Dear Lord Jesus,
I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave to give me life. I know You are the only way to God. So now I want to quit disobeying You and start living for You. Please forgive me, change my life and show me how to know You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
We will all die. There is no magic pill or treatment that will allow you to live longer. Remember that your time is short and decide what You want to do with that time. You may want to consider using that time to seek and serve the LORD. That is the only truly lasting thing that we can do with our time. It is our best use of it, and God is glorified by it.
dus 32:26 – then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on the LORD’s side – come with me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.
Science and the Bible:
Known as “The Father of the American Space Program,” Wernher von Braun (1912-1977) was the director of NASA. He was sometimes said to be the preeminent rocket scientist of the twentieth century, and he stated:
In this age of space flight, when we use the modern tools so science to advance into new regions of human activity, the Bible–this grandiose, stirring history of the gradual revelation and unfolding of the moral law – remains in every way an up-to-date book.
Our knowledge and use of the laws of nature that enables us to fly to the moon also enables us to destroy our home planet with atom bomb. Science itself does not address the question whether we should use the power at our disposal for good and evil.
The guidelines of what ought to do are furnished in the moral law of God. It is no longer enough that we pray that God may be with us on our side. We must learn to pray that we may be on God’s side.
Exodus 35:35 – He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, and of the weaver – those who do every work and those who design artistic works.
Harriet Powers (1837-1910) was an African-American slave folk artist and quilt maker from rural Georgia. While only two of her quilts have survived, Bible Quilt 1886 and the Bible Quilt 1898, they are nationally recognized as masterworks of American folk art. Her panel-storied quilts used traditional applique techniques and piecework to record local legends, Bible stories, and astronomical events. Considered among the finest examples of the nineteenth- century Southern quilting, her work is on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C., and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.
Her quilts demonstrate both African and African-American influences and consist of numerous pictorial squares, with each panel depicting a biblical story or celestial phenomenon. Scenes such as Adam and Eve naming the animals in the Garden of Eden, Cain killing his brother Abel, and the baptism of Christ are observed. Her art is powerful, vivid, and clearly tells a story. It is thought that Powers could neither read nor write, but she knew the Bible stories from singing Negro spirituals and from church sermons.
When Written: Around 1440 B.C.
Key Verse: Leviticus 16 – The Day of Atonement, explained in this chapter, was the most important day in the Hebrew calendar. It was the one day and only day the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of the people.
When America’s Founders wrapped up the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, they knew they had hammered out a system of government far different from any that existed throughout the world. It was a government based on the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s of God” rather than on the arbitrary and unjust rule of man.
God created humans to lead upright and orderly lives, but through the fall we lost the God-given ability to choose consistently between right and wrong. The Book of Leviticus reflects God’s plan to lead humanity back to righteousness, initially through a set of righteous laws, and effectively through the righteousness of His only Son, Jesus Christ.
Noah Webster, who has been called the ‘Father of American Scholarship and education,”
Was the great American lexicographer who gave us the very first American Dictionary of the English Language. To do so, he learned 26 languages in order to supplement the documentation of the etymology of the words. In that dictionary, Webster defined education as:
The bringing up, as a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends, all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of the youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts, and science is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect duties.
Webster believed a well-educated citizenry was essential to the preservation of freedom. “Information is fatal to despotism,” he wrote, and part of his life was spent in the writing and publishing of textbooks to be used in local schools and in homes that would convey the rudiments of spelling and grammar as well as provide both moral formation and civic education. He wrote:
As attempt to conduct the affairs of a free government with wisdom and impartiality, and to preserve the just right of all classes of citizens, without the guidance of Divine precepts, will certainly end in disappointment. God is the supreme moral Governor of the world He has made, and as He Himself governs with perfect rectitude, He requires His rational creatures to govern themselves in like manner. If men will not submit to be controlled by His laws, He will punish them by the evils resulting from their own disobedience…
Any system of education, therefore, which limits instruction to the arts and science and rejects the aids of religion in forming the characters of citizens, is essentially defective…
In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed…… No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges for a free people.
As one of American’s Founders, he knew that an education devoid of religious training was defective.
Leviticus: 10:11- and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.”
Leviticus: 23-17> You shall bring from your dwelling two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the first fruits to the LORD.
37> These are the feasts of LORD which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering and grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offering.
Public Schools and Religious Instruction
In the 1952 case of Zorach v. Clauson, the Supreme Court upheld the position that New York City permits its public schools to release students during school hours to go to religious centers for religious instruction or devotional exercises:
The first Amendment, however, does not say that in every respect there shall be a separation of Church and State. Rather, it studiously defines the manner, the specific ways, in which there shall be no concert or union or dependency one on the other. That is the common sense of the matter. Otherwise the state and religion would be aliens to each other – hostile, suspicious, and even unfriendly….
Municipalities would not be permitted to render police or fire protection to religious groups. Policemen who helped parishioners into their places of worship would violate the Constitution. Prayers in our legislative halls; the appeals to the Almighty in the messages of the Chief Executive the proclamation making Thanksgiving Day a holiday; “so help me God” in our courtroom oaths – these and all others references to the Almighty that run through our laws, our public rituals, our ceremonies, would be flouting the First Amendment.
A fastidious atheist or agnostic could even object to the supplication with which the Court opens each session: “God save the United States and he Honorable Courts.”
We are religious people over institutions presuppose a Suprema Being…
When the state encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule pf public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public services to their spiritual needs. To hold that it may not be to be found in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference group. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe …..
We find no constitutional requirement makes it necessary for the government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weight against the efforts to widen the scope of religious influence. The government must neutral when it comes to competition between sects. We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion.
Leviticus 25:10- And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his family.
11- That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows untended vine.
Freedom, The Liberty Bell
The Pennsylvania Assembly ordered the bell in 1751 to commemorate the golden anniversary of William Penn’s 1701 Chapter of Privileges, Pennsylvania’s original Constitution, which speaks of the rights and freedoms valued by people the world over. As the bell was crated, the biblical quotation “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” was particularly apt. For the line in the Bible immediately preceding “proclaim liberty” is, “And ye shall hallow the 50th year.” What better way to pay homage to Penn and hallow the fiftieth year than with a bell homage liberty?
The Liberty Bell gained iconic importance when abolitionists in their efforts to put an end to slavery throughout America adopted it as a symbol of emancipation and liberty in 1837.
Related to a popular fictional story written in 1747, tradition says that on July 8, 1776, the Liberty Bell rang out from the tower of Independence Hall, summoning the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the fist public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The truth is that the steeple was in bad condition, and historians today highly doubt this account. However, its association with the Declaration of Independence became fixed in the collective mythology.
The Law Concerning Slavery
Leviticus 25:39 ‘And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave.
40- As A hired servant and a sojourner, he shall be with you until the Year of Jubilee.
41- And then he shall depart from you – he and his children with him – and shall return to his family. He shall to the possession of his fathers.
42- For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves.
When Written: Around 1400 B.C.
Key Verses: Numbers 14:22, 23-“… because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness , and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.”
Key Chapters: Numbers 14- This chapter represents a critical turning point for Israel as the people choose to reject God by refusing to go up and conquer the Promised Land.
America’s rich history is filled with accounts of men and women who left the comfort and familiarity of their homes and families in search of greater freedom and opportunity. With hearts set on claim their personal “promised land.” It was a life that required courage, determination, and faith in God.
Similarly, the Book Numbers recounts one of the greatest adventures in history, as God prepares His own people to conquer the land of “milk and honey” that He had promised them throughout previous generations. Before they can succeed, however, they must deal with the fear and doubt that grip them. God requires that those called by His Name put their faith in Him alone. Numbers shows the process by which He brings His people to that place of trust and leads them into blessing.
Protector Numbers 11:12- Did I conceive all these people? Did I beget them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carries to nursing child,’ to the land which You swore to their fathers?
13- Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep all over me, saying, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’
14- I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me.
In his Farewell Address in 1837, President Andrew Jackson stated:
But you must remember, my fellow citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay a price if you wish to secure the blessing.
