God and Country, Without God There is No Country! Psalm 33:12- “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.”

America was founded on godly principles*

/Moral Strength
Exodus 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.
Equipper
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
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

education. He wrote:

*/Moral Strength
Exodus 32:26–then Moses stood at 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 with 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 of 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.

Equipper
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
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.

Leviticus

Author: Moses
When Written: Around 1440 B.C.
Theme: Holiness
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 could not render police or fire protection to religious groups. Police officers 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.

Numbers
When Written: Around 1400 B.C.
Theme: Wanderings

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 show 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 a 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.

ETERNAL VIGILANCE

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.

PRAYER
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
WITHOUT
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 to the teaching of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings 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 is the sheet anchor of your liberties. Write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this Book we are 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.

MORAL STRENGTH
Numbers 30:1-2
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?
Deuteronomy
Author: Moses
When Written: Around 1400 B.C.
Theme: Covenant

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
Deuteronomy 4:1-14>
“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.
LOVE
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.
US
L
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

JOSHUA:
Author: Uncertain
When written: 100-1375 B.C.
Theme: Conquest

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.

Joshua
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 battle, 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 first 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.”

MORAL STRENGTH

“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.”

CIVIL DUTY
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.

VOTING
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.]

ASK NOT…
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.

JUDGES;
Author: unknown
When written: 1050-1000 B.C.
Theme: Deliverance

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.

COURAGE

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.

COURAGE
Gideon;
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.

RUTH
Author unknown: 1050-500 B.C.
THEME: REDEMPTION

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.

SERVICE:
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.”

1 SAMUEL
Author: Uncertain
When written: 931-711 B.C.
Theme: transition

Key Verse: 1 Samuel 15:22- “Has the LORD as great delight in Burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”

Key Chapter: 1 Samuel 15- This pivotal chapter in the history of Israel records the tragic transition of the nation’s leadership from the faithless and unbelieving Saul to King David, a man after God’s own heart. Verse 23 records the consequences that Saul’s sinfulness brought, as Samuel declares, “because you have rejected the word if the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”

First Samuel offers us a contrast between two very different national leaders: Saul, who relied on his own abilities and reason to make crucial decisions about God’s. as long as King David chose righteousness, god’s blessing followed the nation of Judah.

Similarly, as America entered the dark days of the Civil war, President Abraham Lincoln realized the need for the nation to turn its heart of God. After the union Army’s defeat at the Battle of Bull run, President Lincoln called the American people to a time of repentance, prayer, and fasting, so that “the united prayer of the nation may ascend to the throne of grace and bring down plentiful blessing upon our country.”

God’s heart is turned to such humility.

1 SAMUEL 2:30- Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever. ‘But now thee LORD says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

“UNDER GOD”

On July 2, 1776, as the Continental Congress was meeting in Philadelphia to declare independence, Commander-in-Chief George Washington was gathering his troops on Long Island to meet the British in battle in and around New York City. He wrote in the General Orders to his men that day these memorable words, which declares that w, as a nation, serve under God:

The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillages and destroyed, and they consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend. Under God, on he courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leave us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect.

We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own country’s honor, all call upon is for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world.

Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions. The eyes of all our countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessing and praises, if happily we are the instruments if saving them from the tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage for liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.

HONOR

1 Samuel 4:21- Then she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband.

A Nation’s Flag

Henry ward Beecher, a prominent nineteenth-century Congregationalist clergyman and social reformer, stated:

A thoughtful mind, when it sees a nation’s flag, sees not the flags only, but the nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the government, the principles, the truths the history which belongs to the nation that sets it forth

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

PROTECTOR
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.

CIVIL DUTY
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.

DEFENDER
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.

2 Samuel
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.”

HONOR
Duty-Honor-Country
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:

Duty-Honor-Country
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.

SERVICE
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.

SELFLESS; PATRIOTISM
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.

Freedom’s Defense
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.

1 Kings
Author: unknown, attributed to Jeremiah
When written: 560-538 B.C.

Theme: Division

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
Freedom’s song:
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!

INTEGRITY
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 Statues 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.

SELFLESS
FREEDOM’S COST

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!”

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 of 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 swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the king!”
Then he said, “I saw 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!”

2 Kings
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.”

FREEDOM
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!

2 Kings
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

  1. 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!”

FREEDOM

“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?

HONOR
“I AM AN AMERICAN”
Scott O’Grady

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

4- he removed the high places and broke the scared pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.
5- he trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.
6- For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.
7- The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king Assyria and did not serve him.
8- He subdued the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.

FAITH
IN GOD ALONE
Tom Campbell Clark, an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1949-1967), stated

The Founding Fathers believed devoutly that there was a God and that inalienable rights of man were rooted-not in the state, nor the legislature, nor in any other human power-but in God alone.

2 Kings 19:14-19 >

14- And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread to before the LORD.
15- Then Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, AND SAID: “O LORD of God, Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You have made heaven and earth.
16- Incline Your ear, O LORD, and see; hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent been sent to rreproach the living God.
17- Truly LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands,
18- and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but work of men’s hands-wood and stone. Therefore, they destroyed them.
19- Now therefore, O LORD our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdom of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone.”

1 CHRONICLES

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.

FAITH
“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.

HONOR
“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.

HONOR
The First Expression of Americanism
In a National Day of Prayer Proclamation, December 5, 1974, President Gerald Ford quoted President Dwight Eisenhower’s 1955
Statement:
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

  1. Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
    Call upon His name;
    Make known His deeds among the peoples!
  2. Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
    Talk of all His wondrous works!
  3. Glory in His holy name;
    Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
  4. 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
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.

SERVICE
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 >

  1. therefore David blessed the LORD before all the assembly; and David said:
    “Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. “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.
  5. For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow, and without hope.

  6. “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.

  7. 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.

2 CHRONICLES
Author: Attributed to Ezra
When Written: 425-400 B.C.
Theme: Spiritual Heritage

Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 7:14- “…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Key Chapter: 2 Chronicles 34- Second Chronicles records the righteous reforms that occurred under such kings as Asa, Jehoshaphat, Josiah. Chapter 34 traces the dramatic revival that took place under Josiah when the “Book of the Law” was discovered, read and obeyed.

God’s promise in 2 Chronicles 7 that He will hear the cry of a humble people has motivated America’s leaders from our nation’s earliest days. On 1775, the Continental Congress called for a day of prayers as it began the process of forming a new nation. At critical junctures during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called for a nation to fast and pray. And in 1952, President Truman signed a bill establishing a National Day of Prayer to be called annually by the President of the United States.

Second Chronicles helps establish a model of national spiritual renewal, showing how a succession of righteous kings in Judah led reforms that brought the people back to true faith in God. Chapter 16, verse 9 of this challenging book assures us that God will “show Himself strong” toward those who place their trust in Him.

William Mckinley place his hand on 2 Chronicles 1:10 as he took the presidential oath of office in 1897

2 Chronicles 1:10 > Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Your?”
11. Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked for long life-but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may be judge My people over whom I have made you king –
12. wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.

2 Chronicles 6:12-40
Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication:
12.Than Solomon stood before the alter of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands
13. (for Solomon had mad a bronze platform cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court; and he stood on it, knelt down on his knees before all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands towards heaven);
14. and he said: “LORD God of Israel, there is no god in the heaven or on earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.
15. You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father; You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your it with Your hand, as it is this day.
16. Therefore, LORD God of Israel, now keep what You promised Your servant David my father saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel, only if your sons take heed to their way, that they walk in My law as you have walked before Me.’
17. And now, O LORD of Israel, let Your word come true, which you have spoken to Your servant David.
18. “But will God indeed dell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!
19.Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O LORD my God, and listen to the cry and prayer which Your servant is praying before you:
20. that You eyes may be open toward this temple day and night, toward the place where You said You would put Your name, that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place.
21. And may You hear the supplications of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hea from heaven Your dwelling place, and when You hear forgive.
22. “If anyone sins against their neighbor, and is forced to take an oath, and comes and takes oath before Your Alter in this temple,
23. then hear from heaven and act and judge Your servants, bringing retribution on the wicked by bringing his way on his own head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.
24. “Or if Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and return and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication before You in this temple,
25. then hear from heaven and forgive this sin of Your people Israel and bring them back to the land which You gave them and their fathers.
26. “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them,
27. then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which thy should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.
28. “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemies besiege them in the land their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is;
29. whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief, and spreads out his hands to this temple:
30. then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men),
31. that they may fear You, to walk in Your ways as long as they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.
32. “

GOD’S PLACE IN
America’s Birthright

2 Chronicles 36: 15-16
15. And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place.
16. but they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words ,and scoffed at his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD

Democratic Senator Robert Byrd, the longest-serving member in the history of the U.S. Senate, delivered a message on June 27, 1962, just two days after the Supreme Court declared prayer in schools unconstitutional, warning Congress about disastrous decisions such as this one:

Inasmuch as our greatest leaders have shown no dough about God’s proper place in the American birthright, can we, in our day, in our day, dare do less? In no other place in the United States are there so many, and such varied official evidences of deep and abiding faith in god on the part of government as there are in Washington.

Every session of the House and the Senate begins with prayer. Each house has its own chaplain.

The Eighty-third Congress set aside a small room in the Capital, just off the rotunda, for the private prayer and meditation of members of Congress. The room’s focal point is a stained-glass window showing George Washington kneeling in prayer. Behind him is etched these words from Psalm 16:1: “Preserve me, O God, for in thee do I put my trust.”

Inside the rotunda is a picture of the Pilgrims. Very clear are the words, “The New Testament according to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” On the sail is the motto of the Pilgrims, “In God We Trust, God With Us.”

The phrase, “In God We Trust,” appears apposite the president of the Senate, who is the vice-president of the United States. The same phrase, in large words inscribed in the marble, backdrops the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Above the head of the Chief justice of the Supreme Court Are the Ten Commandments, with the great American eagle protecting them. Moses is included among the great lawgivers in Herman A. MacNeil’s marble sculpture group on the east front. The crier who opens each session closes with he words, “God save the United States and this Honorable Court.”

On the south banks of Washington’s Tidal Basin, Thomas Jefferson still speaks:

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

[Jefferson’s words are} a forceful and explicit warning that to remove God from this country will destroy it.

The fall of Jerusalem; 2 Chronicles 36:15-16
15. And the LORD God of their fathers sent warning to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place.
16. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy.

EZRA
Author: Probably Ezra
When Written: 538-457 B.C.
Theme: Restoration

Key Verses: Ezra 7:10- For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statues and ordinances in Israel.

Key Chapter: Ezra 6- This passage records the completion and dedication of the temple, which prompts the children of Israel to keep the Passover and separate themselves “from the filth of the nations of the land to seek the LORD God of Israel” (v 21).

As God’s people returned to Jerusalem after years of exile, Ezra, a humble priest and unassuming leaders, was instrumental in reestablishing worship and righteousness among the children of Israel. The Book of Ezra demonstrates how ordinary people submitted to God can accomplish extraordinary things.

The history of America is filled with similar accounts of unassuming individuals who rose to greatness through humble dedication to God and righteousness. One such example is Harriet Tubman, who, perhaps more than any other American, was responsible for helping slaves escape bondage and reach their promised land of freedom. An escaped slave herself, Tubman recalled that during the years she was an instrumental figure in the Underground Railroad- which took hundreds of slaves to freedom- she would tell God: “I trust You. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect You to lead me.”

What a perfect reflection of the spirit of humility through which God is pleased to work His will in the earth!

End of the Babylonian Captivity
Ezra 1: 2-4

2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:
All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD
Has commanded me to build Him a
House at Jerusalem which is in Judah.
3 Who is among you all of you His people?
May his Gods be with him, and let Judah,
and build the house of the LORD of Israel (He is God),
which is in Jerusalem.
4 And whoever is left in any
Place where he dwells,
let the men of his place help him with silver and gold,
with goods and livestock, besides
the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.

FREEDOM; Ezra: May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem

The Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation consists of two executive orders issued by President Abraham Lincoln During the American Civil War. The first one, issued September 22, 1862, declared the freedom of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America that did not return to the Union control by January 1, 1863. The second order, issued January 1, 1863, named specific states where it applied.

The Emancipation Proclamation was widely attacked at the time because it did not free slaves of the border (Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia) or any southern state (or part of a state) already under union control. But in practice, it committed the union to ending slavery, and as the Union armies conquered the Confederacy, thousands of slaves were freed each day.

President Lincoln stated the Bible moved him in issues this, the most controversial document in the presidency, which was not met with both hostility and jubilation in the North. He noted especially the words of
EXODUS 6:5- “[God] have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage.”
After the proclamation was made, Lincoln noted that “stocks have declined, “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing the right, than I do in signing this paper.”

Booker T. Washington, as a slave boy of nine, remembered the day of freedom for his family:

As the great day drew nearer, there was more singing in the slave quarters than usual. It was bolder, had more ring, and lasted later into the night. Most of the verses of the plantation songs had some reference to freedom. Some man who seemed to be stronger (a United States officer, I presume) made a little speech and then read a rather long paper – the Emancipation Proclamation, I think. After the reading, we were told that we were free standing by my side, leaned over and kissed her children, while tears of joy ran down her cheeks. She explained to us what it all meant, that this was the day which she had been praying but fearing that she would never live to see.

Service; Ezra 6:8- Moreover I issue a decree as to what you shall do for the elders of these Jews, for the building od this house of God: Let the cost be paid at the king’s expense from taxes on the region beyond the River; this is to be given immediately to these men, so that they are not hindered.

State-Funded Ministers
The state of Massachusetts paid the salaries of the Congregational ministers in that state until 1833. Other states had cut official ties to a church previous Massachusetts.

Faith
Ezra 7:25- And you Ezra, according to your God-given wisdom, set magistrates and judges who may judge all the people who are in the region beyond the river, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach those who do not know them.

States Constitutions After Declaring Independence
Following the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, all the states governments, which had been controlled by the British, had to be established with new state constitutions. It is interesting to read what many of the Founders who signed the founding documents placed in their original new state constitutions. Delaware provides one example, but other states were similar:

Every person appointed to public office shall say “I do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.”

PRESIDENT and INAUGURAL
ADDRESSES

LEADERSHIP
Fasting and Praying for Protection

Ezra 8:21- Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us little ones and all our possessions.
22- For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to he king saying, “The hand of the our God is upon all those for good seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake HIM.”

Every president from George Washington forward has prayed invoked prayer, or otherwise asked God for His continued blessing on the United States during their Inaugural Address. Here is a short sample that reflects this nation’s dependence upon God:

No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States; George Washington April 30, 1789

I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries 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 in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measure. … Thomas Jefferson, March 4, 1805

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for his wisdom, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with nations; Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1865

The Almighty God has blessed our land in many ways. He has given our people stout hearts and strong arms with which to strike mighty blows for freedom and truth. He has given to our country a faith which has become hope of all peoples in an anguished world. So, we pray to Him now for the vision to see our way clearly – to see the way that leads to a better life for ourselves and for all our fellow men – to the achievement of His will to peace on earth; Franklin Roosevelt, January 20, 1945

And may He continue to hold us close as we fill the world with our sound – sound in unity, affection, and love – one people under God, dedicated to the dream of freedom that He has placed in the human heart, called upon now to pass that dream on to a waiting and hopeful world; Ronald Reagan, January 21, 1985

HUMILITY
When Wisdom Fails
Ezra 9:5- At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God.
6- And I said: “O God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our guilt has grown up to the heavens.
7- Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been very guilty, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the swords, to captivity, to plunder, and to humiliation, as it is this day.
8- And now for a little while grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage
9- For we were slaves. Yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage; but He extended mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to revive us, to repair the house of our God, to rebuild its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.
10- And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments,
11- which You commanded by Your servants the prophets saying, ‘The land which you are entering to possess is unclean land, with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from one end to another with their impurity.
12- Now therefore, do not give your daughters to your sons; and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land, and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.

Sins Forgiven
Confession of Improper Marriages:
Ezra 10:1- Now while Erza was praying, and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; and the people wept very bitterly.
2- And Shechaniah the son if Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, spoke up and up and said to Ezra,
3- “We have trespassed against our God, and have taken oagen wives from the people pf the land; yet now there is hope in Israel is spite of this.
3- Now therefore, let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and those who have been born to them, according to the advice of my master and of those who have tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done to the law.
4- Arise, for this matter is your responsibility. We are with you. Be of good courage, and do it.”
5- Then Ezra arose, and made the leaders of the priests, the Levites, and all Israel swear an oath that they would do according to this word. So they swore an oath.
6- Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib; and when he came there, he ate no bread and drank no water, for he mourned because of the guilt of those from the captivity.
7- And they issued a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the descendants of the captivity, that they must gather at Jerusalem,
8- and that whoever would not come within three days, according to the instructions of the leaders and elders, all his property would be separated from the assembly of these from the captivity.
9- So all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered at Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth of the month; and all the people sat in the open square of the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of heavy rain.
10- Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have transgressed and have taken pagan wives, adding to the guilt of Israel.
11- Now therefore, make confession to the LORD God of our fathers, and do His will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the pagan wives.”
12- Then all the assembly answered and said with a loud voice, “Yes! As you have said, so we must do.
13- But there are many people; it is the season for heavy rain, and we are not able to stand outside. Nor is this the work of one or two days, for there are many of us who have transgressed in this matter14- Please, let the leaders of our entire assembly stand; and let all those in our cities who have taken pagan wives come at appointed times, together with the elders and judges of their cities, until the fierce wrath of our God is turned away from us in this matter.”

