and then the establishment of the United States was a desire to have a place where the citizens could worship freely.

With the Founders freely acknowledging that rights and freedom devolve from God, how could they then deny their citizens the right to worship freely - or not to worship at all?

Consider some of these quotes:

"Every man "ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience." - George Washington (Letter to the United Baptist Churches in Virginia in May, 1789)

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We shall not fight alone. God presides over the destinies of nations." - Patrick Henry

"He said, “We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self‐government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” - James Madison
The desire to worship as a man chooses found expression in the First Amendment of the national constitution, part of the United States' Bill of Rights: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

William Bradford wrote that they [the Pilgrims] were seeking:

“a better, and easier place of living”; and that “the children of the group were being drawn away by evil examples into extravagance and dangerous courses [in Holland]“

“The great hope, and for the propagating and advancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world”

"I. . . [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.

The name of the Lord (says the Scripture) is a strong tower; thither the righteous flee and are safe [Proverbs 18:10]. Let us secure His favor and He will lead us through the journey of this life and at length receive us to a better.

I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world . . . that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace.

He also called on the State of Massachusetts to pray that . . .

the peaceful and glorious reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known and enjoyed throughout the whole family of mankind.

we may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid . . . [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.

with true contrition of heart to confess their sins to God and implore forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior. - Samuel Adams

Have you taken time to worship God today? Have you thanked Him for the Founding Fathers who were used by Him to establish this great nation that has blessed so many people across the world?
The ability and freedom to worship God as you see fit is one of the great blessings you have as a believer in Jesus Christ!
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord...."