You have no longer any cause to fear danger from abroad; your strength and power are well known throughout the civilized world, as well as the high and gallant bearing of your sons, it is from within, among yourselves – from cupidity, from corruption, from disappointed ambition and inordinate thirst for power – that factions will be formed and liberty endangered. It is against such designs, whatever disguise the actors may assume, that you have especially to guard yourselves. You have the highest of human trusts committed to your care. Providence has showered on this favored land blessings without number, and has chosen you as the guardians of freedom, to preserve it for the benefit of humanity. May He who holds in His hands the destinies of nations make you worthy of the favors He has bestowed and enable you, with pure hearts and pure hands and sleepless vigilance, to guard and defend to the end of time the great charge He has committed to yours keeping.
Honor Numbers 12:6-8
6) Then He Said,
“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.
7)Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house.
8) I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings;
And he sees the form of the LORD.
Why then were you not afraid
To speak against My Servant Moses?”
The purest Patriotism
Stephen Grover Cleveland, who served as both the 22nd and the 24th President of the United States:
All must admit that the reception of the teaching of Christ results in the purest patriotism, in the most scrupulous fidelity to public trust, and in the best type of citizenship.
Those who manage the affairs of government are by this means reminded that the law of God demands that they should be courageously true to the interests of the people, and the Ruler of the universe will require of them a strict account of their stewardship.
The teaching of both human and Divine law thus merging into one word, duty, form the law only union of church and state that a civil and religious government can recognize.
Numbers 16:41-43 >
41- On the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the LORD.”
42- Now it happened, when the congregation had gathered against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tabernacle of the meeting; and suddenly the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.
Covered with His Providence
In his 1805 Inaugural Address, President Thomas Jefferson stated:
I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessities and comforts of life, who has covered our infancy with His Providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join with me in supplications that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils and prosper their measures, that whatever they shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.
PRAYER, Numbers 21:7 > Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
Chaplains for the United States Congress
On May 1, 1789, the United States Congress elected the Reverend William Linn, A Dutch reformed minister from New York City, to be the first chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, appropriating five hundred dollars from the federal treasury to pay his salary. During the period when Congress first met in the new capital of Washington, D.C., the House and Senate chaplains regularly led Christian services every Sunday in the House Champers. In 1860, Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall was the first Jewish clergyman invited to open a House session with prayer. Both the House and the Senate have continued to regularly open every session with prayer.
INSPIRING: Samuel Morse, Numbers 23:23- “For there is no sorcery against Jacob,
Nor any divination against Israel.
It now must be said of Jacob
And of Israel, ‘Oh, what God has done!’
Samuel Morse (1791-1872), an accomplished artist by profession, was captivated with the notion that electricity could be used to transmit messages instantly. He worked for years to become the creator of a single wire telegraph system, and co-inventor, with Alfred Vail, of the Morse Code, with letters represented by dots and dashes, to convey the telegraph message. His invention in the 1830’s revolutionized and changed forever the realm of communications.
Although Morse had a patent, it took him years of failures and poverty before he was able to secure financial backing to implement his project. About those years, he said, “The only gleam of hope … is from confidence in god. When I look upward it calms any apprehension for the future, and I seen to hear a voice saying: ‘If I clothe the lilies of the field, shall I not also clothe you?’ here is my strong confidence, and I will wait patiently for the direction of Providence.”
In 1843, Congress finally awarded Morse $30,000 to construct a telegraphic line between Baltimore and Washington. By Friday May 24, 1844, the lines were ready, and the words of the first official message were sent: “What hath God wrought!” selected from Numbers 23:23, in recognition that it was God who had inspired and sustained Morse throughout.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE
TO RIGHTLY GOVEN THE WORLD
GOD and the BIBLE
The Bible and the American Presidents
A nation is made great by its people and its values, particularly by its leaders and the values they embrace. It has been said that a nation rises and falls on its leadership. Throughout the Bible, when ancients Israel had king who reverenced God and held the Word of God in high esteem, the nation prospered. When they had a bad king, life within the nation was full misery.
American history is vividly clear that a faith in God and a reverence for the Bible provided the basis for the founding of our nation. That same reverence for God by many of our presidents has had a profound impact on the greatness of our nation. One fact is undeniable: the Bible has been one of the greatest influences on America’s presidents.
The first and almost the only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. I speak as a man of the world… and I say to you, “Search the Scriptures.”
John Quincy Adams, the sixth President
In regard for this Great Book, I have this to say, it is the best gift that God has given man.
All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book.
The Bible: Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. That Book, Sir, is the rock on which our republic rests, Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States..
These are the quoits of the God fearing presidents, of our great country.
The Bible is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of god, and spiritual nature and needs of men. It is the only guide of life which leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation. America was born a Christian nation. American was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.
Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States
The strength of our country is the strength of its religious conviction. The foundations of our society and our government react so much on the teaching of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teaching would cease to be practically universal in our country.
Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States
We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity.
Harry Truman, the 33rd President of the United States.
Hold fast the Bible s the sheet anchor pf your liberties. Write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this Book are we indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future. Righteousness exalted a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President.
If you take out of your statutes, your family life all that is taken from the Sacred Book, what would there be left to bind society together?
Benjamin Harrison, 28th President of the United States.
Inside the Bible’s pages lie all the answers to all the problems man has ever known… it is my firm belief that the enduring values presented in its pages have a great meaning for each of us and our nation. The Bible can touch our hearts, order our minds, and refresh our souls.
Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States.
Then Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded:
If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
Religion and Morality
In his Farewell address in 1796, President George Washington put his finger on the importance of preserving a freedom of religion within a society:
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that a man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness – these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the justice?” and let us with caution indulge the supposition may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?
When Written: Around 1400 B.C.
Key Verses: Deuteronomy 30:19-20 > “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
Key Chapter: Deuteronomy 28 – In this chapter, Moses declares to the people of Israel the blessing that will follow them if they take heed to obey God, and the curses they can expect if they do not.
As God’s people Israel prepared to enter the land of Canaan after their nearly 40-year sojourn in the desert, Moses took the opportunity to remain them of God’s faithfulness, as well as their obligation to live as a holy and righteous people “chosen” by God.
Deuteronomy means a “repeating of the law” and demonstrates how crucial it is for a God’s people to keep His Word Always on their hearts, minds and lips, so that they will be positioned for blessing in all their endeavors.
As “one nation under God,” America has traditionally placed a high priority on faithfulness to God’s Word. It is a priority that each generation must pass on to the next, so that we will continue to be “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Moses Commands Obedience
“Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgement which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you.
You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Your eyes have seen what the LORD did at Baal Peor; for the LORD your God has destroyed from among you all the men who held fast to the LORD your God are alive today, every one of you.
“Surely I have taught you statutes and judgement, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess.
Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’
“For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?
And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all those laws which I set before you this day?
Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,
Especially concerning the day, you stood before the LORD said to me, ‘Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear all the days they live on the earth, and that they my teach their children.’
“Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness.
And the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words but saw no form; you only heard a voice.
So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.
And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgement, that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess.
The Constitution of the United States
The Constitution of the United States has been the supreme law of the nation since it was adopted on September 17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. George Washington was chosen to serve as the president of the convention by the 55 delegates, who represented 12 states. The delegates drafted the documents and sent it to Congress for approval. It was then sent to the states for ratification in the name of “the People.” All 13 states had ratified the Constitution by May 29,1790. The First U.S. Congress also ratified ten amendments, which became known as the Bill of rights. Seventeen more amendments have been added since. It is the oldest federal constitution of any existing nation and occupies the central place in United States law and political culture.
The Constitution provides the framework for the organization of the United States government, outlining the three main branches of the government. The legislative branch is embodied in the bicameral Congress. The executive branch is headed by the President. The judicial branch is headed by the Supreme Court. The Constitution exercise. It also reserves numerous rights for the individual states, and thus establishes the United States federal system of government.
Our Founders wrote “We the people of the United States” in the preamble to the Constitution, designating that the power to govern belongs and promote their welfare. The preamble established the fact that the federal government has no authority outside of the limited powers given to the three government branches that follows in the preambles, as amended. It is imperative, therefore, that we know those specific delegated powers.
Much has been made of the Constitution’s silence on the subject of God or any Christian designation. The consensus of Framers was that a religious matter was best left to the individual citizens and their respective state governments, and relationships between religion and civil government were already defined in most state constitutions in the founding era. For the federal government to enter into matters regarding religion would have been to encroach upon or usurp state jurisdiction.
MORAL STRENGTH; THE NORTHWEST ORDINANCE
Deuteronomy 6:7-You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Deuteronomy 5:1- And Moses called Israel, and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statues and judgment which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them.