Peter Cartwright (1785-1872) was a Methodist circuit rider and evangelist in Tennessee, Kentucky, and surrounding states during the Second Great Awakening. HE preached nearly 15,000 sermons, and personally baptized 12,000 people. In recalling his own conversion, he states:

I went with weeping multitudes and bowed before the preacher standing and earnestly prayed for mercy. In the midst of a solemn struggle of soul, an impression was made upon my mind, as though a voice said to me, “thy sins are all forgiven thee.”

NEHEMIAH
Author: Nehemiah
When Written: Around 423 B.C.
Theme: Godly Leadership

Key Verse: Nehemiah 6:15, 16 – So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God.

Key Chapters: Nehemiah 9- The theme and unifying factor of all of Scripture is God’s unchanging covenant with His people. When Israel stayed true with God’s Word and will, the nation prospered and was blessed. When the people disobeyed God and strayed, they foced some stiff consequences.

As America faced the beginning of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt chose his first inaugural address to speak a bold word of encouragement to his fellow citizens. Assuring them that the only thing they had to fear was “fear itself,” FDR challenged, “We face arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values.” Beseeching God’s blessing, the president added, “May He protect each and every one of us! May He guide me in the days to come!” FDR’s courageous and selfless leadership would be a decisive factor in keeping America’s resolve strong throughout the years of depression and world war that would follow.
The life of Nehemiah, who led the returning exiles in repairing the walls of Jerusalem, exemplifies true spirituality that walked out in practical faith in action. Imagine the stress ad demands of leading those who were doing the heavy lifting of rebuilding the broken down walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah offers an incredible example of how one man’s selfless leadership, dedication, and obedience to God helped restored not only Jerusalem’s walls, but the hearts of the people as well.

Leadreship: Nehemiah Views the Wall of Jerusalem
Nehemiah 2:17- Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burning with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.”

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was the most influential American black leader and educator of his time. He was the founder and headed of the famous Tuskegee I, Alabama, and his students became leaders and educators across the nation. He also advised two Presidents – Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft – on racial issues and policies and was influential in the appointment of several blacks to federal office.
Born a slave in the hills of Virginia, from the age of nine Washington worked in cola mines and salt furnaces. Determined to get an education, at the age of sixteen he attended Hampton Institute, an industrial school for blacks in Hampton, Virginia. Upon graduating with honors in just three years (1875), Washington joined the faculty and was soon offered the position to lead a new school in tuskegee, Alabama. He started this school in an old abandoned church and a shanty, and by 1915 he had built Tuskegee Institute into a school of 107 buildings on a 2,000 acres with over 1,500 students and more than 200 teachers and professors – a phenomenal accomplishment, especially considering the times in which Washington lived.
As the presiding principle, Washington outlined several objectives fror the new school. He not only offered the traditional academic course, but industry and trade skills were also required. Students learned bricklaying, forestry, and timber skills, sewing, cooking and practical agriculture; in addition, every student was obligated to master at least two trades. Washington’s goal was to produce independent small businessmen, farmers, and teachers.
He also insisted on high moral character for both students and faculty. His clear emphasis on the value of character and the training of the “head, hand, and heart” was filled with great insight. Christian faith was something Washington learned as a child in Sunday school, and it helped shape his ideals. Devotional exercises were held every morning at Tuskegee as well as the evening prayers. He wrote that the support that “the Christ-like work which the Church of all denominations in American has done” would have convinced him of the value of the Christian life, if he wasn’t already a believer.

Family Values; Nehemiah 8:17- So the whole assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and sat under the booths; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day the children of Israel had not done so. And there was very great gladness.

Celebrating the Fourth of July:
Erma Bombeck, one of America’s most popular humorists in the second half of the twentieth century, wrote:

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salads gets “iffy,” and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have over eaten, but its patriotism.

Nehemiah 9:5- “Stand up and bless the LORD your God forever and ever!
“Blessed be Your glorious name,
Which exalted all blessing and praise!
6- You alone are the LORD;
You have made heaven,
The heaven of heavens, with all their host,
The earth and everything on it.
The seas and all that is in them,
And You preserve them all.
The host of heaven worships You.

Humility; Nehemiah 12:27- Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their place, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and singings, with symbals and stringed instruments and harps.

Early Settlements in America
In 1564, rene de Laudonniere led a group of Huguenots (Protestants from France) to colonize and build Fort Caroline near present-day Jacksonville. He recorded on June 30, 1564:

We sang a psalm of thanksgiving unto God, beseeching Him that it would please Him to continue His accustomed goodness towards us.

ESTHER
Author: Unknown
When Written: Shortly after 465 B.C.
Theme: Humility, Godly Fear

Key Verse: Esther 4:14- “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Key Chapter: Esther 8- The decree of Persian King Ahasuerus, which would have meant the destruction of the Jews living in exile there, is revised through the God-inspired intervention of Queen Esther, allowing the Jews to defend themselves against their enemies.

American journalist Robert Parry has noted, From the Lexington Green to the Normandy beaches, from the Sons of Liberty to the Freedom Riders, it has been part of the American narrative that risks are taken to expand freedom, not freedoms sacrificed to avoid risk.” Over the 200 plus years of the American republic, liberty has been protected only by the sacrifices of men and women who “more than self their country loved,” as the patriotic hymn reminds us.

The heroic and righteous qualities that are required to protect liberty and life are graphically demonstrated to us in the Book of Esther. Although God’s name is not mentioned to us the book, His influence and character are demonstrated throughout the story. Esther, an orphaned Jewish girl, rises by divine intervention to become queen of Persia. In spite of great personal risk, Esther along with her cousin Mordecai, position themselves to be God’s agents for bringing deliverance to His people. Esther’s fear of God over man is demonstrated throughout this tale of intrigue and adventure, and results in freedom for the people and honor and privilege being granted to her and her cousin Mordecai by the king.

SELFLESS
September 11,2001

A New York City Fire Fighter Stands Amid the rubble of the World Trade

Lance Wubbels paid tribute to the patriotic heroes as the world watched the World Trade Center falls to the ground, people had to run for their lives:

It was a day of unthinkable horror and destruction, but it became a day for American heroes. Heroes were everywhere you looked. Giants rose out of the relative obscurity to cast long shadows across the smoke and dust and rubble. Ordinary American citizens, suddenly caught in the crossfire of terrorism, put their lives on the line to preserve the lives of others.

They emerged as the truly mighty and valiant ones of Flight 93. Among the smoldering wreckage of the Pentagon, they stood with undimmed spirits as fire fighters unfurled a gigantic flag from the roof of the burned-out structure. At Ground Zero, hundreds and thousands of people on dozens of fronts searches the mountains of unstable rubble in an epic battle to win back as many lives a could possibly be rescued.

Most of them remain nameless to us, but their undaunted faces are engraved forever upon our hearts. They are the fire fighters, the tireless fire fighters, who were forever captured by the photo of the three ashen-caked firemen raising the American flag on a pole that stuck up out of the derbies of the World Trade Center. Framed against the monstrous heap of steel and concrete in the background, it was an easy reminder of the heroic Marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima during another of this nation’s great conflicts.

They are the police, paramedics, rescue workers, doctors, nurses, National Guard. Red Cross workers, and others we have so often taken for granted. And they are the janitors and security guards and offices managers and the co-workers who said no to death and helped thousands escape who might have easily perished.

In that sudden moment of time, the real heroes of our world stood out as brilliant luminaries cast against the darkest night.

In a world where rock superstars, athletes, and celebrities have been elevated to hero status, we were given a lesson on true heroism and patriotism. Such acts of selfless devotion are nearly beyond our imaginations. It is a little wonder that the world seems so empty when they are gone.

INSPIRING: The Fourth of July Celebration

On July 3, 1776, following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote to his wife, reflecting on what he had shared in Congress concerning the importance of the day:

The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.
You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end worth more than all the means; that posterity will triumph in that day’s transactions, even though we [may regret] it, which I trust God we shall not.

Esther 9:26-27 > So they called these days Purim, after the name Pur. Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, what they had been concerning this matter, and had happened to them,
27- the Jews established and imposed it upon themselves and their descendants and all who would join them, that without fail should celebrate these instructions and according to the prescribed time,

Esther Agrees to help the Jews
Esther 4:16- “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, fast for me; neither eat or drink for three days, night and day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

Job
Author: Unknown
When Written:1500-200 B.C.
Theme: Suffering, God’s Sovereignty

Key Verse: Job 13:15- “though He slay me, yet I trust Him…”

Key Chapter: Job 42- The last chapter of this passionate and intense book records the climax of Job’s long and difficult experience. Job’s recognition of God’s unquestionable majesty and sovereignty leads to a resolution within his own heart and mind and opens the door to a complete restoration of all that was taken from him.

In times of great stress and trial, God remains faithful. On September 16, 1775, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John Adams, expressing her decision to trust God in the midst of intense uncertainty: “And unto Him who mounts the whirlwind and directs the storm, I will cheerfully leave the ordering of my lot and whether adverse or prosperous days should be my future portion, I will trust in His right hand to lead me safely through, and after a short rotation of events, fix me in a state immutable and happy. …”
The book of Job chronicles the suffering and pain of a God-fearing man and prompts the reader to ask difficult questions about life. Why do bad things happen to good people? Does God really care when we suffer? Job walks through his personal wilderness posing many questions and concerns, but in the end, he declares of His Lord, “I have heard of You by hearing of the ears, but now my eyes sees You” (42:5).

INTEGRITY
How to be Successful: William Bross (1813-1890)

William Bross was a highly successful American journalist, the co-publisher of the Chicago Tribune. In an interview, he discussed his success:

Q. What maxims have had a strong influence on your life and helped to your success?

A. The Proverbs of Solomon and other Scriptures. They were quoted a thousand times by my honored father and caused an effort to do my duty day, a constant sense of obligation to my Savior and fellow man.

Q. What do you consider essential elements of success for a young man entering upon such a profession as yours?

A. Sterling, unflinching integrity in all matters, public and private. Let everyone do his whole duty, both to God and man. Let him follow earnestly the teaching of the Scriptures and eschew infidelity in all its forms.

Q. What, in your observation, have been the chief cause of the numerous failures in the life of business and professional men?

A. Want of integrity, careless of the truth, reckless in thought and expression, lack of trust in God, and a disregard of the teachings of His Holy word, bad company, and bad morals in any of their many phases.

Job 2:9- Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”

The Great Awakenings

When Jonathan Edward began preaching in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1734, the moral conditions were at an extreme low, as was prevalent throughout most of the American colonies. Under his preaching that stressed the importance of an immediate, personal spiritual rebirth, a revival began in his church among the youth and then spread to the adult. Edwards wrote that “in the spring and summer following, anno 1735, the town seemed to be so full of the presence of God; it never was so full of love, nor of joy, and yet so full of distress, as it was then.” In two years, 300 converts were added to the church, and news of the revival spread throughout New England.

The British Methodist Preacher George Whitefield continued the movement, making seven separate trips to America and spending nine years preaching across the colonies. He preached to five thousand on the Boston Commons and eight thousand at once in the open fields. Between 1740 and 1742, an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 people were added to the New England church, changing the region’s moral tone and gaining the name of a “Great Awakening.”

The revival spread into the Middle Colonies, beginning in New Jersey largely among the Presbyterians trained under William Tennent, including his son Gilbert, who became the leading figure of the Great Awakening in the Middle Colonies. The revival reached the South with the preaching of Samuel Davies among the Presbyterians of Virginia (1748-1759), with the great success of the Baptists in North Carolina in the 1760s, and with the rapid spread of Methodism shortly before the American revolution.

Because the First Great Awakening served to build up interests that were intercolonial in character and increased opposition to the Anglican Church and the royal officials who supported it, many historians say it helped set in motion a democratic spirit tha eventually brought America its political freedoms. It also resulted in an outburst of missionary activity among Native Americans by such men as David Brainerd, and it was the impetus to the first movement of importance against slavery. In education, it led to the founding of several academies and colleges, notably Princeton, Brown, Rutgers, and Dartmouth.

By the Year 1800, nearly a million people had made their way west, settling in the area of the Blue Ridge in Virginia, in Kentucky, Tennessee, the Northwest, and in the Indian territory. Most did not have access to church, and moral conditions once again went into decline. However, a second great spiritual revival began that continued into the 1830s. Many historians refer to Logan County in Kentucky as its starting point, where several Methodist and Presbyterian ministers joined efforts in 1799; and visitors to the revival would camp out for two or three nights. One such gathering was 15,000 to 20,000 people. More than 10,000 people were swept into the Kentucky churches between 1800 and 1803.

The great revival quickly spread throughout Kentucky, Tennessee, and southern Ohio. The Methodists had created an efficient organization of “districts” of churches, each of which would be served by circuit riders – preachers who traveled from church to church to preach and minister, especially in rural areas. The circuit riders came from among the common people, which hlped them establish a rapport with the frontier families they hoped to bring to faith. They promoted “Sunday schools,” in which children were taught reading, writing, and arithmetic.

While the Focus Of the second Great Awakening was primarily on personal salvation experienced in revival meeting, it accomplished far more that, for it had a greater impact on secular society than any other in American history through its vast social concern. Through a multitude of channels, this revival encouraged Christians to become involved in cause dealing with prison reform, temperance, women’s suffrage, and the crusade to abolish slavery.
For instance, Charles Finney, one of the greatest American Preachers in the 1800s, became the president of Oberlin College in Ohio. He strongly supports of giving freedom to the slaves, and the college was a busy station for the Underground Railroad, which secretly brought slaves to freedom. Oberlin was among the first American colleges to coeducate blacks and women with white men. Finney also helped form a great network of volunteer societies organized to aid in solving social problems. By 1834, the budget of these societies was nearly as large as the federal budget of that time.
During revivals that Finney held in Boston, fifty thousand people put their faith in Christ in just one week. Finney always demanded a verdict from his question: “What will you do with Jesus Christ?” Perhaps that is a fitting description of what happened across America through the Second Great Awakening. Hundreds of thousands put their faith in Christ and went on to exert a profound spiritual and social impact in their day.

Hope

Job 17:15 – Where then is my hope?
As for my hope, who can see it?
16 – Will they go down to the gate of Sheol?
Shall we have rest together in the dust?”

The Last Bastion of Freedom: Richard Wurmbrand (1909-2001)

Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian evangelical Christian minister and author who spent a total of 14 years imprisoned in Romania for his faith, was also the founder of the Voice of the Martyrs, an interdenominational organization working with and for persecuted Christians around the world. In 1967, he expressed this view of Americans:

Every freedom-loving man has two fatherlands; his own and America. Today, America is the hope of every enslaved man, because it is the last bastion of freedom in the world. Only America has the power and spiritual resources to stand as a barrier between militant communism and the people of the world.
It is the last “dike” holding back the rampaging floodwaters of militant communism. Of it crumples, there is no other dike, no other dam; no other line of defense to fall back upon.
America is like the last hope of millions of enslaved peoples. They look to it as their second fatherland. In it lies their hopes and prayers.
I have seen fellow-prisoners in communist prisons beaten, tortured, with 50 pounds of chains on their legs – praying America that dike will not crumple; that it will remain free.

A Resurrection Body:

Job 19:25- For I know that my redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26- And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God.

In his early twenties, Benjamin Franklin, one of American’s renowned Founding Fathers, wrote this verse, reminiscent of words of Job, to serve as his epitaph:

The Body of
Benjamin Franklin, Printer,
(Like the cover of an old book,
Its contents torn out
And stripped of its lettering and gilding,)
Lies here, food for worms.
But the work shall not be lost;
For it will, as he believed, appear once more
In a new and more elegant edition,
Revised and Corrected
By the Author

The Righteousness of Nations; Moral Strength
Woodrow Wilson

Job 29:14- I put on righteousness, and it clothed me,
My justice was like robe and a turban

When Germany started unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917 and tried to enlist Mexico as an ally, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, led America into World War I against the Central Powers. In his declaration of war speech, he stated that unless America threw its weight into the war. Western civilization itself could be destroyed. This excerpt from a speech given in 1911 is his view of the Word of God in society:

There are great problems before the American people. There are problems which will need purity of spirit and an integrity of purpose such as has never been called for before the history of this country. I should be afraid to go forward if I did not believe that there lay at the foundation of all our schooling and of all our believe that there this incomparable and unimpeachable Word of God. If we cannot derive it, and so I would bid you go from this place, if I may, inspired once more with the feeling that the providence of God is the foundation of affairs, and that only those can guide, and only those can follow, who take this providence of God from the sources where it is authentically interpreted..