2- the LORD your God made a covenant with us Horeb.
3- The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive.
4- The LORD talked with you face to face the mountain from the mist of the fire.
5-i stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up the mountain:
6- ‘I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
7- ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.
8- ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
9- you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD you God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
10- but showing mercy to thousands who love Me and keep My commandments.
11- ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
12- ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you
13- Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
14- but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that a male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
15- And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you keep the Sabbath day.
16- ‘Honor your father and mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
17- ‘You shall not Murder.
18- ‘You shall not commit adultery.
19- ‘You shall not steal.
20- “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
21- ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor.’
These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.
On July 13, 1787, the Continental Congress passed the “Northwest Ordinance,” which declared that the United States intended to settle the rejoin north of the Ohio river and east of the Mississippi River. It set up the method by which new states would be admitted to the Union, giving them the same rights and powers as the established states, including the freedom of religion. Interestingly, it also stated the importance that Congress attached to religion: ‘Religion, morality, happiness and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever encourage.”
While the exact meaning of this sentence is still hotly debated, it is certainly positive legislation regarding religion and morality. James Wilson, one of only six Founders to have signed both the declaration of Independence and the Constitution, pronounced in his law lectures at the University of Pennsylvania: “Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law surprisingly are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants.” Throughout American history up until the middle years twentieth century, government positively on both religion and morality. Various states worked out particular arrangements reflecting their particular circumstances, but in each case, religious freedom was reported while religion was looked upon as part of the common good, a “seedbed of virtue” contributing to American society.
Deuteronomy 9:10 > then the LORD delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.
Faith: “. . . written with the finger…
The Finger of God
Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) was a Founding Father, one of the American’s first Constitution lawyers, and wrote 51 of the 85 Federalist Papers. After the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Hamilton stated:
For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.
SERVICE: THE PURPOSE OF A Public Education-
William Samuel Johnson (1727-1819), president of Columbia University (formerly King’s College), said to the first graduating class after the Revolutionary War:
You have … received a public education, the purpose whereof hath been to qualify you the better to serve your Creator and your country…. Your first great duties are those you owe to Heaven, and Redeemer. Let these be ever present to your minds and exemplified I your lives and conduct.
Imprint deep upon your minds the principles of piety toward God is the beginning of wisdom, and its consummation is everlasting felicity… Remember, too, that you are the redeemers of the Lord, that you are bought with price, even the inestimable price of the precious blood of the Son of God. Adore Jehovah, therefore, as your God and your Judge. Love, fear, and serve Him as your Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. Acquaint yourselves with Him in His Word and holy ordinances.
Make Him your friend and protector and your felicity is secured both here and hereafter. And with respect to particular duties to Him, it is your happiness that you are well assured that he best serves his Maker, who does most good to his country and to mankind.
Beware of false Gods: Deuteronomy 12:29-32 > When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land,
30 > take heed to yourself that they are destroyed from you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’
31 > You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; yu shall not add to it nor take away from it.
PRAYER: Deuteronomy 15:6 > For the LORD your God will bless you just as He promised you; you shall lend to many nations, but you shall lend to borrow; you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you.
“GOD BLESS AMERICA”
Born in a poor Russian Jewish ghetto, Irving berlin immigrated to America with his parents when he was five, settling in New York’s Lower East Side. He became one of the most prolific American songwriters in history. “GOD Bless America” is an American patriotic song he originally wrote in 1918 and revised in 1938, as war their Nazis were threatening Europe. It takes the form of a prayer for God’s blessing and peace for the nation. Singer Kate Smith introduced the revised “God Bless America” during her radio broadcast on Armistice Day 1938, and the song was an immediate sensation. It is considered an unofficial anthem of the United States.
While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer,
God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home.
The Connection between religion and Democracy
The following excerpt from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State of the Union to Congress in 1939 underscores how, until recent years, America’s leadership understood the vital connection between religion and democracy. With Hitler on the move in Europe, President Roosevelt said;
Storms from abroad directly challenge three institutions indispensable to Americas, now as always. The first is religion. It is the source of the other two- democracy and international good faith.
Religion by teaching man his relationship to God, gives the individual a sense of his own dignity and teaches hi not respect himself by respecting his neighbors.
Democracy, the practice of self-government, is a covenant among free men to respect the rights and liberties of their fellows.
International good faith, a sister of democracy, springs from the will of civilized nations of men to respect the rights and liberties of other mens nation.
In a modern civilization, all three – religion, democracy, and international good faith – complement and support each other.
Where freedom has been attacked, the attack has come from sources opposed to democracy. Where democracy has been overthrown, the spirit of free worship has disappeared. And where religion and democracy have vanished, good faith and resin in international affairs have given way to strident ambition and brute force.
An ordering of society which relegates religion, democracy, and good faith among nations to the background can find no place within it for the ideals of the Prince of Peace. The United States rejects such an ordering and retains its ancient faith.
There comes a time in affairs of men when they must prepare to defend, not only their home alone, but the tenets of faith and humanity on which their churches, their governments, and their very civilization are founded. The defense of religion, of democracy, and of good faith among nations is all the same fight. To save one we now make up our minds to save all.
Deuteronomy 31:19 “Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and tech it to your children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel.
Excerpts from the New England Primer
The New England Primer was first published between 1688 and 1690 by Benjamin Harris of Boston. It was first reading primer designed for the American colonies and became the most successful education test book published in the early days of U.S. History. The 90-page work contained religious maxims, woodcuts, alphabetical assistants, catechisms, and moral lessons. Many of its selection were drawn from King James Bible.
The following selection reflects the primer’s blend of alphabetical and biblical instruction.
- In ADMA’S Fall, we sinned all.
- HEAVEN to find, the Bible Mind
- CHRIST crucify’d,For sinners dy’d.
- The DELUGE drown’d, the Earth around.
- ELIJAH hid, By Ravens fed.
- The judgment made FELIX afraid
- As runs the GLASS, Our Life doth pass.
- My Book and HEART, Must never part.
- JOB feels the rod Yet blesses God.
- Proud KORAH’S troop, was swallowed up.
- LOT fled to Zoar, saw fiery Shower, On Sodom pour.
- MOSES was he, who Israel’s Host, Led thro’ the Sea.
- NOAH did view, The old & new.
- You OBADIAS, David, Josias, all were pious.
- PETER deny’d, His Lord and cry’d
- QUEEN Esther sues, And saves the Jews.
- Young pious RUTH Left all for Truth.
- Young TIMOTHY , Learnt sin to flee.
- VASHTI for Pride, Was set aside.
- WHALES in the Sea. God’s Voice obey.
- XERXES did, And so must I.
- While YOUTH do chear, Death may be near.
- ZACCHEUS he, did climb the Tree, Our Lord to see
When written: 100-1375 B.C.
Key Verse: Joshua 24- Before his death and in preparation for a major transition of leadership, Joshua reviews God’s fulfillment of His promises and challenges the people to renew their commitment to the covenant, which is the foundation for their success both personally and as a nation.
Horace Greeley, one of America’s leading nineteenth-century newspaper editors, reminded his follow citizens what many of the Founding Fathers of the previous generation had emphasized, that “liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” Indeed as the children of Israel Began their conquest of Canaan, their Joshua reminded them that their success depended upon God’s Word being in their hearts and minds and upon their lips.
From individual, to family, to nation, each of us must, as Joshua challenges his fellow Israelites (24:15), make the choice to serve the Lord. Such a choice is foundational to the moral and spiritual resolve that will give us success in all we set out to accomplish.
God’s Commission to Joshua;
1:1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant saying:
2- “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land of Israel.
3- every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.
8- this Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
9- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
SHIELD OF STRENGTH
Captain Russell Rippetoe was a member of the Alpha Company Their Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. Previously, while serving in Afghanistan, Rippetoe saw men die for the first time; and it brought a renewal to his Christian faith and new passion for the Bible, which he carried in his backpack. On the chain around his neck, he wore a “Shield of Strength,” a one-by-two-inch emblem that displays a U.S. flag on one side and the words from Joshua 1:9 on the other. In his combat diary dated March 27, Ripprtoe had written” “think about what Mom and I talked about all things happening for a reason, and only God knows why the reason.”