The happiness of seeing a great company of people like the gathered together in the interest of the Sunday school is the interest of the Sunday school is the happiness of knowing that there are they who seek light and who know that the lamp from which their spirits can be kindled is the lamp that glows in the Word of God.

Every Sunday school should be a place where this great book is not only opened, is not only studied, is not only revered, but is drunk of as if it were a foundation of life, is used as if it were the only source of inspiration and of guidance. No great nation can ever survive its own temptations and its own follies that does not indoctrinate its children in the word of God; so that as schoolmaster and as Governor I know that my feet must rest of my fellowmen upon this foundation, and upon this foundation only; for the righteousness of nations, like the righteousness of men, must take its source from these foundations of inspiration.

WORSHIP
“God of Our Fathers”

Job 37:22- He comes from the north as golden
splendor;
With God is awesome majesty.
23- As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him;
He is excellent in power,
In judgment and abundant justice;
He does not oppress.

Daniel C. Roberts survived the Civil War and went on to become the rector of the small Episcopal parish in Brandon, Vermont. HE wanted a new hymn for his congregation to celebrate the American Centennial in 1876, so he wrote “God of Our Fathers,” which his congregation sang on July 4. In 1892, this hymn was chosen for the celebration of the centennial of the United States Constitution.

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before. Thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fil all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever thine.

PSALMS

Author: David, Solomon, Asaph, Sons of Korah, Other
When written: 1000-300 B.C.
Theme: Worship

Key Verse: Psalm 19:14- Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

Key Chapter: Psalm 100 – While the Psalms are filled with divinely inspired counsel the believers throughout history have claimed as favorites, no chapter more beautifully depicts the central themes of worship and praise than Psalm 100.

The Book of Psalms is a profoundly deep and personal guide to intimate worship and praise to God. Containing some of the most beautiful poetry ever penne, the Psalms can help us express our deepest needs, thoughts, and desires to our heavenly Father – both in times of great joy and great sorrow. A wonderful resources of spiritual encouragement, the Psalms are the richest scriptural resource for worship, prayers meditation, and instruction about God.

One of America’s most beloved sacred lyricists, Fanny Crosby, no doubt received much if her mentoring from time spent in the Book of Psalms. Despite the fact that she was blind from infancy, she went on to pen more than 8,000 songs praise to God, including such classic hymns as “Near The Cross,” “Praise Him, Praise Him,”
And “To God Be the Glory.” The chorus of one of her most well-known hymn, “Blessed Assurance,” sums up the theme of Psalms:

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Freedom: Jedidiah Morse (1761-1826)
“If the Foundations Be Destroyed. …”

Jedidiah Morse was a pioneer American educator, clergyman, geographer, and father of Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph and the “Morse Code.” After the American Revolution, he taught school to earn money while a graduate student at Yale. The students needed good geography text, so he wrote Geography Made Easy and published it in 1784. It was the first geography book published in the United States and went through over 25 editions. Morse later published other American and world geographies, earning the informal title of ‘Father of American Geography.”

While at Yale, Jedidiah studied for the ministry. In 1789, he accepted a call to the First Church of Charlestown, Massachusetts, one of the oldest churches in America. He was highly alarmed by how far the Boston clergy had moved away from doctrinal orthodoxy as well as by the growing influence of European rationalism in the United States. In 1799, he preached, an insightful Election Sermon:
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” In it, he said:

Our dangers are of two kinds, those which affect our religion, and those which effect our government. They are, however, so closely allied that they cannot, with propriety, be separated. The foundations which support the interest of Christianity, are also necessary to support a free and equal government like our own.

To the kindly influence of Christianity, we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief or the corruption will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. I hold this to a truth confirmed by experience. If so, it follows, that all efforts made to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings, which flow from them, must fill with them.

FAITH; Psalm 19:1- The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.

John Glenn
Between 1957 and 1975, the competition of space exploration between the Soviet Union and the United States become a heated part of the Cold War, both because of its potential military and technological applications and its potential boosting social benefits. The Soviets were the first to achieve a manned orbit of the earth in 1961, putting America behind in the “Space Race.”
On February 20, 1962, atop an Atlas rocket, Colonel John Glenn piloted the first American manned orbital mission aboard Friendship 7, circling the globe three times. Fulfilling America’s political and scientific hope and dreams as declared by President John F. Kennedy, Glenn returned to Earth as virtually every American’s hero.
From 1974 to 1999 John Glenn served as a United States senator. In 1998, NASA invited him to rejoin the space program as a member of the Space Shuttle Discovery Crew. On October 29, 1998, Glenn became the oldest human, at the age of 77, ever to venture into space exploration possible.
As Glenn observed the heavens and earth from the windows of the Discovery, he said, “To look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is to me impossible. It just strengthens my faith. I wish there were words to describe what it’s like.”

Psalm 27- An Exuberant Declaration of Faith (A Psalm David)

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp
Against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD,
And to inquire in His Temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up
Above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.

Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me and answer me.

When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”

Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.

When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the LORD will take care of me.

Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD, In the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD:
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Chester A. Arthur placed his hand on Psalm 31: 1-3
In You, O LORD, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me.
For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.

Dwight D. Eisenhower placed his hand on Psalm 33:12 as he took the presidential oath of office in 1956
Psalm 33:12- Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.

Faith; The Soul of America: Charles Malik (1906-1967)

Charles Malik, the ambassador to the United Nations from Lebanon and president of the 13th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1959, stated:

The good [in the United states] would never have come into being without the blessing and power of Jesus Christ. Whoever tries to conceive the American word without taking full account of the suffering and love and salvation of Christ is only dreaming. I know how embarrassing this matter is to politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, and cynics; but whatever these honored men think, the irrefutable truth is that the soul of America is, at its best and highest, Christian.

Prayer Jacob Duche; The Lord the Avenger of His People
Psalm 35:1- Plead my cause, o LORD, with those who strive with me; fight against those who fight against me.
Take hold of the shield and buckler and stand up for my help.
Also draw out the spear and stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”

THE FIRST PRAYER OF CONGRESS

When the first Congress of the United States met September 7, 1774, it began with prayer. On that morning, Congress was very concerned about Great Britain’s recent attack’s on Boston. Reverend Jacob Duche, rector of Christ Church of Philadelphia, was summoned to lead the opening prayers. He first read Psalm 35, after which John Adams stated in a letter to his wife: “I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seemed as if Heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that morning.”

Then rather than read a general prayer as was commonly done, Reverence Duche broke into extemporaneous prayer:
O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reagents with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the kingdoms, empires and governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. To Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which thou alone canst give. Take them, therefore, Heavenly father, under thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their cause and if they persist in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle!

Be thou present, O god of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony, and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessing as Thou sees expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, thy Son and Savior,
Amen.
What an amazing way to state Congress!!

The Bible and the American Education

The Book of Proverbs tells us “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (1:7). The American Founders certainly understood this truth, and from the beginning stressed the relationship between a sound education based upon biblical absolute and future of the nation.
In 1776, the future President John Adams said, “Statesmen may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.” That mind-set was widely held among the Founders who helped shape the political, educational, legal foundations of the new nation, Men such as Daniel Webster, Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, Samuel Adams, and George Washington echoed these same sentiments, believing that the strength of the republic was dependent upon the morality of her people, and that religion must undergird it. They saw the education of young minds being at the heart of it.
Not surprisingly most of America’s older universities were started by preachers and churches. Harvard, William and Mary, Yale. Princeton, King’s College, Brown, Rutgers, and Dartmouth were all founded by Christian preachers and church affiliations.
Harvard University, for example, which ws founded in 1636 by the Puritans, adopted the “Rules and Precepts” of the university that stated: “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John17:3) and therefore lay Christ at the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.” Ever Harvard’s original seal, which can be seen etched in the wall of the campus today, states upon it these words: “ Trust for Christ and the Church.”
Yale College was established in 1702 with the stated goal the “every student shall consider the main end of his study to wit to know God in Jesus Christ and answerably to lead godly, sober life.” The College of William and Mary was founded in 1693 to supply the church of Virginia “with a seminary of ministers” that the “Christian faith may be propagated.” And King’s College, known today as Columbia University, purposed to “inculcate upon [students’] tender minds the great principle of Christianity and morality. “Princeton had as of its founding statements: “Cursed is all learning that is contrary to the Cross of Christ.”
In Colonial America, in addition to the Bible and the bay Psalm, the first textbook for schoolchildren, The New England primer, taught the ABC’s by children memorizing basic biblical truths and lessons about life: A-Adam’s fall, we sinned all. B-Heaven to find, the Bible Mind. C-Christ crucify’d for sinners died, and so on. Included in the Primer were the names of the Old and New testament books, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Ten Commandments, the Westminster Assembly Shorter Catechism, and John Cotton’s “Spiritual Milk for American babes.’ The primer was the second best-selling book in American colonies (the Bible was number one)
In 1836, Noah Webster, often called “The Father of American Education expressed the purpose of school was meant for the advancement of the Christian faith: “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things which all children, under free government ought to be instructed. No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of my government intended to secure the rights and privileges of the free people.”
Unfortunately, in time, a philosophical shift took place in America, and the biblical principles for education were slowly eroded and abandoned, with sad and tragic consequences that continue to unfold. John Dewey, known as “the Architect of Modern Education,” said, “There is no God, and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion.” Those props have been knocked away, and the loss of moral, standards has opened the door to untold numbers of unwanted teen pregnancies, abortions, drug abuse, alcoholism, violence, and suicide.
If we believe that the Founders were correct in asserting that America would fall if it lost its religious foundation, it is primarily incumbent upon Christian believers to reaffirm and reclaim our Christian educational heritage with the same passion and commitment of the Founders. There are many ways to many levels at which to instigate change, but to begins with a willingness to become engaged in the battle.

Woodrow Wilson placed his hand on Psalm 46 as he took the presidential oath of office in 1917.
God the refuge of His People and Conqueror of the Nations

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; he uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of host is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cut the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Answered Prayers for Deliverance from Adversaries
PSALM 54

Save me, O God, by Your name, and vindicate me by Your strength.
Hear my prayer, O God; giver ear to the word of my mouth.
For strangers have risen up against me, and oppressors have sought after my life; they have not set God before them. Selah
Behold, God is with those who uphold my life.
He will repay my enemies for their evil. Cut them off in Your truth.
I will freely sacrifice to You; I will praise Your name, O LORD, for it is good.
For He has delivered me out of all trouble; and my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies.

WORSHIP: Fill the World with His Glory

To celebrate the victorious conclusion of the Revolutionary War, Governor John Hancock of Massachusetts issued a Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving on December 11, 1783:

Whereas, the United States are not only happily rescued from the danger and calamities to which they have been so long exposed, but their freedom, sovereignty, and independence ultimately acknowledged.
And whereas the interposition of Divine Providence in our favor hath been most graciously manifested, and the citizens of these United States have every reason for praise and gratitude to the God of their salvation.
Impressed therefore with an exalted sense of the blessings by which we are surrounded, and of our entire dependence on that Almighty Being from whose goodness and bounty they are derived; I so by with the Advice of the Council appoint Thursday the eleventh day of December next (the day recommended by the Congress to all the States) to be religiously observed as a day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, that all the people may then assemble to celebrate, that He hath been pleased to continue to us the Light of the blessed Gospel; That we also offer up fervent supplications, to cause pure religion and virtue to flourish, and to fill the world with His glory.

Psalm 72:18-19 > Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who only does wondrous things!
19> And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with Amen and Amen.

Grover Cleveland placed his hand on Psalm 91:12-16 as he took the presidential oath of office in 1893
Psalm 91:12- In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13- You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14- “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15- He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
16- With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”

Defender: Praise to the LORD for His Holiness
Psalm 99:1- The Lord reigns;
Let the people tremble!
He dwells between the cherubim;
Let the earth be moved!

Common Sense By Thomas Paine
In early 1776 Americans till hoped for reconciliation with Britain, and the British were preparing to take advantage of that sentiment with a generous offer of peace that many Americans would have welcome. But then Thomas Paine anonymously published the political pamphlet Common Sense in January 1776, which presented the American colonists with a convincing argument for independence from British rule that resonated with the colonists. In the first year alone, over 500,000 copies were sold, and the revolution caught fire.
Paine structured Common Sense like a sermon and relied on biblical references and allusions, such as, “But where says some is the king of America? I’ll tell you, friend, He reigns above,” to make his case to the people. His vision stirred the colonists to strengthen their resolve. By spring 1776, there was significant support for American independence, and Virginia’s convention voted to instruct their delegates to Congress to propose that the colonies formally declare their independence. On June 7, Richard Henry Lee moved that Congress declare the first successful anti-colonial action in modern history.

Praise to God for His Everlasting Mercy

Rutherford B. Hayes placed his hand on Psalm 118:11-13 as he took the presidential oath of office 1877.

PSALM 118:11- They surrounded me,
Yes, they surrounded me;
But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
12- They surrounded me like bees;
They were quenched like a fire of thorns;
FPraise to God for His Everlasting Mercy

Rutherford B. Hayes placed his hand on Psalm 118:11-13 as he took the presidential oath of office 1877.

PSALM 118:11- They surrounded me,
Yes, they surrounded me;
But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
12- They surrounded me like bees;
They were quenched like a fire of thorns;
For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
13- You pushed me violently, that I might fall,
But the LORD helped me.
14- The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.

Woodrow Wilson placed his hand on Psalm 119 as he took the presidential oath of office in 1913.

Meditations on the Excellencies of the Word of God
Psalm 119

ALEPH
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the LORD!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek him with the heart!
They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways.
You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently.
Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into Your commandments.
I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgment.
I will keep Your statutes; Oh, do not forsake me utterly!
How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes.
With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth.
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.
I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word.

MORAL STRENGTH: The Bible as a School Textbook

Fisher Ames (1758-1808), a Founder and politician who helped formulate the Bill of Rights, stated:

We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We’re starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools. We’ve become accustomed of late of putting little books into the hands of children containing fables and morals lessons.
We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text of our schools. The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other manmade book.

TRUTH

Psalm 119:105- Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
106. I have a sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments.
107. I am afflicted very much; revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.
108. Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me your judgments.
109. My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Your law.
110. The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not strayed from Your precepts.
111. Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart.
112. I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, to the very end.

The Bible of the Revolution
Until the American Revolution, America’s Bible had been shipped in from England. When that supply was cut off and supplies dwindled in 1777, Congress resolved to import 20,000 copies of the Bible from other countries, based on a Congressional committee’s determination that “the use of the Bible is so universal and its importance so great.”
That resolution was not acted upon, though, and the need remained. Robert Aitken of Philadelphia published a New Testament in 1777 and followed it with three additional editions. In early 1781, he petitioned Congress and received the approval to print the entire Bible. Thus originated the first American printing of the English Bible in 1782, what has came to be called the “Bible of the Revolution.”
W.P. Strickland, an early American historian, said of this Bible publication: “Who, in view of this fact, will call in question the assertion that this is a Bible nation? Who will charge the government with indifference to religion when the first Congress of the States assumed all the rights and performed all the duties of Bible society long before such an institution had an existence in the world?”

The Joy of Going to the House of the LORD

Benjamin Harrison placed his hand on Psalm 121:1- I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?
2- My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
3- He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
4- Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5- The LORD is your keeper: The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6- The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

Faith
God’s Crowning Help

Confederate General Robert E. Lee is among the most celebrated generals in American history, admired equally for his character and his military prowess. One historian has written, “Robert lee was one of the small company of great men in whom there is no inconsistency to be explained, no enigma to be solved. What he seemed, he was – a wholly human gentleman, the essential elements of whose positive character were two only two, simplicity and spirituality.”
We get a glimpse of Lee’s character in this Christmas greeting to his wife written from Fredericksburg on Christmas Day 1862. His words underscore President Lincoln’s ironic summary of the Civil War: “Both invokes [God’s] aid against the other.”