On April 3, 2003, Alpha Company was manning a nighttime checkpoint near the Hadihah Dam in western Iraq when vehicle approached. Suddenly a woman jumped out a cried, “I am hungry. I need food and water!” Protection his men, Rippetoe gave order to “hold back” as he moved toward the woman to see how he could help. When she hesitated, the driver detonated a car bomb that killed Captain Rippetoe, Sergeant Nino Livaudais, and Specialist Ryan Long, and wounded others.
Rippetoe believed the ancient words given to Joshua: “the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” That he died trying to help someone else came as no surprise to those who knew him. He became the first casualty of the Iraq conflict to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery the hallowed ground that is memorial to more than 250,000 American soldiers spanning back to the Revolutionary War.
WOMEN IN THE CIVIL WAR
Courage; Joshua 6:25 – And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells on Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
During the civil war, hundreds of women serve as frontline nurses, spies, saboteurs, and in the in infantry, cavalry, and artillery for both the Union and Confederate armies. From all walks of life and for numerous reasons, many took on male disguises and often remained undiscovered until they were either wounded or killed, enduring hardships and dangers and serving with distinction.
Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, called Rosetta, was a poor farm girl who cut her hair and joined the 153rd Regiment of New York State Volunteers. Enlisting under the name “Lyons Wakeman on august 30, 1862, she sent most of her army pay home to keep the family farm going. Her regiment first preformed guard duty in Alexandria, Virginia, and then marched 700 miles to join General Bank’s Red River campaign in Louisiana in February 1864. The Unionists repelled a Confederate attack, but soon had to retreat.
Near the end of the campaign, Rosetta was stricken with dysentery and died in the Marine Hospital of New Orleans on June 19, 1864. Her identity remained undiscovered for more than a century until her letter from home surfaced. She left behind a ring, which was engraved with her regiment and name on it. She is buried in Louisiana in a grave marked by a headstone that reads simply: “4006 Lyons Wakeman, N.Y.”In her letters home, Rosetta wrote of the battlefield and the pride she felt at being a good soldier, but she also expressed her strong religious faith as well as her strong desire to be financially independent and but a farm for her own after the war. In one letter she wrote: “I don’t feel afraid to go [into battle]. I don’t believe there are any Rebel bullets made for me yet… But if it is God’s will for me to fall in the field of battel, it is my will to go and never return home.”
Rose Rooney joined the Confederate Army, openly signing on as a female enlistee to serve as cook and laundress for Crescent Blues Volunteers at New Orleans in 1861. Her unit eventually became Company K of the 15th Louisiana Infantry and went to Virginia. At the First Battle of Bull Run, she is reported to have run through a field of heavy firs to tear down a rail fence, allowing a battery of Confederate artillery to stop Union charge. She served through the end of the war.
Joshua 6:26 – then Joshua charged them at time, saying, “Cursed be the man before the LORD who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.”
“THEREFORE, THE CHILDREN OF
Israel could not stand before their enemies….”
The Loss of Virtue;
Samuel Adams, the great American patriot accused by King George 3rd of being “the chief rabble-rouser” of the American independence, wrote in a letter to James Warren in 1779:
A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. How necessary then it for those who are determined to transmit the blessing of liberty as a fair inheritance to posterity, to associate on public principles in support of public virtue.
CHRISTIANITY IN THE COLONIAL AMERICA!!!
Beginning early in the seventeenth century, settlers from Spain, France, Sweden, Holland, and England claimed land and formed colonies along the eastern coast of North America, and the struggle for control of this land continued for well over a hundred years. By the time the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, there thirteen fully operational American colonies with independents government and constitutions.
The first permanent settlement was the English colony at Jamestown, 1607, in what is now Virginia. Similar to the other colonial charters, the first charter of Virginia emphasized the Christian character of their purpose: “We, greatly commending, an graciously accepting of, their desire for the furtherance of so noble a work, which may, by the providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the glory of His Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian religion to such people, as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship God.”
In 1620, the Pilgrims followed and set up colony at Plymouth, in what is now Massachusetts. The purpose of the Pilgrims was to establish a political commonwealth governed by biblical standards. The Mayflower Compact, their initial governing document, clearly stated that what they had undertaken was for “the glory of God and the advancement of Christian faith.” William Bradford, the second governor of Plymouth said, “[the colonists] cherished a great hope and inward zeal of laying good foundations…. For the propagations and advance of the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ in the remote parts of the world.”
In June 1630, Governor John Winthrop landed in Massachusetts Bay with 700 people and 11 ships, thus beginning the Great Migration which lasted sixteen years and saw more than 20,000 Puritans sail for New England. The Puritans so believed that this New World would be a place to escape the corruptions in their own church-state homeland, they called their Massachusetts Bay Colony a “Zion in wilderness” and “a city upon the hill.”
Winthrop also organized the first American experiment in federation in 1643, the New England Confederation, stating that the aim of the colonists of New Plymouth, New Haven, Massachusetts, and Connecticut was “to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and enjoy the liberties of the gospel thereof in purities and peace.”
IN 1638, A COLONY WAS ESTABLISHED in New Haven, in what is now Connecticut, by the reverend John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton. A year later, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, often called the world’s first written constitution, was adopted. It reads in part: “For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of Hs Divine Providence so to order and dispose of things that we the inhabitants and residents….; and well knowing where a people are gathered together the Word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent government established according to God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people at all seasons as occasion shall require.”
Other England colonies prang up along the Atlantic coast, from Maine in the north to Georgia in the south. Swedish and Dutch colonies took shapes in and around what is now New York. As more and more people arrived in the New World, more and more disputes arose over territory. Many wars were fought in the 1600’s and 1700’s. Eventually, the two countries with the largest presence were England and France.
The two nations fought for control of North America in the French and Indian War (1754-1763). England won the war and took control of Canada, as well as keeping control of all the English colonies. By this time, the English colonies were Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
WHEN THESE COLONIAL SETTLERS arrived in America, the influence of the Bible on their lives came from within. For many, their Christian faith was as much a part of who they were as their brave spirits, and it touched all they. This stands out boldly as one sees the goal of government based on Scripture being affirmed over and over by individual colonies, such as in the Portsmouth, Rhode Island compact of 1638, which begins: “we submit our persons, lives, and estates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King and kings and Lord of lords, and to all those perfect and most absolute laws of his given us in His Holy Word.”
From the first colony at Jamestown to the Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges granted to William Penn in 1701, where ‘”all persons who… profess to believe in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, shall be capable … to serve this government in any capacity, both legislatively and executively,” the Bible was used as the rule of life in the colonies. Every evidence indicates the profound effect God’s Word had on the early Americans.
“We submit our person, lives, and estates our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, and to all those perfect and most absolute laws of His given us in Holy Word.”
Joshua 18:4 – “Pick out from you three men for each tribe…”
And I will send them; they shall rise and go through the land, survey it according their inheritance, and come back to me.
Since the founding of our nation, voting has been considered one of the core responsibilities of citizenship. The “Father of the American Revolution” and singer of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams, said of voting in 1781:
Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to god and his country.
The Promise Fulfilled
JOSHUA 21:43 – So the LORD gave Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.
44 – The LORD gave them rest ass around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.
45 – Not a word failed od any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.
[The Word of the LORD, thanks be to God on high, Amen.]
The words John F. Kennedy
Joshua 24:15- And if it seem evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you serve, whether the gods which fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or gods of the Amorites, in those land you dwell. But as for me, my house, we serve the LORD.”
Called the most memorable speech of the twentieth-century politician, President John F. Kennedy spoke these inspirational words to an American citizenry that was torn fears of war in his 1961 Inaugural Address:
The world is very different now. For man holds mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe, the beliefs that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hands of God.
We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, discipline by hard and bitter peace, proud pf our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those humans rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.
Let every nation know, whether it wishes is well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.
In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility- I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it – and the glow from the fire can truly light the world.
And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.
Finally, with a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.
When written: 1050-1000 B.C.
Key Verse: Judges 21:25- In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Key Chapter: Judges 2 – The second chapter demonstrates the cycle of behavior that would define the spiritual path of Israel after the death of Joshua and his generation. The people would drift from godliness to apostasy; they would send through a series of judges.
U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas recalls that as he was growing up, his grandfather taught him some important foundation lessons about the connection between personal responsibility and liberty. “What my grandfather believe was that people have their responsibilities, and that if they are left alone to fulfill their responsibility, that is freedom,” noted Justice Thomas. “Honestly and responsibilities of all Americans to live in such a way that will maintain and protect the foundations of freedom. “Too, many conversations today have to do with right and wants,” he said. “There is not enough talk about responsibilities and duties.”
The Book of Judge offers a graphic demonstration of the consequences of such self-seeking behavior among the citizens of a nation–and of the need for personal and collective humility, repentance, and steadfast faith in God to turn a nation back to righteousness.
Judges 4:22- And then, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said to him, “Come, I will show you the man whom you seek.” And when he when into her tent, there lay sisera, dead with the peg in his temple.
Women in the REVOLUIONARY WAR
It was not unusual to see women on the battlefield during the revolutionary war, particularly as camp followers, who mostly came from poor families that were reduced to homelessness without their husband’s income. Camp followers would perform the army’s mundane but vital chores of cooking, doing laundry and mending, carrying water, loading weapons, and nursing the wounded. Thought not in uniform, these women shared soldier’s hardships, including inadequate housing and little compensation.
Margaret Corbin, for instance, followed her husband, John, when he joined the Continental Army in 1776, an artillery bombardment fatally wounded John, who manned one of the two cannons. Seeing him, dead, she took his place, firing the cannon until she was also severely wounded. Three years later, she became the first woman in the United States to receive a pension from Congress.
Deborah Sampson Gannett was the first known American woman to impersonate a man in order to join the army and take part in combat. She fought in several skirmishes and took musket balls in her thigh and a huge cut on her forehead from bullet. Her secret was discovered after she came with a malignant fever. After the war, Sampson requested equal payment for her service and received a pension that matched that of the men who fought.
Women also served as spies during the revolutionary War, alerting American troops to enemy movement, carrying messages and contraband. For instance, Ann Simpson Davis was handpicked by General Washington to carry messages to his generals while the army was in eastern Pennsylvania. Davis was an accomplished horsewoman and slipped through areas occupied by the British army unnoticed. She carried secret orders in sacks of grain and sometimes in her clothing to various mills around Philadelphia and Bucks Country. Davis received a letter of commendation for her services from George Washington.
Judges 6:11-Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from Midianites.
12- And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him,
“the Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Francis Marion, the “SWAMP FOX”
Francis Marion (1732-1795) was a brigadier general in the South Carolina Militia during the American revolutionary was. He became known as the “Swamp Fox” because he set up his base of operations in a swamp. “Marion’s Brigade” was a volunteer force that could assemble at a moment’s notice, hit British and Loyalist units and garrisons, and then disappear into the swamps. He is considered one of the fathers of modern into guerrilla warfare.
While the British occupied most of the southern colonies, large-scale resistance was impossible. Marion and his patriot unit was a powerful force in the south, as Nathanael Greene later wrote in praise: “Surrounded on every side with a superior force, hunted from every quarter with veteran troop, you have found the means to elude their attempt and keep alive the expiring hopes of an oppressed militia.”
After the war, Marion served in the state senate of South Carolina for several terms. He stated: “Who can doubt that god created us to be happy, and thereto made us to love one another? It is plainly as the Gospel. The heart is sometimes so embittered that nothing, but Divine love can sweeten it, so enraged that devotion can only be calm it, and so broken down that it takes all the force of heavenly hope to raise it. In short, the religion of Jesus Christ is the only sure and controlling power over sin.”
DEFENDER: THE FOUNDATION OF AMERICA
Judges 20:11- So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, united together as one man.
On September 11, 2001, in his address to the American people, President George Bush stated:
The picture of airplanes flying into building, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murders were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.
A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake a foundation of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.
America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that from shining.
Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America- with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.
This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolves for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.
April 23, 2019
Here is my thought on this issue.
After September 11, 2001; in my opinion We the PEOPLE on the Unite States, gave up on our country and our country people. Everyone just forgot about God and His comment’s. and stopped caring about our people. Jesus, Himself, to take care of each other and spread the WORD, the only Words that matter.
Author unknown: 1050-500 B.C.
Key Verse: Ruth 1:16- “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for whatever you go, I will go; and wherever you loge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and you God, My God.”
Key Chapter: Ruth 4- In this short chapter, Ruth moves from widowhood and poverty to marriage and wealth, demonstrating how God works all things according to the counsel of His will to bring redemption to His people. The key is faith and patience in His perfect provision.
Like Ruth of the Old Testament, women of steadfast loyalty and faith have a key to America’s strength. One such woman was Ruth Bell Graham, wife of America’s beloved twentieth-century spiritual leader Dr. Billy Graham. Throughout their life together, Dr. Graham often emphasized how vital his wife was to his own success, nothing that “my work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support.”
For her own part, Mrs. Graham’s quit commitment to her god and to her family reflected the determination of her biblical namesake to follow the God of Israel. Mrs. Graham once ecplained, “I must faithfully. Patiently, lovingly, and happily do my part- then quietly wait for God to do His.” That same faithfulness was what led the widowed and desolate Ruth to become the wife of Boaz and part of the lineage of Jesus Christ.
Ruth: But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, be my God.
Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The LORD do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.”
1:21 went out full and the Lord had brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”
The PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE
Every morning across the United States of America, over 60 million teachers and students recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Congress sessions open with the recitation of the Pledge, and it is recited as many public events:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag
Of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands:
One Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.
The Pledge of Allegiance to th United States flag was first created in 1892 as a celebratory remark used throughout public schools in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus discovering the New world. Since then, it has become a national oath of loyalty to the country, a motto of unity, and a defense of the American way of life. It should be recited by standing at attention facing the flag with your left hand over your heart. When not in uniform, men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the lift shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and stand at the position of attention.
The Pledge Allegiance was recited daily by children in schools across America and gained heightened popularity among adults during the patriotic fervor created by World War II. It was an unofficial pledge until June 22, 1942, when the United states Flag Code (title 36). This was the first official sanction given to the words that had been recited each day by children for almost 50 years. One year after receiving this official sanction, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that schoolchildren could not be forced to recite the Pledge as part of their daily routine. In 1945, the Pledge to the flag received its official title as: The Pledge of Allegiance.
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved the words “under God” in the Pledge in order to differentiate the United States from the officially atheist Soviet Union. As he authorized this change he said: “In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.”
FAITH OF THE FOUNDERS
While much has been written in recent years to try to dismiss the fact that America was founded upon the biblical principles of Judeo-Christianity, all the revisionism in the world cannot change the facts. Anyone who examines the original writings, personal correspondence, biographies, and public statements of the individuals who were instrumental in the founding of America will find an abundance of quotations showing the profound extent to which their thinking and lives were influenced by a Christian worldview.
That is not to say that all of the Founding Fathers were Christians. Clearly, they were not. But the point is that even those who were not Christian were deeply influenced by the principles of Christianity- a mind-set that helped to shape their political ideals. It is possible to be so distracted with whether Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson ever put their personal faith in Jesus Christ that one misses that fact that the founders almost all thought from the biblical perspective, whether they believe or not.
My only hope of salvation is in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!
Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity…
I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.
John Adams, Second President
He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all…
Our forefathers opened the Bible to all.
Samuel Adams, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
Clearly, there was a predominant Christian consensus in colonial America that shaped the Founder’s thinking and their writing of the founding documents and laws, resulting in the republic we have today. The Declaration of Independence identified the source of all authority and rights as “Their Creator,” and then accentuated that individual human rights were God-given, not man-made. Thus, there would be no king established religion to stand in the way of human liberty or dignity-uniquely Judeo-Christian ideals.
While most historians do not limit the “Founding Fathers” to the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, this core group of men represents the religious sentiments of those who shaped the political foundations of our nation. As a matter of public record, the delegates included 28 Episcopalians, 8 Presbyterians, 7 Congregationalists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Dutch reformed, 2 Methodists, 2 Roman Catholics, I unknown, and 3 deists (those who believe in an impersonal God who gave the world its initial impetus but then left it to run its course). A full 93 percent of its members were of Christian churches, and all were deeply influenced by a biblical view of mankind and government.
Even brief study of the Founders’ last wills and testaments provides convincing declarations of the strong religious beliefs among so many of them. Add to that their personal writings concerning their faith in Christ, plus their leadership roles in establishing and guiding numerous Bible societies, plus their service in active ministries, and the evidence is overwhelming.