I will commence this holy day, Mary, by writing to you. My heart is filled with gratitude to Almighty god for His unspeakable mercies with which He has blessed us in this day, for those He has granted us from the beginning of life, and particularly for those He has vouchsafed us during the past year. What should have become of us without His crowning help and protection? Oh, if our people would only recognize it and cease from vain self-boasting and adulation, how strong would be my belief in final success and happiness to our country! For in Him alone I know is our trust and safety.
Cut off from you and my children, my greatest pleasure is to write to you and them. Yet I have no time to indulge in it. You must tell them so, and say I constantly think of them and love them fervently with all my heart. But what cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this worlds; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world!
I pray that, on this day when only peace and goodwill are preached to mankind, better thoughts may fill the hearts of our enemies and turn them to peace. My hear bleeds at the death of every one of our gallant men.

Dwight D. Eisenhower placed his hand on the Psalm 127:1 and 2 Chronicles 7:14 as he took presidential oath of office in 1953.

Psalm 127:1- Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
(Benjamin Franklin had used Psalm 127:1, over a hundred years earlier)

Ronald Reagan, also placed his hand on, 2 Chronicles 7:14- If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Prayer

Benjamin Franklin suggests prayer for the Constitution

In the summer of 1787, as America’s Founders met at Independence Hall in Philadelphia to hammer out the specifics of our nation’s governing constitution, tempers flared among the delegates of the 13 colonies to such an extent that the entire convention was in danger of breaking down. Into this atmosphere thick with division and conflict, an 81-year-old statesman slowly rose to speak words of profound wisdom.
Although one of the least religious of our nation’s Founders, Dr. Benjamin Franklin nonetheless understood how crucial moral and biblical virtues be to this newborn republic. Appealing to the words of Psalm 127:1’ Franklin addressed George Washington, president of the convention, and counseled his fellow delegates to beseech the aid of Almighty God before they proceeded further:

I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? What have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be hold in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this this city be requested to officiate in that service.
God, indeed, answered the prayers of the Founding Fathers, as on September 17, 1787, the drafting of the U.S. Constitution was completed, the greatest political document ever written. Franklin’s words remain forever true: as our nation faces today’s political, moral, and spiritual issues, we shall fail in this “grand experiment” of liberty unless we seek the “assistance of Heaven.”

PROTECTER:
American Support for the Jewish State 1948

Psalm 137:4- How shall we sing the LORD’s song
In a foreign land?
5- If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget its skill!
6- If I do not remember you,
Let my tongue cling to the roof of
My mouth-
If I do not exalt Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.

Margaret Truman said the most difficult decision Harry Truman ever faced as president was whether he should support the creation of the Jewish homeland in Palestine after World War II. “What I am trying to do is make the whole worlds safe for Jews,” he wrote as he wrestled over the decision. Deeply affected by the full revelation of the Holocaust as well as his moral and religious upbringing and familiarity with the Bible, Truman sympathized with Jewish aspirations for a homeland. In November 1947, he lobbied for the United Nations’ resolution that divided Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.
Great Britain announced it would transfer authority over Palestine to the U.N. by May 14, 1948. On the eve of British withdrawal which would be followed immediately by the Jewish declaration of independence, Secretary of State George Marshall and most of the American foreign service experts strongly opposed the creation of a cut off oil and unite to destroy the Jews. But Truman weighted the multifaceted concerns and held firm despite the heated opposition.
On May 14, David Ben-Gurion read a declaration of Jewish independence in front of a small audience at the Tel Aviv Art Museum. Striking the speaker’s table for emphasis, he announced, “The name of our state shall be Israel.” At midnight, British rule over Palestine lapsed; eleven minutes late, White House spokesman Charlie Ross announced U.S. recognition. The American statement recognizing the new State of Israel bears President Truman’s last-minute hand-written changes.
“God put you in your mother’s womb,” the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Isaac Halevi Herzog, late tr told Truman, “so you would be the instrument to bring about Israel’s rebirth after 2000 years.” With Truman’s decision, the hopes of the Jewish people were realized, but so too were Marshall’s fear. Arab opponents of the new nation immediately declared war, prompting a bloody struggle over Israel’s existence that continues today.
Truman’s favorite Psalm was 137, which begins: “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remember Zion.”

DEFENDER: in Defense of Life
Psalm 139:13. For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will promise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15-My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made a secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

Pope John Paul II addressed a crowd of over 375,000 people from 70 different countries in a Mass celebrated at Cherry Creek State Park, Colorado, as a part of “World Youth Day” on August 15, 1993. He stated:

A “culture of death” seeks to impose itself on our desire to live, and live to the full. In our own century, as at no other time in history, the :culture of death” has assumed a social and institution form of legality to justify the most horrible crimes against humanity: genocide, “final solutions,” “ethnic cleansings,” and massive taking lives of human beings even before point of death.
In much of contemporary thinking, any reference to a “law” guaranteed by the Creator is absent. There remains only each individual’s choices of this or that objective as convenient or useful in a given set of circumstances. No longer is anything considered intrinsically “good” and “universally binding.”
The family especially is under attack. And the sacred character of Human Life is denied. Naturally, the weakest members of society are the most risk. The unborn, children, the sick, the handicapped, the old, the poor, and unemployed, the immigrant and refugee.
You must feel the full urgency of the task. Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life. The church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your youthful ideas, in order to make the Gospel of Life penetrate the fabric of society in order to create a civilization of true justice and love.

Inspiring

Psalm 145:5- I will meditate on the glorious
Splendor of Your majesty,
And on Your wondrous works.

“America the Beautiful”

“American the Beautiful” was written by the professor, poet, and writer Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929), after an inspiring trip to Pikes Peak, Colorado, in 1893. When she got to the top of Pike’s Peak, she said, “All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse.” It inspired her to write the song that is considered the American national hymn, as opposed to: The Star-Spangled Banner,” which is the national anthem.

O beautiful for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
American! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness.
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
They liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov’d
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till al success be nobleness,
And every gian divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.
America! America
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

PROVERBS

Gerald R. Ford placed his hand on Proverbs 3:5-6; He knew that understanding was a gift from God. Our Father in Heaven is the only One Who is able to help in everything in life. When you trust Our Father in heaven He blesses us with understanding fear is no more.
Author: Solomon, with parts by Agur and King Lemuel
When Written: About 950 B.C., with some sections penned about 720 B.C.
Theme: Wisdom and Instruction for Life

Key Verses: Proverbs 3:5-6 > Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.

Key Chapter: While each chapter of Proverbs is packed with crucial wisdom for godly and upright living, chapter 31 is highly unique, revealing the supreme value and treasure a man has in a virtuous woman.
The Book of Proverbs offers practical wisdom and instruction for how one can live an upright and righteous life. Its counsel is not just relevant to individuals, however, but to nations as well. Proverbs 14:34 provides a maxim that godly leaders have pointed to for generations: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Patrick Henry, one of America’s most outspoken Revolutionary leaders, predicted that whether or not the newly formed United States would prove “a blessing or a curse will depend upon the use our people make of the blessing which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they are of a contrary character, they will be miserable. Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation.”

Our Nation’s Coins and Currency
Faith

Our nation’s coins have not always had “In God We Trust” stamped on them. The motto was placed on the United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. From Treasury Department records it appears that the first suggestion that God be recognized on U.S. coinage can be traced to a letter addressed to the Secretary of Treasury Salman P. Chase from small town Pennsylvania minister in 1861.
As a result, in a letter dated November 20, 1861, Secretary Chase instructed James Pollock, Director of the Mint of Philadelphia, to prepare a motto: “Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.”
“In God We Trust” first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin. An act of Congress passed on March 3, 1865, allowed the Mint Director, with the Secretary’s approval, to place the motto on all gold and silver coins that “shall admit the inscription thereon.” Under The Act, the motto was placed on gold half-eagle coin, the gold eagle coin, and the gold half-eagle coin. It was also placed on the silver dollar coin, the half-dollar coin, the quarter-dollar coin, the nickel, and the three-cent coin in 1866.
The motto was omitted from the new gold coins issued 1907, causing a storm of public criticism. As a result, legislation passed in May 1908 made “In God We Trust” mandatory on all coins on which it had previously appeared. Legislation approved July 11, 1955, made the appearance of “In God We Trust” mandatory on all coins and paper currency of the United States. By an act of Congress, July 30, 1956, “In God We Trust” became the national motto of the United States.
Since 1955, all the United States coins and currency have carried the motto “In God We Trust.” Not until 1970 and 1978 were the laws authorizing its use legally challenged. Responding to atheist Madalyn Murry O’Hair’s charge, the federal courts rejected her argument that the motto violated the First Amendment.

Martin Van Buren placed his hand on Proverbs 3:17 as he took the presidential oath of office in 1837.
Proverbs 3:17- Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her.

Hope

The whole Hope of Human Progress

Proverbs 4:18- But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
That’s shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
19-The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble.

Willian Henry Seward (1801-1872), the Secretary of State under President Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia, stated:
I do not believe human society, including not merely a few persons in any state, but whole masses of men, ever have attained, or eve can attain, a high state of intelligence, virtue, security, liberty, or happiness without the Holy Scriptures; even the whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever-growing influence of the Bible.

Proverbs 13:12- He who despises the word will be destroyed,
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
13- He who despises the world will destroyed,
But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded.
14-The law of the wise is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death.

MORAL STRENGTH

Proverbs 14:34- Right exalts a nation,
But sin is a reproach to any people.

Righteousness Exalts a Nation

Patrick Henry, an American Revolutionary leader who pushed through the Stamp Act Resolves in May 1765,the most anti-British political action to the to that point, wrote:

Whether this will prove a blessing or a curse will depend upon the use our people make of the blessings, which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they of a contrary character, they will be miserable.

Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation. Reader! Whoever thou art, remember this, and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others.

Proverbs 16:1- the preparations of the heart belong to man, but answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
2-All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits.
3- commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established.
4- The LORD has made al for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the days of doom.
5- Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.
6- In mercy and truth
Atonement is provided for iniquity: and by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.
7. When a man’s ways please the LORD,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8. Better is a little with righteousness,
Than vast revenues without justice.
9. A man’s heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.

HONOR
Proverbs 18:3- When the wicked comes, contempt comes also;
And with dishonor comes reproach.

The Minutemen
In 1774, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress reorganized the Massachusetts militia, providing that one-fourth of the entire militia was made up of “Minutemen”- patriots who vowed to be ready to fight at a minute’s note. The Massachusetts Provincial Congress charged the Minutemen:

to You re placed by Providence in the post honor, because it is the post of danger. The eye not only of North America and the whole British Empire, but of all Europe, are upon you. Let us be, therefore, altogether solicitous that no disorderly behavior, nothing unbecoming our characters as Americans, as citizens and Christians, be justly chargeable us.

Andrew Johnson took presidential oath in 1865 and James A. Garfield took presidential oath in 1881, both presidents had put their hand on;

rt is in the hand of the LORD,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns is wherever He wishes.
2- Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the LORD weight the hearts.

The United States Supreme Court

FREEDOM

The Censoring of Religious Activities in Public School

In Supreme Court decisions rendered in 1962 and 1963, the inclusion of religious activities, such as school prayer and the bible reading, in major activities of daily students’ life in public schools was struck down. It was the first time in history of the United States that any branch of federal government took such a stand, censoring religious long considered an integral part of education.

This sudden restructuring of educational policies was precipitated by the Court’s controversial reinterpretation of the phrase “separation of church and state: as it relates to the First Amendment, which simply states : “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” The Court decided that the First Amendment includes a prohibition against including religious activities in public affairs, inviting skyrocketing numbers of lawsuits that challenge any presence of religion in public life. The Court has already delivered far-reaching decisions to:

Remove student prayer: “Prayer in its public-school system breaches the constitution’s wall of separation between Church and State.” Engle v. Vitale, 1962
Remove school Bible reading: “No state law or school board may require that passages from the bible be read or that the Lord’s Prayer be recited in the public schools of a state at the beginning of each school day.” Abington v. Schempp, 1963
Remove the ten Commandments from view: “If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey the commandments. … this is not a permissible state objective under the establishment clause.” Stone v. Graham, 1980
Remove benedictions and invocations from school activities: “Religious invocation…. In high school commencement exercises conveyed the message that district has given its endorsement to prayer and religion, so that school district was properly [prohibited] from including invocation in commencement exercise.” Graham v. Central, 1985; Kay v. Douglas, 1989 Lee v. Weisman, 1992.

Proverbs 22:28- Do not remove the ancient landmark
Which your fathers have set.

Herbert Hoover placed his hand on Proverbs 29:18 as he took presidential oath of office in 1929.
Proverbs 29:18- Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
But happy people is he who keeps the law.

EQUIPPER

The Universal Education of Youth

Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers, was one of the first Founders to call for free, national, public schools. A distinguished physician and scientist, he understood the role of an educated citizenry as regards the stability of a republic, stating:

I believe no man was ever early instructed in the truth of the Bible without having been made wiser or better by the early operation of these impressions upon his mind.

If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind the mission of the Son of God into our world would been unnecessary. He came to promulgate a system of doctrines, as well as a system of morals. The perfect morality of the Gospel rests upon a doctrine which, though often controverted, has never been refuted; I mean the vicarious life and death of the Son of God. This sublime and ineffable doctrine delivers us from the absurd hypothesis of modern philosophers concerning the foundation of moral obligation, and fixes it upon the eternal self-moving principle of LOVE. It concentrates a whole system of ethics in a single text of Scripture: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you.” By withholding the knowledge of this doctrine from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds. We do more; we furnish an argument for withholding from them a knowledge of the morality of the Gospel likewise; for this, in many instances, is as supernatural, and therefore as liable to be controverted, as any of the doctrines or miracles which are mentioned in the New Testament. The miraculous conception of the Savior of the world by a virgin is not more opposed to the ordinary course of natural events, nor is the doctrine of the atonement more above human reason, than those moral precepts which command us to love our enemies or to die for our friends….

Contemplating merely the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues which constitute the soul of republicanism.

Proverbs 30:5-Every Word of the LORD is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their
Trust in Him.

ECCLESIASTES

Author: Solomon
When Written: Around 931 B.C.
Theme: Life’s Meaning Begins and Ends With God

Key Verse: Ecclesiastes 12:13- Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter : Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.

Key Chapter: Ecclesiastes 12- At the end of a life given to embracing every experience and pleasure available to him, the author concludes that the only value is living life from the perspective of God’s eternal economy.

All of humankind searches for meaning and purpose in life. In his own pursuit, the “preacher” of Ecclesiastes finds that earthly goals that do not lead to God only bring dissatisfaction, frustration, and uncertainty.

American businessman James Cash (J.C.) Penney came to a similar conclusion. Through hard work and a thrifty lifestyle, J. C. Penney succeeded in building one of America’s most prosperous retail franchises. But during the Great Depression, heavy financial losses caused him enormous stress, which led to a life-threatening illness. While in the hospital, believing he was going to die, Penney wrote a farewell letters to his wife and son. When he awoke the next morning, he went for a walk down the hallway of the hospital and heard singing coming from the chapel. He went in and listened with a heavy heart. The song “God will take Care of You” spoke to him deeply.
In a life-transforming instant, Penney discovered that God was there to help. “From that day to this, my life has been free from worry,” he later declared. Even in the midst of potentially life-altering circumstances, J.C. Penney, along with the preacher of Ecclesiastes, found the answer to all of life-love of God.

TRUTH

Ecclesiastes 1:6- The wind goes towards the south,
And turns to the north;
The wind whirls about continually,
And comes again on its circuit.
7-All the rivers run into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full;
To the place from which the rivers come,
And hastens to the place where it arose.

Christian Men of Science

Matthew Maury (1806-1873), nickname the “Pathfinder of the Seas” for having chartered the oceans and wind currents while serving in the U.S. Navy, was considered the “Father of Modern Oceanography and Navel Meteorology” and later “Scientist of the Seas,” He wrote:

I have always found in my scientific studies, that, when I could get the Bible to say anything on the subject, it afforded me a firm platform to stand upon and a round in the ladder by which I could safely ascend.

As our knowledge of nature and her laws has increased, so has our knowledge of many passages of the Bible improved.

The Bible called the earth “around the earth,” yet for ages it was; heresy for Christian men to say that the world is round; and finally, sailors circumnavigated the globe and the Bible to be right, and saved Christian men of science from the stake.

And as for the general system of circulation which I have been so long endeavoring to describe, the Bible tells in a single sentence: “The wind goeth toward the South; and returned again to his circuits.”

PROTECTER

Injustice Seems to Prevail

Ecclesiastes 3:16 – Moreover I saw under the sun:
In the place of judgement,
Wickedness was there;
And in the place of righteousness,
Iniquity was there.
17 – I said in my heart,
God shall judge the righteous and the wicked,
For there is a time for every
Purpose and for every work.”

CORRECTING ABUSES

In July 1832, President Andrew Jackson vetoed the Bank Renewal Bill, preventing the rechartering of the Bank of the United States. Believing the bank was unauthorized by the Constitution and concentrated too much economic power in the hands of the small moneyed elite, he stated:

In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and under fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to giant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and potent more powerful, the humble members of society – the farmers, mechanics, and laborers; have a right to complain of the injustice of the Government.

There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and as Heaven does its rain, showers its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing. In the act before me there seems to be a wide and unnecessary department from these just principles.

For relief and deliverance let us firmly rely on that kind of Providence which I am sure watches with peculiar care over the destinies of our Republic, and on the intelligence and wisdom of our countrymen. Through His abundant goodness and their patriotic devotion our liberty and union will be preserved.

HONOR

Render Honor to the Creator

Ecclesiastes 12:1- Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”:

James Madison, the fourth president of the United States and “Chief Architect of the Constitution,” wrote:

The religion then if every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right to every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men. It unalienable also, because what is here a right toward men, is a duty toward the Creator such homage and sure only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.

Ecclesiastes 12:13- Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His Commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 – For God will bring every work into judgement,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good and evil.

Song of Solomon
Author: Solomon
When Written: 970-930 B.C.
Theme: Covenant Love

Key Verse: Song of Solomon 7:10 – I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.

Key Chapter: All eight chapters of this unified book form a key that beautifully depicts the love of a man for a woman, and the love of Christ for His bride.

The Song of Solomon is a beautiful love story of full metaphors and imagery. While it may be read as a poetic account of intimate love between a man and a woman, its highest value is found as the description of deep spiritual passion and intimacy that exists between Christ and His bride, the Church.

The great early American preacher Jonathan Edwards was convinced that this unique book “was designed for a divine song and of divine authority, for we read in 1 Kings 4:32 that Solomon’s songs were ‘a thousand and five.’ This called the ‘Song of Songs.’ Edwards noted that such a designation proves that God considers it “a song of the most excellent subject, treating of the love, union, and communion between Christ and His spouse, of which marriage and conjugal love was but a shadow. These are the most excellent lovers and their love the most excellent love.”

HOPE

The Infallible Word of God

Song of Solomon 5:10 – My beloved is white and ruby,
Chief among ten thousand.
11 – His head is like the finest gold;
His locks are wavy,
And black as a raven.

William Strong, an Associate of Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1870-1880), stated:

You ask me what I think of Christ? He is the chiefest among the ten thousand, and together lovely – my Lord, my Savior, and my God.

What do you I think of the Bible? It is the infallible Word of God, a light erected all along the shores of time to warn against the rocks and breakers, and to show the only way to the harbor of eternal rest.

ISAIAH
Author: Isaiah
When Written: 700-690 B.C.
Theme: Salvation is of the LORD

Key Verse: Isaiah 53:6 – Are we like sheep than have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord had laid on him the iniquity if us all.
Key Chapter: Isaiah 53 – Along with Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 details the most remarkable and specific prophecies concerning the messiah and the atonement He made.
The theme for Isaiah is found in the meaning of the prophet’s own name: “Yahweh is Salvation.” This book contains some of the most meaningful and eloquent writings of the Old Testament, with the prophet Isaiah warning the people of Judah of impending judgement because of their sin, depravity, and spiritual idolatry. In spite of this God remains faithful to His covenant, promising deliverance and salvation to His people through the Messiah.

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1757), whose preaching began America’s First Great Awakening, is famous for his “Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God” sermon, which emphasized the just wrath of God against sin, But as Isaiah did, he was passionate about declaring the glory of the Suffering Messiah:

All the virtues that appeared in Christ shone brightest in the close of His life, under trials He then met. Eminent virtue always shows brightest in the fire. Pure gold shows its purity chiefly in the furnace. It was chiefly under those trials that Christ endured in the close of life that His love to God, his honor of God’s majesty, His humility, contempt of the world, his patience, meekness, and spirit of forgiveness toward men, appeared. Indeed, everything that Christ did to work out redemption for us appears mainly in the close of His life.

HUMILITY

Criminal Punishment

Isaiah 1:27 – Zion shall be redeemed with justice,
And her penitents with righteousness.
28 – The destruction of transgressors and of sinners
shall be together,
And those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
29 – For they shall be ashamed of the
Terebinth tree
Which you have desired;
And you shall be embarrassed because of the gardens which you have chosen

Charles Colson, special counsel of President Richard Nixon and founder of Prison Fellowship, stated:

Imprisonment as a primary means of criminal punishment is a relatively modern concept. It was turned to as a human alternative to the older patterns of harsh physical penalties for nearly all crimes. Quakers introduced the concept in Pennsylvania.

The first American prison was established in Philadelphia when Walnut Street jail was converted into a series of solitary cells where offenders were kept in solitary confinement. The theory was that they would become “penitents,” confessing their crimes to God and thereby gaining a spiritual rehabilitation. Hence, the name “penitentiary” – a place for penitents.

Richard M. Nixon placed his hand on Isaiah 2:4 as he took presidential oath of office in 1969 and 1973.

The Future House of God

Isaiah 2:4 – He shall judge between the nations,
And rebuke may people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nations shall not life up swords against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.

PROTECTER

The Government of the Promised Son

The Government of God

Praise to God for His Everlasting Mercy

Rutherford B. Hayes placed his hand on Psalm 118:11-13 as he took the presidential oath of office 1877.

PSALM 118:11- They surrounded me,

Yes, they surrounded me;

But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.

12- They surrounded me like bees;

They were quenched like a fire of thorns;

For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.

13- You pushed me violently, that I might fall,

But the LORD helped me.

14- The LORD is my strength and song,

And He has become my salvation.

Woodrow Wilson placed his hand on Psalm 119 as he took the presidential oath of office in 1913.

Meditations on the Excellencies of the Word of God

Psalm 119

ALEPH

  1. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the LORD!

  2. Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek him with the heart!

  3. They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways.

  4. You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently.

  5. Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!

  6. Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into Your commandments.

  7. I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgment.

  8. I will keep Your statutes; Oh, do not forsake me utterly!

  9. How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.

  10. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from your commandments!

  11. Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

  12. Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes.

  13. With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth.

  14. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.

  15. I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.

  16. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

  17. Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word.

MORAL STRENGTH: The Bible as a School Textbook

Fisher Ames (1758-1808), a Founder and politician who helped formulate the Bill of Rights, stated:

We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We’re starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools. We’ve become accustomed of late of putting little books into the hands of children containing fables and morals lessons.

We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text of our schools. The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other manmade book.

TRUTH

Psalm 119:105- Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

106. I have a sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments.

107. I am afflicted very much; revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.

108. Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me your judgments.

109. My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Your law.

110. The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not strayed from Your precepts.

111. Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

112. I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, to the very end.

The Bible of the Revolution

Until the American Revolution, America’s Bible had been shipped in from England. When that supply was cut off and supplies dwindled in 1777, Congress resolved to import 20,000 copies of the Bible from other countries, based on a Congressional committee’s determination that “the use of the Bible is so universal and its importance so great.”

That resolution was not acted upon, though, and the need remained. Robert Aitken of Philadelphia published a New Testament in 1777 and followed it with three additional editions. In early 1781, he petitioned Congress and received the approval to print the entire Bible. Thus originated the first American printing of the English Bible in 1782, what has came to be called the “Bible of the Revolution.”

W.P. Strickland, an early American historian, said of this Bible publication: “Who, in view of this fact, will call in question the assertion that this is a Bible nation? Who will charge the government with indifference to religion when the first Congress of the States assumed all the rights and performed all the duties of Bible society long before such an institution had an existence in the world?”

The Joy of Going to the House of the LORD

Benjamin Harrison placed his hand on Psalm 121:1- I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?

2- My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

3- He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.

4- Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5- The LORD is your keeper: The Lord is your shade at your right hand.

6- The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

Faith

God’s Crowning Help

Confederate General Robert E. Lee is among the most celebrated generals in American history, admired equally for his character and his military prowess. One historian has written, “Robert lee was one of the small company of great men in whom there is no inconsistency to be explained, no enigma to be solved. What he seemed, he was – a wholly human gentleman, the essential elements of whose positive character were two only two, simplicity and spirituality.”

We get a glimpse of Lee’s character in this Christmas greeting to his wife written from Fredericksburg on Christmas Day 1862. His words underscore President Lincoln’s ironic summary of the Civil War: “Both invokes [God’s] aid against the other.”

I will commence this holy day, Mary, by writing to you. My heart is filled with gratitude to Almighty god for His unspeakable mercies with which He has blessed us in this day, for those He has granted us from the beginning of life, and particularly for those He has vouchsafed us during the past year. What should have become of us without His crowning help and protection? Oh, if our people would only recognize it and cease from vain self-boasting and adulation, how strong would be my belief in final success and happiness to our country! For in Him alone I know is our trust and safety.

Cut off from you and my children, my greatest pleasure is to write to you and them. Yet I have no time to indulge in it. You must tell them so, and say I constantly think of them and love them fervently with all my heart. But what cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this worlds; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world!

I pray that, on this day when only peace and goodwill are preached to mankind, better thoughts may fill the hearts of our enemies and turn them to peace. My hear bleeds at the death of every one of our gallant men.

Dwight D. Eisenhower placed his hand on the Psalm 127:1 and 2 Chronicles 7:14 as he took presidential oath of office in 1953.

Psalm 127:1- Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;

Unless the LORD guards the city,

The watchman stays awake in vain.

(Benjamin Franklin had used Psalm 127:1, over a hundred years earlier)

Ronald Reagan, also placed his hand on, 2 Chronicles 7:14- If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Prayer

Benjamin Franklin suggests prayer for the Constitution

In the summer of 1787, as America’s Founders met at Independence Hall in Philadelphia to hammer out the specifics of our nation’s governing constitution, tempers flared among the delegates of the 13 colonies to such an extent that the entire convention was in danger of breaking down. Into this atmosphere thick with division and conflict, an 81-year-old statesman slowly rose to speak words of profound wisdom.

Although one of the least religious of our nation’s Founders, Dr. Benjamin Franklin nonetheless understood how crucial moral and biblical virtues be to this newborn republic. Appealing to the words of Psalm 127:1’ Franklin addressed George Washington, president of the convention, and counseled his fellow delegates to beseech the aid of Almighty God before they proceeded further:

I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? What have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be hold in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this this city be requested to officiate in that service.

God, indeed, answered the prayers of the Founding Fathers, as on September 17, 1787, the drafting of the U.S. Constitution was completed, the greatest political document ever written. Franklin’s words remain forever true: as our nation faces today’s political, moral, and spiritual issues, we shall fail in this “grand experiment” of liberty unless we seek the “assistance of Heaven.”

PROTECTER:

American Support for the Jewish State 1948

Psalm 137:4- How shall we sing the LORD’s song

In a foreign land?

5- If I forget you, O Jerusalem,

Let my right hand forget its skill!

6- If I do not remember you,

Let my tongue cling to the roof of

My mouth-

If I do not exalt Jerusalem

Above my chief joy.

Margaret Truman said the most difficult decision Harry Truman ever faced as president was whether he should support the creation of the Jewish homeland in Palestine after World War II. “What I am trying to do is make the whole worlds safe for Jews,” he wrote as he wrestled over the decision. Deeply affected by the full revelation of the Holocaust as well as his moral and religious upbringing and familiarity with the Bible, Truman sympathized with Jewish aspirations for a homeland. In November 1947, he lobbied for the United Nations’ resolution that divided Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

Great Britain announced it would transfer authority over Palestine to the U.N. by May 14, 1948. On the eve of British withdrawal which would be followed immediately by the Jewish declaration of independence, Secretary of State George Marshall and most of the American foreign service experts strongly opposed the creation of a cut off oil and unite to destroy the Jews. But Truman weighted the multifaceted concerns and held firm despite the heated opposition.

On May 14, David Ben-Gurion read a declaration of Jewish independence in front of a small audience at the Tel Aviv Art Museum. Striking the speaker’s table for emphasis, he announced, “The name of our state shall be Israel.” At midnight, British rule over Palestine lapsed; eleven minutes late, White House spokesman Charlie Ross announced U.S. recognition. The American statement recognizing the new State of Israel bears President Truman’s last-minute hand-written changes.

“God put you in your mother’s womb,” the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Isaac Halevi Herzog, late tr told Truman, “so you would be the instrument to bring about Israel’s rebirth after 2000 years.” With Truman’s decision, the hopes of the Jewish people were realized, but so too were Marshall’s fear. Arab opponents of the new nation immediately declared war, prompting a bloody struggle over Israel’s existence that continues today.

Truman’s favorite Psalm was 137, which begins: “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remember Zion.”

DEFENDER: in Defense of Life

Psalm 139:13. For You formed my inward parts;

You covered me in my mother’s womb.

  1. I will promise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works,

And that my soul knows very well.

15-My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made a secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

  1. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

Pope John Paul II addressed a crowd of over 375,000 people from 70 different countries in a Mass celebrated at Cherry Creek State Park, Colorado, as a part of “World Youth Day” on August 15, 1993. He stated:

A “culture of death” seeks to impose itself on our desire to live, and live to the full. In our own century, as at no other time in history, the :culture of death” has assumed a social and institution form of legality to justify the most horrible crimes against humanity: genocide, “final solutions,” “ethnic cleansings,” and massive taking lives of human beings even before point of death.

In much of contemporary thinking, any reference to a “law” guaranteed by the Creator is absent. There remains only each individual’s choices of this or that objective as convenient or useful in a given set of circumstances. No longer is anything considered intrinsically “good” and “universally binding.”

The family especially is under attack. And the sacred character of Human Life is denied. Naturally, the weakest members of society are the most risk. The unborn, children, the sick, the handicapped, the old, the poor, and unemployed, the immigrant and refugee.

You must feel the full urgency of the task. Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life. The church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your youthful ideas, in order to make the Gospel of Life penetrate the fabric of society in order to create a civilization of true justice and love.

Inspiring

Psalm 145:5- I will meditate on the glorious

Splendor of Your majesty,

And on Your wondrous works.

“America the Beautiful”

“American the Beautiful” was written by the professor, poet, and writer Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929), after an inspiring trip to Pikes Peak, Colorado, in 1893. When she got to the top of Pike’s Peak, she said, “All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse.” It inspired her to write the song that is considered the American national hymn, as opposed to: The Star-Spangled Banner,” which is the national anthem.

O beautiful for spacious skies

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

American! America!

God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet

Whose stern impassion’d stress

A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness.

America! America!

God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control,

They liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov’d

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life.

America! America!

May God thy gold refine

Till al success be nobleness,

And every gian divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam

Undimmed by human tears.

America! America

God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.

PROVERBS

Gerald R. Ford placed his hand on Proverbs 3:5-6; He knew that understanding was a gift from God. Our Father in Heaven is the only One Who is able to help in everything in life. When you trust Our Father in heaven He blesses us with understanding fear is no more.

Author: Solomon, with parts by Agur and King Lemuel

When Written: About 950 B.C., with some sections penned about 720 B.C.

Theme: Wisdom and Instruction for Life

Key Verses: Proverbs 3:5-6 > Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.

Key Chapter: While each chapter of Proverbs is packed with crucial wisdom for godly and upright living, chapter 31 is highly unique, revealing the supreme value and treasure a man has in a virtuous woman.

The Book of Proverbs offers practical wisdom and instruction for how one can live an upright and righteous life. Its counsel is not just relevant to individuals, however, but to nations as well. Proverbs 14:34 provides a maxim that godly leaders have pointed to for generations: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

Patrick Henry, one of America’s most outspoken Revolutionary leaders, predicted that whether or not the newly formed United States would prove “a blessing or a curse will depend upon the use our people make of the blessing which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they are of a contrary character, they will be miserable. Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation.”

Our Nation’s Coins and Currency

Faith

Our nation’s coins have not always had “In God We Trust” stamped on them. The motto was placed on the United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. From Treasury Department records it appears that the first suggestion that God be recognized on U.S. coinage can be traced to a letter addressed to the Secretary of Treasury Salman P. Chase from small town Pennsylvania minister in 1861.

As a result, in a letter dated November 20, 1861, Secretary Chase instructed James Pollock, Director of the Mint of Philadelphia, to prepare a motto: “Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.”

“In God We Trust” first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin. An act of Congress passed on March 3, 1865, allowed the Mint Director, with the Secretary’s approval, to place the motto on all gold and silver coins that “shall admit the inscription thereon.” Under The Act, the motto was placed on gold half-eagle coin, the gold eagle coin, and the gold half-eagle coin. It was also placed on the silver dollar coin, the half-dollar coin, the quarter-dollar coin, the nickel, and the three-cent coin in 1866.