We the PEOPLE
Here is a small sample of the convictions of the Founders:
Attributed to Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia
..to the supreme head of the universe – to that great and tremendous Jehovah – who created the universal frame of nature, worlds, and systems in number infinite . . to this awfully sublime Being do I resign my spirit with unlimited confidence of His mercy and protection.
Henry Knox, Revolutionary War General
Principally and first of all and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it: and my body I recommend to the earth … nothing doubting but at the same again by the mercy and power of God.
John Hancock, Signer of the Declaration
Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure … ae undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free government.
Charles Carrol, signer of The Declaration of Independence
Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.
John Jay, First chief Justice of the Supreme Court
1 Samuel 8:17- He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants.
The History of Liberty
In 1912, the 28th, president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, who was also a distinguished historian and a profound student of government stated:
The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is history of the limitation of government power, not the increase of it. When we resist the concentration of power, we are resisting the power of death. Concentration of power precedes the destruction of human liberties.
The Privilege and responsibility for Voting:
Benjamin Rush, one of America’s Founding Fathers, said “Every citizen of a republic … must watch for the state as if its liberties depended upon his vigilance alone.” The most basic democratic participation of citizenry is voting. When we vote, we help determine who will lead the nation, make the laws, and protect our liberties. Unfortunately, the church and people of faith often vote at an alarmingly low rate. When people of fail to vote, is it any wonder that policies are enacted that are contrary to believers’ core values?
Not participating in the civic and political arenas not only violates historical precedent but ignores what America’s leaders have always taught. For example:
If America is to survive, we must elect more God-center men and women to public office-individuals who seek Divine guidance in the affairs of state; Billy Graham
The time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics. … God cannot sustain this free and blessed country which we love and pray for unless the Church will take right ground.… It seems sometimes as if the foundations of the nation are becoming rotten, and Christians seem to act as if they think God does not see what they do in politics; Charles Finney
Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature; President James A. Garfield
God commands you to choose for rulers, just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizen neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded; Noah Webster.
1 Samuel 13:14- “But not your kingdom shall not continue.”
When Kings Un-King themselves:
Jonathan Mayhew (1720-1766), a Congregational minister and distinguished Dudlein Lecturer at Harvard in 1765, reflected on the colonists’ feelings toward King George III’s hated Stamp Act:
The king is as much bound by his oath not to infringe the legal rights of the people, as the people are bound to yield subjection to him. From whence it follows that as soon as the prince sets himself above the law, he loses the king in the tyrant. He does, to all intents and purposes, un-king himself.
Author: Unknown, possibly Abiathar the Priest
When Written: 931-722 B.C.
Theme: Kingship of David, Forerunner of the Messiah
Key Verse: 2 Samuel 22:21-22 > “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD and have not wickedly departed from my God.”
KEY CHAPTER’S: 2 SAMUEL 11 – All of the abundant blessings enjoyed by David’s family and kingdom are quickly removed when God chastises David for his sin with Bathsheba. This episode demonstrates how intricately the affairs od a nation are tied to the spiritual and moral conditions of its leaders.
Just as choices made by King David dramatically impacted the plight of his people, similarly, choices made by our own national leaders can and do determine whether we will suffer or be blessed as a nation. America’s Founding Fathers took this truth very seriously. John Adam’s, second president of the United States, wrote that America’s tradition of liberty “is productive of everything which is great and excellent among men. But its principles are as easily destroyed as human nature is corrupted.” Nothing that effective government can only be built upon a moral foundation, Adams concluded, “Private and public virtue is the only foundation of Republics.”
2 Samuel 1:25- “How the mighty have fallen in the mist of the battle!
Jonathan was slain in your high places.
In his farewell speech to Corps of Cadets at West Point, General Douglas MacArthur gave a moving tribute to the ideals that inspire the great American soldier. For as long as other Americans serve their country courageously and honorably, his words will live on. The following excerpt from May 1962 is one small paragraph of his famous speech:
The code which these words perpetuate embraces the highest moral laws and will stand the test of ay ethics or philosophies ever promulgated for the uplift of mankind. Its requirements are for the things that are right, and its restraints are from the things that are wrong. The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training-sacrifice. In battle and in the face ofdanger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in His own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone c sustain him. However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind.
2 Samuel 5:11 > then Hiram king Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters and masons. And they built David a house.
12 > So David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel.
Government Support of Missions
In December 1803, upon recommendation by President Thomas Jefferson, the United States Congress ratified a treaty between the United States and the Kaskaskin Indian tribe that provided:
And whereas the greater part of the said tribe have been baptized and received into the Catholic Church, to which they are much attached, the United States will give annually, for seven years, one hundred dollar toward the support of a priest of that religion, who will engage to perform for said tribe the duties of his office, and also to instruct as many of their children as possible, in the rudiments of literature, and the United States will further give the sum of three hundred dollars, to assist the said tribe in the erection of a church.
2 Samuel 20:2- So every man of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, remained loyal to their king.
Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828
Patriotism, n. love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country, either in defending it from invasion or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions in vigor and purity. Patriotism is th characteristic of a good citizen, the noblest passion that animates a man in the character of a citizen.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh edition copyright 2004
Patriotism, n. love for one’s country.
Note how the definitions have changed. Noah Webster’s patriot defends his country wit hobjective actions, versus the vague, subjective patriotism of one who only feels and expresses love for his country. True patriotism is not just an emotional feeling; it is action.
Webster’s original definition includes a love for country, service to country, defense of country, protection of the rights od country, maintenance of the laws and institutions of country, preservation of religion and morality in public and private life and puts the needs of the country above the personal or partisan desires as well as above the favor of foreign nations.
2 Samuel 23:8- these are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonits, chief among the captains. He was called Adino the Eznite, because he had killed eight hundred men at one time.
The soldier’s heart, the soldier’s spirit, the soldier’s soul are everything. Unless the soldier’s soul sustains him, he cannot be relied upon and will fail himself, his commander, and country in the end; General George C. Marshall
Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the men who leads that gains that victory; General George S. Patton
God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.; Daniel Webster
Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its own waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and never will; Frederick Douglass
This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave; Elmer Davis
I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country; Nathan Hale
A man who won’t die for something in not fit to live; Martin Luther King Jr.
The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood; and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designed men.
Author: unknown, attributed to Jeremiah
When written: 560-538 B.C.
Key Verses: 1 Kings 9:4-5 > “Now if you walk before Me ae your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statues and My judgements, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your father saying, ‘You shall not fail a man on the throne of Israel.’
Key Chapter: 1 Kings 12- The crucial turning point in 1 Kings occurs in chapter 12 when, following the death of Solomon, the nation of Israel is torn asunder by internal conflict and becomes two separate warring kingdoms. Where there had once been unity of vision and spirit, there now exists ongoing discord and strife.
First Kings records the life and reign of Israel’s King Solomon, considered the wisest man who ever lived. When Israel’s heeded God’s Word and followed the directives handed down through his father, king David, Israel enjoyed unprecedented peace, prosperity, and blessing. But when, toward the end of his life, Solomon took his eyes off the God-inspired vision for Israel, the nation began a slow decline.
Similarly, the far-reaching vision that led America’s forefathers to found a nation governed by the rule of law could not prevent that nation from splintering less than 80 years later as self-centered ideologies and a militant spirit threatened to destroy this “one nation under God’s mercy, righteous leadership, and the prayers of individuals and groups who love their God and their country have helped American as the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
William Howard Taft placed his hand on! Kings 3:9-11 as he took the presidential oath of the office 1909.
I Kings 3:9-11>
9- Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of yours?”
10-the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
11- then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice,
WORSHIP “MY COUNTRY, ‘TIS OF THEE”
Samuel Francis Smith wrote the words to “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” also known as “America,” while studying at Andover Theological Seminary in 1831. The song’s inspirational words are matched with a popular international melody used by many nations, including England, where it accompanies “God Save the King/Queen.” The hymn soon became a national favorite, serving as a de facto national anthem of the United States for much of the nineteenth century.
My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing:
Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside let freedom ring!
My native country, thee, land of noble free, thy name I love:
I love thy rocks and rills, thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills, like they above.
Let music swell the breeze, and ring from all the trees sweet
Let mortal tonuges awake; let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their break their silence break, the sound prolong.
Our fathers’ God, to Thee, author of liberty, to the we sing:
Long may our land be bright with freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by Thy might, great God, our King!