The motto was omitted from the new gold coins issued 1907, causing a storm of public criticism. As a result, legislation passed in May 1908 made “In God We Trust” mandatory on all coins on which it had previously appeared. Legislation approved July 11, 1955, made the appearance of “In God We Trust” mandatory on all coins and paper currency of the United States. By an act of Congress, July 30, 1956, “In God We Trust” became the national motto of the United States.

Since 1955, all the United States coins and currency have carried the motto “In God We Trust.” Not until 1970 and 1978 were the laws authorizing its use legally challenged. Responding to atheist Madalyn Murry O’Hair’s charge, the federal courts rejected her argument that the motto violated the First Amendment.

Martin Van Buren placed his hand on Proverbs 3:17 as he took the presidential oath of office in 1837.

Proverbs 3:17- Her ways are ways of pleasantness,

And all her paths are peace.

  1. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,

  2. And happy are all who retain her.

Hope

The whole Hope of Human Progress

Proverbs 4:18- But the path of the just is like the shining sun,

That’s shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

19-The way of the wicked is like darkness;

They do not know what makes them stumble.

Willian Henry Seward (1801-1872), the Secretary of State under President Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia, stated:

I do not believe human society, including not merely a few persons in any state, but whole masses of men, ever have attained, or eve can attain, a high state of intelligence, virtue, security, liberty, or happiness without the Holy Scriptures; even the whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever-growing influence of the Bible.

Proverbs 13:12- He who despises the word will be destroyed,

But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

13- He who despises the world will destroyed,

But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded.

14-The law of the wise is a fountain of life,

To turn one away from the snares of death.

MORAL STRENGTH

Proverbs 14:34- Right exalts a nation,

But sin is a reproach to any people.

Righteousness Exalts a Nation

Patrick Henry, an American Revolutionary leader who pushed through the Stamp Act Resolves in May 1765,the most anti-British political action to the to that point, wrote:

Whether this will prove a blessing or a curse will depend upon the use our people make of the blessings, which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they of a contrary character, they will be miserable.

Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation. Reader! Whoever thou art, remember this, and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others.

Proverbs 16:1the preparations of the heart belong to man, but answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

2-All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits.

3- commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established.

4- The LORD has made al for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the days of doom.

5- Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD;

Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.

6- In mercy and truth

Atonement is provided for iniquity: and by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.

7. When a man’s ways please the LORD,

He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

8. Better is a little with righteousness,

Than vast revenues without justice.

9. A man’s heart plans his way,

But the LORD directs his steps.

HONOR

Proverbs 18:3- When the wicked comes, contempt comes also;

And with dishonor comes reproach.

The Minutemen

In 1774, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress reorganized the Massachusetts militia, providing that one-fourth of the entire militia was made up of “Minutemen”- patriots who vowed to be ready to fight at a minute’s note. The Massachusetts Provincial Congress charged the Minutemen:

to You re placed by Providence in the post honor, because it is the post of danger. The eye not only of North America and the whole British Empire, but of all Europe, are upon you. Let us be, therefore, altogether solicitous that no disorderly behavior, nothing unbecoming our characters as Americans, as citizens and Christians, be justly chargeable us.

Andrew Johnson took presidential oath in 1865 and James A. Garfield took presidential oath in 1881, both presidents had put their hand on;

rt is in the hand of the LORD,

Like the rivers of water;

He turns is wherever He wishes.

2- Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,

But the LORD weight the hearts.

The United States Supreme Court

FREEDOM

The Censoring of Religious Activities in Public School

In Supreme Court decisions rendered in 1962 and 1963, the inclusion of religious activities, such as school prayer and the bible reading, in major activities of daily students’ life in public schools was struck down. It was the first time in history of the United States that any branch of federal government took such a stand, censoring religious long considered an integral part of education.

This sudden restructuring of educational policies was precipitated by the Court’s controversial reinterpretation of the phrase “separation of church and state: as it relates to the First Amendment, which simply states : “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” The Court decided that the First Amendment includes a prohibition against including religious activities in public affairs, inviting skyrocketing numbers of lawsuits that challenge any presence of religion in public life. The Court has already delivered far-reaching decisions to:

Remove student prayer: “Prayer in its public-school system breaches the constitution’s wall of separation between Church and State.” Engle v. Vitale, 1962

  • Remove school Bible reading: “No state law or school board may require that passages from the bible be read or that the Lord’s Prayer be recited in the public schools of a state at the beginning of each school day.” Abington v. Schempp, 1963

  • Remove the ten Commandments from view: “If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey the commandments. … this is not a permissible state objective under the establishment clause.” Stone v. Graham, 1980

  • Remove benedictions and invocations from school activities: “Religious invocation…. In high school commencement exercises conveyed the message that district has given its endorsement to prayer and religion, so that school district was properly [prohibited] from including invocation in commencement exercise.” Graham v. Central, 1985; Kay v. Douglas, 1989 Lee v. Weisman, 1992.

Proverbs 22:28- Do not remove the ancient landmark

Which your fathers have set.

Herbert Hoover placed his hand on Proverbs 29:18 as he took presidential oath of office in 1929.

Proverbs 29:18- Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;

But happy people is he who keeps the law.

EQUIPPER

The Universal Education of Youth

Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers, was one of the first Founders to call for free, national, public schools. A distinguished physician and scientist, he understood the role of an educated citizenry as regards the stability of a republic, stating:

I believe no man was ever early instructed in the truth of the Bible without having been made wiser or better by the early operation of these impressions upon his mind.

If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind the mission of the Son of God into our world would been unnecessary. He came to promulgate a system of doctrines, as well as a system of morals. The perfect morality of the Gospel rests upon a doctrine which, though often controverted, has never been refuted; I mean the vicarious life and death of the Son of God. This sublime and ineffable doctrine delivers us from the absurd hypothesis of modern philosophers concerning the foundation of moral obligation, and fixes it upon the eternal self-moving principle of LOVE. It concentrates a whole system of ethics in a single text of Scripture: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you.” By withholding the knowledge of this doctrine from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds. We do more; we furnish an argument for withholding from them a knowledge of the morality of the Gospel likewise; for this, in many instances, is as supernatural, and therefore as liable to be controverted, as any of the doctrines or miracles which are mentioned in the New Testament. The miraculous conception of the Savior of the world by a virgin is not more opposed to the ordinary course of natural events, nor is the doctrine of the atonement more above human reason, than those moral precepts which command us to love our enemies or to die for our friends….

Contemplating merely the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues which constitute the soul of republicanism.

Proverbs 30:5-Every Word of the LORD is pure;

He is a shield to those who put their

Trust in Him.

ECCLESIASTES

Author: Solomon

When Written: Around 931 B.C.

Theme: Life’s Meaning Begins and Ends With God

Key Verse: Ecclesiastes 12:13- Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter : Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.

Key Chapter: Ecclesiastes 12- At the end of a life given to embracing every experience and pleasure available to him, the author concludes that the only value is living life from the perspective of God’s eternal economy.

All of humankind searches for meaning and purpose in life. In his own pursuit, the “preacher” of Ecclesiastes finds that earthly goals that do not lead to God only bring dissatisfaction, frustration, and uncertainty.

American businessman James Cash (J.C.) Penney came to a similar conclusion. Through hard work and a thrifty lifestyle, J. C. Penney succeeded in building one of America’s most prosperous retail franchises. But during the Great Depression, heavy financial losses caused him enormous stress, which led to a life-threatening illness. While in the hospital, believing he was going to die, Penney wrote a farewell letters to his wife and son. When he awoke the next morning, he went for a walk down the hallway of the hospital and heard singing coming from the chapel. He went in and listened with a heavy heart. The song “God will take Care of You” spoke to him deeply.

In a life-transforming instant, Penney discovered that God was there to help. “From that day to this, my life has been free from worry,” he later declared. Even in the midst of potentially life-altering circumstances, J.C. Penney, along with the preacher of Ecclesiastes, found the answer to all of life-love of God.

TRUTH

Ecclesiastes 1:6– The wind goes towards the south,

And turns to the north;

The wind whirls about continually,

And comes again on its circuit.

7-All the rivers run into the sea,

Yet the sea is not full;

To the place from which the rivers come,

And hastens to the place where it arose.

Christian Men of Science

Matthew Maury (1806-1873), nickname the “Pathfinder of the Seas” for having chartered the oceans and wind currents while serving in the U.S. Navy, was considered the “Father of Modern Oceanography and Navel Meteorology” and later “Scientist of the Seas,” He wrote:

I have always found in my scientific studies, that, when I could get the Bible to say anything on the subject, it afforded me a firm platform to stand upon and a round in the ladder by which I could safely ascend.

As our knowledge of nature and her laws has increased, so has our knowledge of many passages of the Bible improved.

The Bible called the earth “around the earth,” yet for ages it was; heresy for Christian men to say that the world is round; and finally, sailors circumnavigated the globe and the Bible to be right, and saved Christian men of science from the stake.

And as for the general system of circulation which I have been so long endeavoring to describe, the Bible tells in a single sentence: “The wind goeth toward the South; and returned again to his circuits.”

PROTECTER

Injustice Seems to Prevail

Ecclesiastes 3:16 – Moreover I saw under the sun:

In the place of judgement,

Wickedness was there;

And in the place of righteousness,

Iniquity was there.

17 – I said in my heart,

God shall judge the righteous and the wicked,

For there is a time for every

Purpose and for every work.”

CORRECTING ABUSES

In July 1832, President Andrew Jackson vetoed the Bank Renewal Bill, preventing the rechartering of the Bank of the United States. Believing the bank was unauthorized by the Constitution and concentrated too much economic power in the hands of the small moneyed elite, he stated:

In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and under fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to giant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and potent more powerful, the humble members of society – the farmers, mechanics, and laborers; have a right to complain of the injustice of the Government.

There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and as Heaven does its rain, showers its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing. In the act before me there seems to be a wide and unnecessary department from these just principles.

For relief and deliverance let us firmly rely on that kind of Providence which I am sure watches with peculiar care over the destinies of our Republic, and on the intelligence and wisdom of our countrymen. Through His abundant goodness and their patriotic devotion our liberty and union will be preserved.

HONOR

Render Honor to the Creator

Ecclesiastes 12:1– Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,

Before the difficult days come,

And the years draw near when you say,

“I have no pleasure in them”:

James Madison, the fourth president of the United States and “Chief Architect of the Constitution,” wrote:

The religion then if every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right to every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men. It unalienable also, because what is here a right toward men, is a duty toward the Creator such homage and sure only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.

Ecclesiastes 12:13- Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His Commandments,

For this is man’s all.

14 – For God will bring every work into judgement,

Including every secret thing,

Whether good and evil.

Song of Solomon

Author: Solomon

When Written: 970-930 B.C.

Theme: Covenant Love

Key Verse: Song of Solomon 7:10 – I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.

Key Chapter: All eight chapters of this unified book form a key that beautifully depicts the love of a man for a woman, and the love of Christ for His bride.

The Song of Solomon is a beautiful love story of full metaphors and imagery. While it may be read as a poetic account of intimate love between a man and a woman, its highest value is found as the description of deep spiritual passion and intimacy that exists between Christ and His bride, the Church.

The great early American preacher Jonathan Edwards was convinced that this unique book “was designed for a divine song and of divine authority, for we read in 1 Kings 4:32 that Solomon’s songs were ‘a thousand and five.’ This called the ‘Song of Songs.’ Edwards noted that such a designation proves that God considers it “a song of the most excellent subject, treating of the love, union, and communion between Christ and His spouse, of which marriage and conjugal love was but a shadow. These are the most excellent lovers and their love the most excellent love.”

HOPE

The Infallible Word of God

Song of Solomon 5:10 – My beloved is white and ruby,

Chief among ten thousand.

11 – His head is like the finest gold;

His locks are wavy,

And black as a raven.

William Strong, an Associate of Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1870-1880), stated:

You ask me what I think of Christ? He is the chiefest among the ten thousand, and together lovely – my Lord, my Savior, and my God.

What do you I think of the Bible? It is the infallible Word of God, a light erected all along the shores of time to warn against the rocks and breakers, and to show the only way to the harbor of eternal rest.

ISAIAH

Author: Isaiah

When Written: 700-690 B.C.

Theme: Salvation is of the LORD

Key Verse: Isaiah 53:6 – Are we like sheep than have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord had laid on him the iniquity if us all.

Key Chapter: Isaiah 53 – Along with Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 details the most remarkable and specific prophecies concerning the messiah and the atonement He made.

The theme for Isaiah is found in the meaning of the prophet’s own name: “Yahweh is Salvation.” This book contains some of the most meaningful and eloquent writings of the Old Testament, with the prophet Isaiah warning the people of Judah of impending judgement because of their sin, depravity, and spiritual idolatry. In spite of this God remains faithful to His covenant, promising deliverance and salvation to His people through the Messiah.

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1757), whose preaching began America’s First Great Awakening, is famous for his “Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God” sermon, which emphasized the just wrath of God against sin, But as Isaiah did, he was passionate about declaring the glory of the Suffering Messiah:

All the virtues that appeared in Christ shone brightest in the close of His life, under trials He then met. Eminent virtue always shows brightest in the fire. Pure gold shows its purity chiefly in the furnace. It was chiefly under those trials that Christ endured in the close of life that His love to God, his honor of God’s majesty, His humility, contempt of the world, his patience, meekness, and spirit of forgiveness toward men, appeared. Indeed, everything that Christ did to work out redemption for us appears mainly in the close of His life.

HUMILITY

Criminal Punishment

Isaiah 1:27 – Zion shall be redeemed with justice,

And her penitents with righteousness.

28 – The destruction of transgressors and of sinners

shall be together,

And those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed.

29 – For they shall be ashamed of the

Terebinth tree

Which you have desired;

And you shall be embarrassed because of the gardens which you have chosen

Charles Colson, special counsel of President Richard Nixon and founder of Prison Fellowship, stated:

Imprisonment as a primary means of criminal punishment is a relatively modern concept. It was turned to as a human alternative to the older patterns of harsh physical penalties for nearly all crimes. Quakers introduced the concept in Pennsylvania.

The first American prison was established in Philadelphia when Walnut Street jail was converted into a series of solitary cells where offenders were kept in solitary confinement. The theory was that they would become “penitents,” confessing their crimes to God and thereby gaining a spiritual rehabilitation. Hence, the name “penitentiary” – a place for penitents.

Richard M. Nixon placed his hand on Isaiah 2:4 as he took presidential oath of office in 1969 and 1973.

The Future House of God

Isaiah 2:4 – He shall judge between the nations,

And rebuke may people;

They shall beat their swords into plowshares,

And their spears into pruning hooks;

Nations shall not life up swords against nation,

Neither shall they learn war anymore.

PROTECTER

The Government of the Promised Son

The Government of God

impartial love by which alone nations can kept back from ruin. There is no safety for republics but in self-government, under the influence of the holy heart, swayed by the government of God

Ulysses S. Grant placed his hand on Isaiah 11:1-3 as he took presidential oath of office in 1873.

Isaiah 11:1 – There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.

2 – The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

3 – His delight is in the fear of the LORD, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,

Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;

DEFENDER

A Song for Salvation

Christianity in American Society

Isaiah 26:3 – you will keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on You,

Because he trusts in You.

4 – Trust in the LORD forever,

For in Yah, the LORD, is everlasting strength.

Samuel Chase, a singer of the Declaration of Independence and Justice of the United States Supreme Court, gave the court’s opinion in the 1799 case of Runkel v. Winemiller:

Religion is the general and public concern, and on its support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people. By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all seats and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty.

HONOR

A Prayer in Deep Distress

Isaiah 33:13 – Hear, you who are afar off, what I have done;

And you are near, acknowledge My might.”

While there have been revisions to state constitutions over the years, forty-three state constitutions acknowledge God or a higher power in their preambles (introductory clause of explanation), and the other seven states acknowledge God in their religious freedom provisions. You may not want to read your states constitution and discover how your stat government acknowledges God.

The following is a short sample from various state constitutions:

Connecticut 1818, Preamble. “The People of Connecticut acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting then enjoy a free government.”

Maine 1820, Preamble. “We the People of Maine acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity and imploring His aid and direction in its accomplishments.”

Massachusetts 1780, Preamble. “We therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe, in a affording us, in the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction.”

New York 1846, Preamble. “We the People of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessing.”

PRAYER

Sennacherib’s Threat and Hezekiah’s Prayer

Isaiah 37:17 – Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent a reproach the living God.

America on its Knees

Conrad Hilton (1887-1979), founder of the Hilton Hotel chain, being a man of conviction during the fight against communism in the Cold War, published this prayer on full-page ads in major magazines on July 4, 1952:

Our Father in heaven.

We pray that You save us from ourselves.

The world that You have made us, to live in peace, we have made into am armed camp. We live in fear of war to come. We are afraid of the terror that flies by night, and the arrow that flies by day, the pestilence that walks in darkness and the destruction that wastes at non-day.

We have turned from You to go our selfish way. We have broken Your commandments and denied your truth. We have left Your altars to serve the false gods of money and pleasure and power.

Forgive us and help us.

Now, darkness gathers around us, and we are confused in all our counsels. Losing faith in You, we lose faith in ourselves.

Inspire us with wisdom, all of us of every color, race, and creed, to use our wealth, our strength to help our brother, instead of destroying him. Help us to do Your will as it is done in heaven and to be worthy of Your promise of peace on earth. Fill us with new faith, new strength and new courage, that we may win the Battle for Peace.

Be swift to save us, dear God, before the darkness falls.

INSPIRING

God’s People Are Comforted

Isaiah 40:4 – Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low;

The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth;

5 – The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together;

For the LORD has spoken.

I Have a Dream

Martin Luther King Jr. was a driving force in the path to end segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means in the turbulent 1950’s and the 1960’s. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” Speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompting the 1964 Civil Rights Act. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he delivered these unforgettable words:

Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlight path of racial justice. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of creed: “We hold these truths to self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that on day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and sons of former slaves owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discards of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we all be free one day.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring. And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every villages and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

FAITH

The Designer of the Universe

Isaiah 45:9 – “Woe to him who strives with his Maker!

Let the potsherds of the earth!

Shall the clay say to him who forms it,

‘What are you making?’

Or shall your handiwork say, “He has no hands’?

Wernher von Braun (1912-1977), the director of NASA and known as “The Father of American Space Program,” stated in a published article in May 1974:

One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be design and purpose behind it all. The better we understand the intricacies of the universe and all its harbors, the more reason we have found to marvel at the inherent design upon which it is based.

To be forced to believe only one conclusion – that everything in the universe happened by chance – would violate the very objectivity of science itself. What random process could produce the brains of man or the system of the human eye?

They [evolutionists] challenge science to prove existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun? They say they cannot visualize a Designer. Well, can a physicist visualize an electron? What strange rationale makes some physicists accept the inconceivable electron as real while refusing to accept the reality of a Designer on the ground that they cannot conceive Him?

Christianity and the Frontier

As the American Frontier opened up between 1776 and 1850, American colonists first expanded out as far west as Appalachia, then pushed the frontier to the Mississippi river. By 1850, American pioneers pushed the edge of settlement to Texas, the Southwest, and the Pacific Northwest, seeking cheap land and inspired by the belief that they had a “manifest destiny” to stretch across continent.

In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville, a French historian, traveled America as it was coming into its own as a nation. He wrote down his observations in Democracy in America. This classic book provides unique insights into what made America such a rapid success, which clearly he believe to be Christianity. One of his observation settlers across the continent: “I have known of societies formed by the Americans to send out ministers of the Gospel into the New Western States to found schools and churches there, and the rising of States be less fitting to enjoy free institutions than the people from which they emanated. I met with wealthy New Englanders who abandoned the country in which they were born in order to lay foundations of Christianity and of freedom on the banks of the Missouri or in the prairies of Illinois.”

Following the migration west from the Appalachian cabins to settlements along the Oregon Trail, the American Sunday School Union (ASSU) undertook a great campaign to establish a Sunday school in every new community on the western frontier and sent out a large number of Sunday school missionaries. Thousands of churches eventually sprang up from these Sunday schools.

One example of the tremendous influence the Sunday school movement had in American frontier life was the Mississippi valley Enterprise (MVE), which was a missionary enterprise of the ASSU to “establish a Sunday schools and enrolled 2,650,000 pupils in fifty years. Remarkably, one missionary, Stephen Paxson, who was born with a speech impediment and later nicknamed “Stuttering Stephen,” started 1,314 Sunday schools with 83,000 students during his twenty years of service with the mission.

Also following the expansion west were the Methodist circuit riders, preachers on horseback who braved the cold weather and lack of roads and dangers of Indian attacks to bring the gospel to the pioneers. Led by the colossal efforts of Francis Asbury, who traveled nearly 300,000 miles on horseback and preached more than 16,000 sermons from 1771 to 1816, an army of circuit riders were inspired to go where the pioneers went. In that span of time, the Methodists grew in number from 300 members with four ministers to over 200,000 with 2,000 ministers, many with little formal education but who spoke the language of the frontier folk. The Methodists also gave unprecedented freedom to both women and African American to participate and make significant contribution.

Simultaneously, the Baptists sent out their “farmer-preachers.” As was true of the Methodists, the Baptists developed systems that made it easy for committed laypeople to enter the ministry and to be deployed quickly where the greatest opportunities were. Most of their preachers had little education and were paid poorly, but they were in touch with the pioneer’s lives. With an emphasis on the need for a personal con-faith in Jesus Christ, these ministers spread the Gospel far and wide.

As was true in the founding of the American colonies, Christian’s planted many American colleges as the nation moved west, including such notable institutions as Northwestern University in Chicago, which was founded by a Methodists, and the University of California at Berkeley, which was founded by the Presbyterians before becoming a state university.

Moral Strength

Isaiah 50:7 – “For God will help Me;

Therefore I will not be disgraced;

Therefore I have set My face like a flint,

And I know that I will not be ashamed.

Determination

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States (1861-1865), in a Special Session Message to Congress at the beginning of the Civil War, concluded.

Having thus chosen our course, without guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God and go forward without fear and with manly hearts.

FREEDOM

Boston Tea Party

Isaiah 52:10 – Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;

He has put Him to grief.

When You make His soul an offering for sin,

He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,

And the pleasure of LORD shall

Prosper in His hand.

The Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend Acts of 1767 had angered American colonists regarding British decisions on imposing intolerable taxes on the colonies without representation in the Westminster Parliament. In March 1770, the crisis culminated in the deaths of five American colonists killed by British soldiers who were commandeering homes. Early in 1773, the men of Marlborough, Massachusetts, declared unanimously:

Death is more eligible than slavery. A free-born people are not required by the religion of Jesus Christ to submit to tyranny, but may make use of such power as God has given them to recover and support their laws and liberties . [We] implore the Ruler above the skies, that He would make bare His are in defense of His Church and people, and let Israel go.

On December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty, a band of Boston patriots, threw the cargo of 342 chests of tea from a British East India Company ship into Boston Harbor. The British government responded by closing the part of Boston, enacting other laws that were know as the “Intolerable Acts,” and charging John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren, and Benjamin Church with the ;Crime of High Treason.” At the very least, the Boston Tea Party rallied the support for revolutionaries in the 13 colonies and sparked the Revolution.

ISPIRING

Isaiah 55:11 – So shall My word be that goes forth

From My mouth;

It shall not return to Me void,

But it shall accomplish what I please,

And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

The Bible’s Influence on the Founding Fathers

In 1984, political scientists Donald Lutz and Charles Hyneman at the University of Houston wrote a paper regarding the research they had done to determine the sources that most influenced the development of American political thought during our nation’s founding period. Over the course of ten years, they analyzed some 15,000 items of American political commentary published between 1760 and 1805, the Founding Fathers Era. The research paper, “The Relative Influence of European Writers on the Late Eighteenth-Century American Political Thought,” was published in the American Political Science Review, 78 (1984).

The researchers isolated 3,154 direct quotes made by the Founders over the period of time and identified the source of those quotes. The researchers discovered the 34 percent of the Founders’ quotes came directly out of the Bible. Baron Charles de Montesquieu, a French legal philosopher, was quoted 8.3 percent of the time. Sir William Blackstone, a renowned English jurist whose Commentaries on the law’s of England were highly accepted in America, was next at 7.9 percent of the Founder’s quotes, and John Locker, an England philosopher, was fourth with 2.9 percent.

While it is true that three-fourths of the biblical citations in the1760 to 1805 sample came from reprinted sermons (one of the most popular types of political writing during these years), and only 9 percent of all citations came from secular literature, it is a reflection of the powerful role of the bible upon the thinking Founding fathers.

HUMILITY

Isaiah 58:6 – “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:

To lose the bonds of the wickedness,

To undo the heavy burdens,

To let the oppressed go free,

And that you break every yoke.

National Blessing

Abraham Lincoln, anguished by the ravages of the civil war, declared a Proclamation of the National Fast Day” on March 30, 1863:

Whereas it is a duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only blessed whose God is the Lord

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved un in peace and multiplied and

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

It behooves us, then, to be humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Bill Clinton placed his hand on Isaiah 58:12 as he took presidential oath of office in 1997

Isaiah 58:12 – Those from among

Shall build the old waste places;

You shall raise up the foundations of

many generations;

And you shall be called the Repairer

Of the Breach,

The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

Isaiah 58:2 – Yet they seek Me daily,

And delight to know Me ways,

As A nation that did righteousness,

And did not forsake the ordinance of

their God.

They take delight in approaching God.

JEREMIAH

Jeremiah 1:5 –

‘Thus says the LORD:

“I remember you,

The kindness of your youth,

The love of your betrothal,

When you went after Me in the

wilderness,

In a land not sown.

Author: Jeremiah

When Written: 626 – 586 B.C.

Theme: Repentance and Restoration

Key Verses: Jeremiah 7:24, 24 – “But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be you God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be with you.’ Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and backward and not forwards.”

Key Chapter: Jeremiah 31 – Even though the Book of Jeremiah contains stern judgement and condemnation of Judah for its disobedience and rebellion against God, chapter 31 offers hope of a new covenant, as God promises to write His law on the hearts of his people and to be their God (v.33).

The prophet Jeremiah was just a youth when God called him to take a message of repentance to the rebellious nation of Judah. From a compassionate heart, Jeremiah agonized over Judah’s sin and condemned the people for their idolatry. But even in the midst of the severe judgement that he was called to declare over God’s children, Jeremiah promised that God would respond to their repentance and bring restoration.

The great American statesman Daniel Webster understood guard its foundations of righteousness. In 1852, he warned of his own beloved America, “If we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution with holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”

PROTECTOR

The Dignity of Human Life

Our Founding Father held to the biblical principle that human life is precious and created equal. In the Declaration of Independence, it is God the “Creator” who endowed every man, woman and child with the right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The signers called them self-evident truths. Each life has inherent dignity and matchless value, apparently from conception until death.

The Founders knew that if god the “Creator” is taken out of the national value system, our rights as citizens are no longer absolute and become subject to the relative of those who are in a position to make or change the laws. In truth, we no longer equal in value as people, and typically it is the weakest and most vulnerable members of society who are the first to pay the price as others take the role of determining what rights we do and do not have. Universal moral laws that promote the good of all the people and protect the innocent and vulnerable give way to the selfish pursuits of those who demand the moral license to do what they want.

The dignity of human life is not just biblical principle, it is a principle of decent life. Every human being, born or unborn, deserves the equal protection of the law, and the value of life is not conditional upon its usefulness to others or to the state. Neither scientific progress nor the desire to help others can justify the sacrifice of any human being’s life or inherent dignity, whether it takes the form of abortion, euthanasia, or any of the many new forms of biotechnology. We must reaffirm our steadfast determination to defend the sanctity of human life.

FREEDOM

Why the Wall of Separation?

Thomas Jefferson

Jeremiah 13:10 – This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who follow the dictates of their hearts, and walk after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this sash which is profitable for nothing.

When the Founding fathers fashioned the First Amendment to the Constitution, they began with these forceful words:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

For over one hundred and fifty years, this mandate was understood to prohibit the establishment of a national religion over non-religion. Clearly, while limiting the federal government from exercising any authority in matters of religion, there was no hint that it was meant to exclude people of faith or their values from impacting, participating in, or shaping government.

But in 1947, the Everson v. Board of Education decision took up Thomas Jefferson’s wall of church and state” metaphor, which is not in the Constitution and was not even in discussions leading up to the Constitution. It was written

“The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state.

That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”

What has followed from decisions rendered by the Supreme Court on down through many lower courts is the highly successful silencing of religion. Those decisions have religious speech in schools, removed the Ten Commandments from school and public building, proclaimed that the display of a nativity scene on public property is unconstitutional unless surrounded by sufficient secular display to prevent it from appearing religious – the list goes on and on.

Soon after the Emerson decision, another wall was erected against religious freedom. Prior to 1954 and the revision of the IRS tax code, religious groups and other nonprofits could oppose or support political candidates without risking their nonprofit status. The revision changed that, stating that all 501 (c)(3)s (nonprofits) are tax exempt and are therefore prohibited from endorsing or opposing candidates running for public office. The IRS says clergy speaking in an official capacity also should not indirectly imply who they endorse or oppose.

Since 1947, the religious freedom established by the Founders has undergone and continues to undergo serious erosion in America. The riches and wisdom of faith are no longer welcome in the public square. It is time for a new generation to pray and take action in reestablishing the primacy of faith in every level of American life and maintaining America as

ONE NATION UNDER GOD.”

HOPE

Judah sin and Punishment

Jeremiah 17:13 – O LORD, the hope of Israel,

All who forsake You shall be ashamed.

“Those who depart from Me

Shall be written in the earth,

Because they have forsaken the LORD,

The fountain of living water.”

In God We Hope

On the Seal of the state of Rhode Island, over the picture of an anchor, is inscribed the motto:

IN GOD WE HOPE

DEFENDER

False Prophets and Empty Oracles

Jeremiah 23:24 – Can anyone hide himself in secret places,

So I shall not see him?” says the LORD;

“Do I not fill the heaven and earth?”

Says the LORD.

Known Only to God

The tomb of the Unknown was originated after the end of World War I (November 1921) in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. It contains the remains of unknown American soldiers from World War I and II, the Koran Conflict, and the Vietnam War (until 1998) and represents the missing and unknown service members who died so our country could remain free. The Tomb gives their families a place to grieve and pray and has been guarded continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since July 1937, by specially trained Tomb Guards, who ensure they rest in peace.

The Tomb’s inscription reads:

Here Rests in Honored Glory an American soldier Known Only to God.

INSPIRING

Jeremiah’s Letter to the captives

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

“The American Sound.”

Few presidents had the ability to ignite hope into the hearts of those who love liberty more than President Ronald Reagan. In his second Inaugural Address in 1985, he stated:

History is a ribbon, always unfurling; history is journey. And as we continue our journey, we think of those who traveled before us. Now we hear again the echoes of our past: a general falls to his knees in the hard snow of Valley Forge; a lonely president paces the darkened halls and ponders his struggles to preserve the Union; the men settlers pushes west and sings a song, and the song echoes out forever and fills the unknowing air.

It is the American sound. It is hopeful, big-hearted, idealistic, daring, decent, and fair. That’s our heritage; that is our song. We sing still. For all our problems, our differences, we are together as of old, as we raise our voices to the God who is the Author of this most tender music. And may He continue to hold us close as we fill this world with our sound – sound in unity, affection, and love – one people under God, dedicated to the dream of freedom that He has placed in the human heart, called upon now to pass that dream on to a waiting and hopeful world.

The Civil War

It was a war people thought would be over in three months but lasted four horrible years (1861-1865), and the cost was more American lives than in all American war combined. By the end of the Civil War, over 360,000 Union and approximately 260,000 Confederate soldiers would be dead. It remains the greatest, and most tragic, event in American history, where an incalculable sacrifice of “brothers’ blood” was spilled to restore to one a nation bitterly torn in two.

While the reasons for the Revolutionary War were abundantly clear, the reasons for the Civil War are still being debated. Political disagreements between the North and the South vegan soon after the American Revolution ended in 1782, and those arguments mounted between 1800 and 1860. Quarrels over unfair taxes paid on goods brought into the South from foreign countries as well as perceived shifts of political power in the federal government to favor the Northern and Midwestern states fueled the Southern call away from the central federal authority in Washington and to a restoration of states’ rights.

However, slavery was the defining issue that drove the Southern resolve to make war on the Union rather than accept Abraham Lincoln’s election as president in 1860. Slavery had been a part of life for well over 200 years in America’s history and was protected by regarding unlawful seizure of property. In the early 1800’s, slavery was first seen as an economic issue and second as moral issue, but it became the pivotal issue that divided the nation’s political leaders. Extensive theological debate was waged over a biblical understanding of slavery, which Scripture never expressly denounces, though abolitionists gave convincing argument that the spirit of the Holy bible condemned slavery. But the bottom line was that if the South her slaves, her socio-economic system would collapse.

The presidential election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 was the last straw for the South. As a member of the Republican Party, Lincoln was considered friendly to abolitionists and northern businessmen. South Carolina became the first state to officially secede from the United States, and they were followed by six other Southern states. Together, they formed the “Confederate States of American” and elected Jefferson Davis, a Democratic senator and champion of the states’ rights from Mississippi, as their first president.