I Kings 9:4 > Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My Statutes and My Judgments,
5> then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’
THE WORLD’S BEST CURRENCY:
William McKinley, the 25th president of the United Stated (1897-1901), stated:
There is no currency in this world that passes t such a premium anywhere as good Christian character. …the time has gone by when the young man and woman in the United States has to apologize for a follower of Christ. … No cause but one could have brought tonight so many people, and that is the cause of our Master.
1 King 10:1-13 >
- Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.
- She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels that bore spices, very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart.
- 3. So Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for the king that he could not explain it to her.
- And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the hose that he built,
- the food on his table, the seating of his servants, the service of his waiters and their apparel, his cupbearers, and his entryway by which he went up to the house of t he LORD, there was no more spirit in her.
- Then she said to the king: “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom.
- However, I did not believe the words until came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed, that half had not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard.
- Happy are our men and happy are these servants, who stand continually before your and
- Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted I you, setting on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do the justice and righteousness.”
- Then she gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, spics in great quantity, and precious stones. There never again came such abundance of spices as the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon.
- Alo, the ship of Hiram, which brought gold from Ophir, brought great quantities of almug wood and precious stones from Ophir.
- And the king made steps of the almug wood for the house of the LORD and for king’s house, also harps and stringed instruments for singers. There never again came such almug wood, nor has the like been seen to this day.
Now King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired, whatever she asked, besides what Solomon given her according to the royal generosity. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.
1 Kings 22:14- And Micaiah said, as the LORD lives, whatever the LORD says to me, I will speak.”
A wise person once said, “Freedom is never free,” and that is certainly true in America.
Nathen Hale (1755-1776) was a schoolteacher when the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775 at Concord and Lexington. Nathan’s friend witnessed the siege of Boston and wrote a letter in which he said: “Was I in your condition…. I think the more extensive would be my choice. Our holy religion, the honor of our God, a glorious country, and a happy constitution is what we have to defend. “soon after receiving the letter, Hale joined his five brothers in the fight for independence against the British and quickly rose to the rank of captain.
Hale fought under General George Washington in New York, as British General William Howe began a military buildup on Long Island. Washington took his army onto Manhattan Island. At the battle of Harlem Heights, Washington asked for a volunteer to go on a spy mission behind enemy lines Hale stepped forward and was set out on his mission. For a week he gathered information on the position of the British troops, he was captured while returning to the American side. Because of incriminating papers Hale possessed, the British knew he was a spy. Howe ordered the 20-year-old Hale to be hanged the following day without trial.
Widely considered America’s first spy, patriot Nathan Hale as hanged on September 22, 1776. Before he gave his life his country, he made a short speech, ending with these famous words that have inspired Americans from every generation: “I only regret that I have but only life to lose for my country.”
We have enjoyed so much freedom for as long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of rights; Felix Frankfurter
We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls; Robert J. McCracken
Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it; John Quincy Adams.
Micaiah Warns Ahab
1 Kings 22: 1-28 >
- Now three years passed without war between Syria and Israel.
- Then it came to pass, in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went down to visit the king of Israel.
- And the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that ramoth in Gilead is ours, but we hesitate to
take it out of the hand of the king Syria?”
- So he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight at Ramoth Gilead?”
Also Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people, my horses as your horses.”
- Also Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire for the word of the LORD today.”
- Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to fight, or shall I refrain?” So they said, Go up, for the LORD will deliver it into the hand of the king.”
- And Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not still a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of Him?”
- So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.”
And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king ay such thing’s!”
- Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “bring Micaiah the son of Imlah quickly!”
- The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Juda, having put on their robes, sat each on his throne, at a threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.
- Now Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made horns of iron for himself; and he said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘With these you shall gore the Syrians until they are destroyed.”
- And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, “Go up to Ramoth Gilead and prosper, for the LORD will deliver it into the king’s hand.”
- Then the messenger who had gone to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, “Now listen, the words of the prophets with one accord encouragement.”
- And Micaiah said, as the LORD lives, whatever the LORD says to me, that I will speak.”
- Then he came to the king; and the king said to him, ‘Go and prosper, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king!”
- So the king said to him, how many times shall I make you sear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the king!”
- Then he said, “I saw a Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master. Let each return to his house in peace.’”
- Then he said, “I saw all Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”
- Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left.
- And the LORD, ‘who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead? ‘So one spoke in that manner.
- Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’
- The LORD said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all prophets.’ And the LORD said, ‘You shall persuade him and also prevail. Go out and do so.’
- Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared against you.”
- Now Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near and struck Micaiah on the cheek, and said, “Which why did the spirit from the LORD go from me to speak to you?”
- And Micaiah said, “Indeed, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide!”
- So the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah, and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’ son;
- And say, ‘thus says the king: “Put this fellow in prison and feed him with bread of affliction and water affliction, until I come in peace.”’”
- But Micaiah said, “If you ever return in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me.” And he said, Take heed, all you people!”
Author: Unknown, attributed to Jeremiah
When Written: 500-538 B.C.
Theme: Destruction, Captivity
Key Verses: 2 Kings 23:27- And the LORD said, “I will also remove Judah from My sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, ‘My name shall be there.’”
Key Chapter: 2 Kings 25- The last chapter of this records the utter destruction of Jerusalem and its glorious temple and the removal of all its inhabitants (except the poorest) to bondage in Babylon. The final verses, however, offer hope for Judah and a subtle foreshadowing of the return of the Babylonian captives to their longed-for home.
Second Kings continues the account of the downward spiral of both Israel and Judah s the divided nations by and large walk a path of rebellion and disobedience to God. During this time, prophets such as Elijah are sent to warn the people of sin, idolatry, and impending judgment. They explain the necessity of turning from evil and following the commandments given by God.
Just as God spokesmen and prophets in Israel and Judah to encourage righteousness and warn against idolatry and evil, so throughout the generations of our own nation He has raised men and women to speak in defense of liberty, justice, morality, and Finney, Fredrick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, DD. L. Mood, Peter Marshall, Billy Graham, and many others have reminded this nation that from its foundations to the present time her significance will endure only as she seeks to be a “nation under God.”
Francis Scott Key; “THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER”
During the War of 1812, the British navy unleashed a fierce bombardment on Fort McHenry from Baltimore harbor. On September 13, 1814, a young American lawyer named Francis Scott Key watched the relentless bombing throughout the night, then silence followed. Had the fort been forced to surrender? As the first rays of sunlight broke the darkness, Key could see the American flag waving proudly. In the inspiration of the moment, he began a poem titled “Defense of Fort McHenry,” which was set to a popular tune and renames “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It became a well- known American patriotic song and was eventually made the national anthem by the congressional resolution March 3, 1931. More than just a song, it expresses one man’s deep gratitude for the America’s freedom and godly foundation.
O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad strips and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n 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 our Trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
God Judges Ahaziah
2 Kings 7:
- Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seah of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’”
- So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, “Look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?”
And he said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”
The Syrians Flee
7. For the LORD had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses – the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!”
“I WAS FREE”
Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) was an escaped slave who repeatedly activists risked her life to free slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. Also known as “Moses,” Tubman was an African-American abolitionist who inspired generations of African-American struggling for equality and civil rights. During the Civil War she served as Union spy, and after the war she helped set up schools for freed slaves and struggled for women’s suffrage.
To her biographer, Sarah H. Bradford, Harriet Tubman stated:
I had crossed de line of which I had so long been
Dreaming. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to de land of freedom, I was a stranger in a strange land, and my home after all was down in the de old cabin quarter, wid de ole folks, and my brothrs and sisters. But to dis solemn resolution I came; I was free, and dey should be free also; I would make home for dem in de North, and de Lord helping me, I would bring them all there. Oh, how I prayed then, lying all alone on cold, damp ground; “Oh, dear Lord,” I said, “I haint got not friend but you. Come to my help, Lord for I’m in trouble!”
‘Twant me, “twas the Lord. I always told Him, “I trust to You. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect You to lead me,” and He always did.
1 Kings2 14:
25. He restored the territory of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet who was from Gath Hepher.
26. For the LORD saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter; and whether bond or free, there was no helper for Israel.
27. For the LORD did not say that he would blot out the name of Israel form under heaven; but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.
28. Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did-his might, how he made war, and how he recaptured for Israel, from Damascus and Hamath, what had belonged to Judah-are they not written in the book of chronicles of the kings of Israel?