The South believed that the north was threatening their way of life, it was their sovereign right to secede from the Union, and that the “peculiar institution” of slavery was ordained by God and upheld in the bible. The North believed the South was in rebellion and, if allowed to secede, would destroy the republic. In a famous letter to Horace Greeley, whose strong anti-slavery newspaper editorials helped to sir the North to oppose slavery, Lincoln said that his first priority was saving the Union, not destroying slavery. But to save union meant to solve the problem of slavery:

a constitutional government founded on the principle of equality for all had come to the breaking point.

Paradoxically, each side believed unequivocally that God was on its side in the conflict. From early colonial days, New England political and religious leaders had considered themselves as God’s “chosen people’.

With the start of the Civil War, Southerners invoked “the favor and guidance of Almighty God” in their constitution, proclaiming themselves a Christian nation. People of all walks of life – ministers, generals, political leaders, and newspapers editors – went as far as to claim that god had ordained the war and was sovereign to determine all its outcomes.

Nowhere was the religious paradox stated clearer than in Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address of March 1865, at one of the darkest moments of the war: “Both [North and South] read the same Bible, and pray to the same god; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just god’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.”

In the end over three million Americans fought in the Civil War, and two percent of the population perished. It saw the end of slavery and ushered in a new political and economic order. As the era of Southern plantation aristocracy ended, the powers of the federal government expanded, and the days of big industry and business began. The clash over federal and states’ rights finally came down to a struggle over the meaning of freedom in America. At Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in 1863, perhaps he was prophetic when he said the was about a “new birth of freedom.”

DEFENDER

Jeremiah 50:6 – “My people have been lost sheep.

Their shepherds have led them astray;

They have turned them away on the mountains.

They have gone from mountain to hill;

They have forgotten their resting place.

How far Have we gone?

Many states have adopted laws approving the pasting of our national motto, “In God We Trust,” in public buildings and school classrooms. For instance, in 1992 the states of Kentucky passed Kentucky Revised Statute, Title XIII, Education, 158.195, regarding conduct of schools:

Reading and posting in public schools of texts and documents on American history and heritage. – Local school boards may allow any teacher or administrator in a public school district of the Commonwealth to read or post in public school building, classroom, or event any excerpts or portions of the national Motto, the national Anthem, the of Allegiance, the Preamble to the Kentucky Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Mayflower Pact, the writing, speech, documents, and proclamations of the founding fathers and presidents of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and acts of the U.S. Congress, including the published text of the Congressional Record.

There shall be no content-based censorship of American history of heritage in the Commonwealth based on religious references in these writings, documents, and records.

How far astray have we gone that we have to pass such laws?

LAMENTATIONS

Author: Probably Jeremiah

When Written: 587 B.C.

Theme: Punishment for Sin

Key Verses: Lamentations 3:22, 23 – Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His commissions fall not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

Key Chapter: Lamentations 3 – In the midst of a narration devoted to ruin, destruction, and hopelessness, Jeremiah rises to declare god’s faithfulness and mercy.

Written soon after the destruction of Jerusalem, Lamentations describes the suffering of a nation as a result of the sin and rebellion of its people. But this heartrending account doesn’t merely focus on the tragic events that have left the children of god in despair, but emphasizes God’s unrelenting grace, mercy, and faithfulness.

While the United States of America has faced a number of potentially catastrophic periods in its own history, perhaps nothing threatened its utter destruction more than the issue of slavery. In her classic novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published in 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe attacked the cruelty of slavery, making the slavery issue tangible to millions and energizing anti – slavery forces in the American North. Her Book North and South have been guilty before God; and the Christian church has a heavy account and cruelty, and making a common capital of sin, is this Union to be saved, but by repentance, justice, and mercy.”

INSPIRING

Lamentations 1:9 – Her uncleanness is in her skirts;

She did not consider her destiny:

Therefore her collapse was awesome;

She had no comforter.

“O LORD, behold my affliction,

For the enemy is exalted!”

“The Destiny of America”

Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States (1923-1929), spoke on the motives of the Puritan forefathers in a message entitled “The Destiny of America”:

If there be a destiny, it is of no avail to us unless we work with it. The ways of Providence will be of no advantage to us unless we proceed in the same direction. If we perceive a destiny in America, If we believe that Providence has been our guide, our own success, our own salvation requires that we should act and serve in harmony and obedience.

Settlers came here from mixed motives, some for privilege and adventure, some for trade and refuge, but those who have set their imperishable mark upon our institutions came from far higher motives. Generally defined, they were seeking a broader freedom. They were intent upon establishing a Christian commonwealth in accordance to the principle of self-government.

They were an inspired body of men. It has been said that God sifted the nations that He might send choice grain into wilderness. They had a genius for organized society on the foundations of piety, righteousness, liberty, and obedience of the law. They brought with them the accumulated wisdom and experience of the ages. Who can fail to see in it the hand of destiny? Who can doubt that it has been guided by a Divine Providence?

HOPE

Lamentations 3:26 – It is good that one should hope and wait quietly

For the salvation of the LORD.

The Prophet’s Anguish and Hope.

In 1974, Ronald Reagan gave his famous “Shining City Upon a Hill” speech and concluded by saying:

We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so. The leadership of the free world was thrust upon us two centuries ago in that little hall of Philadelphia. In the days following World War ii, when the economic strength and power of America was all that stood between the world and the return to the dark ages, Pope Pius XII said, “The American people have a great genus for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of American God has placed the destines of an afflicted mankind.”

We are, and we are today, the last best hope of men on earth.

EZEKIEL

Author: Ezekiel

When Written: 593-587 B.C.

Theme: Destruction and Restoration of Jerusalem

Key verse: Ezekiel 36:24-26 – “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you new hearts and put aa new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

Key Chapter: Ezekiel 37 – Central to Israel’s hope of restoration is Ezekiel’s vision on the valley of dried boned. With passion and clear visions, this chapter outlines the future hope of god’s people.

George Bancroft, who served as Secretary of the Navy in 1845 under President Polk, wrote that for eternal salvation to come to all people “it was requisite that the Divine Being should enter their abodes and hearts of men and dwell there,” and that He should be known, “not as a distant Providence of boundless power and uncertain and inactive will, but as god present in the flesh.

From his position of exile with the nation of Judah in Babylon, the prophet Ezekiel offered a similar message of hope for God’s children. While sin and rebellion had caused the glory of the LORD to depart from the people of god, He promised to return with a fresh wind of his Spirit and life. Like the dry bones that come to life in Ezekiel’s vision, the despair and hopelessness of God’s exiled children would be replaced by a double portion of His glory, and they would be given a new heart to know and Love Him.

INSPIRING

Ezekiel 11:19 – Then I will give them one heart, and I will put new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh.

God Will Restore Israel

Sink or Swim Together

William Prescott (1726-1795) commanded the Colonial Militia at the battle of Bunker Hill and was an instrumental part of the battle of Long Island and Saratoga during the Revolutionary war. In 1774, when the British, blockaded the Boston Harbor, he wrote to the city’s inhabitants:

We heartily sympathize with you and are always ready to do all in our power for your support, comfort, and relief, knowing that Providence has placed you where must stand the first shock. We consider that we are all embarked in (the same boat) and must sink or swim together. Let us all be of one heart and stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ made us free. And may He, of His infinite mercy, grant us deliverance of all our troubles.

FREEDOM

Ezekiel 13:10 – “Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace – and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untampered mortar.

With Germany, Italy, and Japan already waging warfare on four continents in January 1941, President Franklin D Roosevelt urged Americans that if democracy was to survive, mobilization was necessary to rid the world of dictatorships and military rule. He then described “four essential human freedom” that the United States hoped to secure for the world community:

No realistic American can expect from a dictator’s peace international generosity, or return of true independence, or world disarmament, or freedom of expression, or freedom of religion – or even good business. Such a peace would bring no security for us or for our neighbors. Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither nor safety.

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression – everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way – everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from – which, translated into world terms, means economic understanding which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants – everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want – which, translated into world terms means economic understanding which will be secured to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants – everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear – which translated into world terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor – anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. The kind of world is very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seeks to create with the crash of a bomb.

This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.

To that high concept there can be no end to victory.

IN GOD WE TRUST

Annuit Coeptis

This Nation Under God

MONUMENTS TO AMERICAN PATRIOTISM

It is amazing that, at a time when such a concerted effort is underway to erase the role of God and faith in filled with Christian religious symbols that adorn its buildings and monuments as an abiding evidence of God’s role in America’s heritage. From the halls of Congress, to the monuments, to nearly every landmark building, biblical and religious quotations and images are inscribed and preserved as an official testimony to the true of God has in our nation’s birthright and history.

The Washington Monument

Engraved on the aluminum capstone is the Latin phrase

Laus Deo, which means “Praise be to God.”

Lining the walls of the stairwell are craved tribute blocks that declare such biblical phrases as

“Holiness to the Lord”;

“Search the Scriptures”;

“The memory

+of the just is blessed”; and “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States.

THE U.S. CAPITOL

In the House chambers is the inscription, “In God We Trust.” Also in the House of champers, above the Gallery door stands a marble relief of Moses, surrounded by twenty-two lawgivers. At the east entrance to the Senate chambers are the words Annuit Coeptis, which is Latin for “he has favored our undertakings.” The words “In God We Trust” are also written over the southern entrance.

In the Rotunda is the painting of “The baptism of Pocahontas,” and also “The Embarkation of the Pilgrims” that shows the Pilgrims praying on the shipboard led by William Brewster. Clearly seen in an open Bible are the words, “the New Testament according to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” The words “God With Us” are inscribed on the sail of the ship.

In the Capitol’s chapel is a stained glass depicting George Washington in prayer under the inscription “This Nation Under God.” Also, the prayer from Psalm 16:1 is etched in the window, which states, “Preserve me, God, for in thee do I put my trust.”

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court building has a number of places where there are images of Moses with the Ten Commandments. Moses is included among the great lawgivers in Herman MacNeil’s marble sculpture group on the east front. As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door and a display of the ten Commandments is also engraved over the chair of the Chief Justice.

The Jefferson Memorial

When you enter the Jefferson Memorial, you will find many references to God. A quote that runs around the interior dome says, “I have sworn upon the alter of God, eternal hostility against every tyranny over the minds of man.” One of the panels reads: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

The Lincoln Memorial

Millions have entered the Lincoln Memorial and gazed up at the magnificent statue of Abraham Lincoln. His famous speeches are inscribed into the walls.

On the left side is the Gettysburg Address. He said, “We here highly resolved that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.” On the right side is Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, which mentions God fourteen times and quotes the Bible twice. He concludes with a lament over the destruction caused by the Civil War, and appeals to charity in healing the wounds of the war. “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

INSPIRING

Ezekiel 22:10 – So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry (1736-1799) was one of the most passionate and fiery advocates of the American Revolution and republicanism. Many have compared him to an Old Testament prophet in his powerful denunciations of corruption in government officials and his defense of the colonists’ rights. Elected to the Virginia legislature in 1775, it was his influence that rallied the states of Virginia, the largest of the thirteen colonies, into military preparedness.

Rebellion against unjust taxes had begun in the colonies, and the British had posted troops throughout the colonies and warships in America’s harbors. During the Second Virginia Convention’s debates on whether to declare independence or negotiate with the British, keep back my opinions at such a time. I should consider myself as guilty of treason toward my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.: Then he called upon his countrymen to trust God and use all the means that He had placed in their power: “Three million of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send us. Besides, sirs, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battles, sir, is not to the strong along; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.’

Patrick concluded his argument with a passionate call, “Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace – but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take: but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

During the war, he served as the first post-colonial governor of Virginia. After the revolution, henry was an outspoken critic of the United States Constitution and urged against its adoption, arguing it gave the federal government too much power. He was instrumental in forcing the adoption of the Bill of Rights to amend the new Constitution. He served five terms as governor of Virginia.

DANIEL

Author: Daniel

When Written: Late Sixth Century B.C.

Theme: God is in Control

Key Verses: Daniel 2:44 – “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set p a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdom, and it shall stand forever.”

Key Chapter: Daniel 9 – Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks (9:24-27) provides a framework which many see as fulfilling both Christ’s first and second comings.

Taken into captivity as a teenager and chosen for service in the Babylonian government, Daniel stood before the exiled children of Israel as a clear example of godly and upright behavior among their godless captors. As a prophet, he encouraged the exiled Jews that their captivity would not last forever, but that their restoration would come at God’s appointed time and would open the door to an everlasting Kingdom of God’s chosen Messiah.

Like the prophet Daniel, General Robert E. Lee stood as a bright example of integrity, honor, character, and courage during one of America’s darkest historical chapters. “My trust is in the mercy and wisdom of a kind Providence, who ordereth all things for our good, “he wrote as he led the vastly outnumbered Army Northern Virginia in America’s Civil War. While his soldiers placed great confidence in his ability as a military leader, he remained deeply humble, writing, “I tremble for my country when I hear of confidence expressed in me. I know too well my weakness, that our only hope in God.”

INSPIRING

Daniel 2:28 – But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King NEBUCHADNEZZAR what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the vision of your head upon your bed, were these:

“The God Who Made the Peanut”

George Washington Carver (1864-1943) was a fabulous chemist of international fame in the field of agriculture. Much of his fame was based on his research and promotion of alternative crops to soil-depleting cotton, such as the peanut, soybean, pecan, and sweet potato. He wanted poor farmers to grow alternative crops as both a source of their own food as well as a source of other products to improve their quality of life.

In 1921, Carver spoke in favor of a peanut tariff before the Ways and Means Committee of the United States House of Representatives. At the time, it was unusual for a black person to be called as an expert. He also detailed the potential uses of the peanut and other new crops to improve the economy of the South. At the end of his address, the Chairman of the Committee asked:

“Dr. Carver, how did you learn all of these things?’

Carver answered: “From an old book.”

“What book/

Carver replied , “the Bible.”

The Senator inquired, “Does the Bible tell about peanut?”

“No, Sir,” Dr. Carver replied, “but it tells about the God who made the peanut. I asked Him to show me what to do with the peanut, and He did.”

SELFLESS

Daniel’s Friends Disobey the king

Daniel 3:17 – If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hands, O king.

A Firemen’s Prayer

When I am called to duty, God,

Whenever flames may rage,

Give me the strength to save some life,

Whatever be the age.

Help me embrace a little child

Before it is too late,

Or save an older person from

The horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert

And hear the weakest shout,

And quickly and efficiently

To put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling and

To give the best of me,

To guard my every neighbor

And protect his property.

And if according to my fate,

I am to lose my life,

Please bless with Your protecting hand

My children and wife.

(this is sad, as I am writing this I became every emotional. Thank You Father God for those Firefighters in Jesus Name Amen.)

PRAYER

Prayer for the People

Daniel 9:3 – Then I set my face toward the LORD God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.

The Circumstance were different, but centuries later another leader went before God for his people’s sake, praying for his mercy and help. This is the prayer originally entitled “Let Our Hearts Be Stout,” read to the nation on radio by rackling D. Roosevelt as Allied troops were invading Nazi-occupied Europe on D-Day, June 6, 1944:

Almighty God, our sons pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true: give strength to their arms. Stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need thy blessing. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

For these men are lately drawn form the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the heaven home. Some will never return home. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy Kingdom.

And for at home – fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them – help us, Almighty god, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice. And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that my come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace – a peace invulnerable With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to to the scheming of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done. Almighty God, Amen.

HOSEA

Author: Hosea

When Written: Around 750 B.C.

Theme: Return to God

Key Verse: Hosea 4”1 – Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel, for the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land.”

Key Chapter: Hosea – The key chapter illustrates how the nation of Israel left the knowledge of the truth in favor of the idolatry of their pagan neighbors.

The theme of Hosea – a man’s love for his unfaithful spouse – illustrates the faithful love that God has his people even when they turn from Him. Just as Hosea pursued his adulterous wife, so too God pursues His people in order to show them His love and forgiveness.

Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, experienced a firsthand encounter with this pursuing love of God. As a high-powered attorney and member of President Richard Nixon’s White House inner circle. Colson was considered one of the most powerful men in Washington, D.C. His ruthless tactics as Mr. Nixon’s political “hatchet man” also made him one of the most hated. But when the consequences of the infamous Watergate scandal sent him to federal prison, the cynical and self-sufficient Colson was confronted with something he could not earn and did not deserve-the love and mercy of God.

TRUTH

God Change Against Israel

Hosea 4:6 – My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

Because you have rejected knowledge,

I also will reject you from being priest For Me;

Because you have forgotten the law of

You God,

I also will forget your children.

Religion and Law

Justice james Wilson was one of the Supreme Court’s original member and a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. A major force in the drafting of the Constitution, he wrote several legal works, including a 1792

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