“I AM AN AMERICAN”
On June 2, 1995, U.S. Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady was patrolling the United Nations designated no-fly zone over war torn Bosnia when his F-16 fighter was struck by surface-to-air missile at 27,000 feet above the Earth. He desperately pulled his ejection lever and was catapulted into the sky t 350 miles per hour. Remarkably, he managed to land unscathed in enemy territory.
For six incredible days and nights, O’Grady eluded capture by the Bosnian Serbs who relentlessly hunted him. Utilizing his survival training to the maximum, O’Grady said it was also his faith in Grady God that sustained him. On his third day on the ground, he experienced the love of God to such a level that it took away fear of death. On the sixth day in a daring daylight rescue, an elite team of Marines moved in with a chopper, dodged enemy fire, and pulling the young American hero to safety.
At a national press conference following his triumphant return, O’Grady said, “If it wasn’t for my love for God and God’s love for me, I wouldn’t be here right now.” His inspirational and patriotic story is a brilliant testimony to Article Six of the United States Military Code of Conduct: “I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.”
Hezekiah Reigns in Judah
2 Kings 18:4-8
Author: Attributed to Ezra
When Written: 425-400 B.C.
Theme: Heritage, Covenant
Key Verse: 1 Chronicles 29:11- “Your, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Your; Your Kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all.”
Key Chapter: 1 Chronicles 17 – A pivotal passages for this – and all of Scripture- is God’s promise to David, recorded in chapter 17, that He would establish David’s own Son (ultimately fulfilled through the Lord Jesus Christ) “in My house and My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever” (v. 14).
While the Book of Chronicles might appear to be a repeat of the narratives of 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings, they were actually penned for the Israelites returning from their years of bondage in Babylon, to remind and encourage them concerning God’s unchanging covenant with His people. Beginning with a list of all who form the chain of one greatest heroes of Scripture, King David, and God’s promise to establish his throne forever. Such a promise would have spoken great comfort to the returning exiles.
Heritage and history are important reference points for any nation, offering examples of both past successes and failures, of righteousness and shortcomings, that can serve as signposts and examples for future generations. How our forefathers fought for liberty in the American Revolution, battles and killed one another in our nation’s Civil War, or hammered out the essence of civil rights for all individuals during the middle part of the twentieth century- all are pieces of a large and rich tapestry of heritage from which every citizen can draw in the ongoing effort to maintain our liberties.
“A CHRISTIAN NATION”
In 1892, the United States Supreme Court determined, in the case The Church of the Holy Trinity vs. the United States, that an English minister was not a foreigner laborer under the U.S. Code stature even though he was a foreigner. While this case was not specifically about professionals, the court considered American’s Christian identity to be a strong support for its conclusion that Congress could not have intended to prohibit foreign ministers.
Justice David Josiah Brewer penned the Court’s opinion, in which he stated that the United States was a “Christian Nation.” This statement is included as part of the dicta-that is, it is gratuitous statement that is not essential to the Court’s holding. The Court had already decided the issue before venturing its opinion as to the religious character of the country. Included was remarkable list of 87 examples taken from pre-Constitutional documents, historical practice, colonial charters, and the like, which reveal our undisputed religious roots. They range from the commission of Christopher Columbus to the first charter of Virginia to the Declaration of Independence and include the following statements:
No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state of national, because this is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making the affirmation.… There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning; they affirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons: they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people…. These, and many other matters which might be noticed, adds volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.
Brewer later clarified his position on a “Christian nation,” stating the U.S. is “Christian” in that many of its traditions are rooted in Christianity, not that Christianity should receive legal privileges or is established to the exclusion of other religions or to the exclusion of irreligion.
1 Chronicles 5:25- And they were unfaithful to the God of their fathers, and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land,
whom God has destroyed before them.
26- So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria that is, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. He carried the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh into captivity. He took them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river of Gozan to this day.
“GOD, GIVE US MEN”
Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881),
A poet and founder and editor od the popular Scribner’s Monthly (afterward the Century Magazine), penned these famous words:
God, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble and their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.
1 Chronicles 12:
8- Some Gadites joined David at the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle shield and spear, whose faces were as swift as the gazelles on the mountains:
9. Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third,
10. Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,
11. Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,
12. Johanan the eighth, Elizabad the ninth,
13. Jeremiah the tenth, and Machbanai the eleventh.
14. These were from the sons of Gad, captains of the armies; the least was over a hundred, and the greatest was over a thousand.
15. these are the ones who crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it had overflowed all the banks; and they put to flight all those in the valleys, to the east and to the west.
16. When some of the sons of Benjamin and Judah came to David at the stronghold.
17. And David went out to meet them, and answered and said to them, “If you have come peaceably to me to help me, my heart will be united with you; but if to betray me to my enemies, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look and bring judgement.”
18. Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the captains, and he said:
“We are your, O David;
We are on your side, O son of Jesse!
Peace, peace to you,
And peace to your people!
For your God helps you.”
So David received them, and made them captains of the troop.
The First Expression of Americanism
In a National Day of Prayer Proclamation, December 5, 1974, President Gerald Ford quoted President Dwight Eisenhower’s 1955
Without God there could not be no American form of government, nor a American way of life. Recognition of Supreme Being is the first- the most basic- expression of Americanism. This, the Founding Fathers of America saw it, and thus with God’s help, it will continue to be.
David’s Song of Thanksgiving
1 Chronicles 16: 8-36
8. Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
9. Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
10. Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
11. Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
- Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and judgments of His mouth,
- O seed of Israel His servant,
You children of Jacob, his chosen ones!
- He is the LORD our God;
His judgments are in the earth.
- Remember His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,
- The covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac,
- And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel for an everlasting covenant,
- Saying, “To you I will give the land Canaan
As the allotment of your inheritance,’
- When you were few in number, Indeed very few strangers in it.
- When they went from one nation to another, and from one kingdom to another people,
- He permitted no man to do them wrong; Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes,
- Saying, “do not touch My Anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.”
- Sing to the LORD, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
- Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.
- For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; he is also to be feared above all gods.
- For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.
- Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and gladness are in His place
- Dive to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Give to the LORD glory and strength.
- Give to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!
- Tremble before Him, all the earth. The world also is firmly established, it shall not be moved.
- Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; and let them say among nations, “The LORD reigns.”
- Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; let the field rejoice, and all that is in it.
- Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth.
- Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For mercy endures forever.
- And say, “Save us, O God of our salvation; gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles, to give thanks to Your holy name, to triumph in Your praise.”
- Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting!
And all the people said “Amen!” and praised the LORD.
Freedom and the Soul of Man
Whitaker Chambers (1901-1961, an American writer and editor who had formerly been a Soviet communist spy before he recanted and defected to the West, stated:
Freedom is a need of the soul, and nothing else. It is in striving toward God that the soul strives continually after a condition of freedom. God alone is the inciter and guarantor of freedom. He is the only guarantor.
External freedom is only as aspect of interior freedom. Political freedom, as the Western world has known it, is only political reading of the Bible. Religion and freedom are indivisible. Without freedom the soul dies. Without the soul there is no justification for freedom.
1 Chronicles 28:9- “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understandings all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.
American Bible Society
Elias Boudinot Jr. (1740-1821) was an early American lawyer and stateman for Elizabeth, New Jersey. As an energetic patriot, he was elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1784, serving as its president from 1782 until 1783. He then served three terms in Congress, followed by the appointment to be the Director of the Mint for ten years. Boudinot supported many civic and educational causes during his life, including serving as one of Princeton’s trustees for nearly half a century.
Boudinot was elected president of the American Bible Society at its founding in 1816 and served until his death in 1821. In his letter accepting the office of president, he stated that this was “the greatest honor” that could have been conferred upon him “on this side of the grave.” He had an unwavering faith that God had called the men of the society to the work of making Bible available in America. His ten-thousand-dollar gift, at a time when annual salary of $400 was considered good, essentially enable the formation and early organization of the American Bible Society, which will sponsor the work of Bible translation and distribution around the world.
1 Chronicles 29:2- Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance.
David’s Praise to God
1 Chronicles 29:10-15 >
10. therefore David blessed the LORD before all the assembly; and David said:
“Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.
11. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in earth is Your; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all.
12. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.
13. “Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.
14 But who Am I, and who are my people, that we should not be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You.
15. For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow, and without hope.
16. “O LORD Our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand and is all Your own.
17. I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You.