God Blessed America
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. - Ps 33:12
Song: America the Beautiful, by Katherine Lee Bates 1913
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
Are the words and sentiment of this song true? Did God really shed his grace on our country? I believe they are true and that we can clearly see the evidence of both the blessing and the reason why we were blessed.
Our country is unique in that it alone is a Gentile country founded upon the principles of God's Word. A nation and a people carved out of the wilderness to create a place for the free worship of the Almighty. It has been this founding, and the subsequent revivals which returned us a nation to that foundation, that has been the major reason for the prosperity and blessings in our country.
The evidence is throughout our history. It is written into the documents that brought us to life and now sustain that life. The Declaration of Independence speaks of being "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." The Colonial Congress and the Constitutional Convention were opened daily in prayer. The motto of our country imprinted upon our coins is "In God We Trust."
Psalms 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Was American a Christian Nation? Did God Bless Its People and History?
November 3, 1620 - King James I grants the Charter of the Plymouth council.
"In the hope thereby to advance the enlargement of the Christian religion, to the glory of God Almighty."
November 11, 1620 - The Pilgrims sign the Mayflower Compact aboard the Mayflower, in Plymouth harbor.
"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith,
Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick,
The Revolutionary War
Summer 12, 1775 – In the midst of the war against England, the Continental Congress issues a call to all citizens to fast and pray and confess their sin that the Lord might bless the land.
"And it is recommended to Christians of all denominations, to assemble for public worship, and to abstain from servile labor and recreation on said day."
The Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
At least 50 out of the 55 men who framed the Constitution of the United States were professing Christians. (M.E. Bradford, A Worthy Company, Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1982).
Benjamin Franklin, at the Constitutional Convention
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 the affairs of man." And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?
We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in the political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little, partial local interests; our projects will be confounded; and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war or conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business.
(Historical note to above: the convention was then adjourned for three days of prayer, Bible reading and special church meetings, following which the Constitution was discussed and adopted.)
James Madison (primary architect of the Constitution)
We have staked the future of government not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions on the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.
The Supreme Court
First chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Honorable John Jay, who had also served as governor of New York. He wrote:
"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty ... of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." --1816.
In 1892, Justice David Brewer, writing for the majority in the case of the Church of the Holy Trinity vs. the United States, said this:
"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 this affirmation ...
We find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth ... These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. --1892 (15)
Justice William O. Douglas wrote succinctly:
"We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." --1952 (16)
One Supreme Court chief justices, Earl Warren, left no doubt about what he believed in a 1954:
"I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses ... Whether we look to the first Charter of Virginia ... or to the Charter of New England ... or to the Charter of Massachusetts Bay ... or to the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut ... the same objective is present ... a Christian land governed by Christian principles. I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under law, and the reservation of powers to the people ... I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country." --1954
George Washington, Inaugural Address
No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency . . . We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.
(Historical note to above: Washington added the pledge, "So help me God," to his inaugural oath. He then kissed the Bible to affirm his submission to the King of Kings.)
John Adams, our first vice president and second president, wrote:
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --1798
Thomas Jefferson, our third president and one of the principle framers of the Constitution D.C.:
"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?" -1781
Our sixth president, John Quincy Adams, said this:
"Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the Foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?" --1837
Abraham Lincoln would fill a book about his beliefs on God and country.
It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.
"Unless the great God who assisted [President Washington], shall be with me and aid me, I must fail. But if the same omniscient mind, and Almighty arm, that directed and protected him, shall guide and support me, I shall not fail ... Let us pray that the God of our fathers may not forsake us now." --1861
Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president, said this about America's founding fathers:
"They were intent upon establishing a Christian commonwealth in accordance with 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 the wilderness ... Who can fail to see it in the hand of Destiny? Who can doubt that it has been guided by a Divine Providence?" -1923
Here are the words of Woodrow Wilson, our 28th president and governor of New Jersey:
"America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of the Holy Scripture." -1911 (27)
Franklin Roosevelt prayed this prayer on a national radio hookup on D-Day, June 6, 1944, as our troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France:
"Almighty God ... with Thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogance. Lead us to the saving of our country. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen." --1944
Gerald Ford, our 38th president, quoted a 1955 speech by Dwight D. Eisenhower on December 5, 1974 summed it up well when he said,
"Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first--the most basic--expression of Americanism. Thus, the founding fathers of America saw it, and thus with God's help, it will continue to be." --1974 (31)
These all believed that God had blessed The United States of America because the United States had been founded upon the precepts and principle of God’s Word.
But it is not enough to be founded as a Christian nation because God does not dwell in the past but in the present and God continues to see us and deal with us according to what He see.
Psalms 33:13 The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
Only In God Was Their Security
The Psalms says there is no safety in armies or might or machines or strength.
The only hope any nation or people or individual can have is in God.
Only In God Is Our Security
We as a nation once believed what Psalms 33 says, that God looks upon the sons of man.
We believed that he looked and that he acted according to what He sees. That he blessed and that He could remove His blessing. We believed He was protecting us or if we refused to acknowledge Him as God, he could remove that protection.
Lincoln believed it in the midst of the Civil War On April 30, 1863 - President Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation for a National Day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer.
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 us 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!
In His Proclamation of Thanksgiving, October 1863, He proclaimed, “It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the ascended power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
Our nation cannot survive as the nation of strength and prosperity that it was in the past unless we return to the belief that God is looking down on us as people and as a nation and that He rewarding and punishing according to what He sees and what we are doing.
Illustration: Jane Clayson (The Early Show, CBS) interviews Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz.
All we count on as the strength of America could be lost in a moment, without God the USA would be nothing more than a footnote of history.
We all watched in horror on Sept. 11th 2001 as our nation was attacked and changed forever. In only a few minutes we were turned from our pride and strength to disbelief. How could such a thing happen to us?
Jane Clayson: I've heard people say, those who are religious, those who are not, if God is good, how could God let this happen? To that, you say?
Anne Graham Lotz: I say God is also angry when he sees something like this. I would say also for several years now Americans in a sense have shaken their fist at God and said, God, we want you out of our schools, our government, our business, we want you out of our marketplace. And God… has just quietly backed out of our national and political life, our public life. Removing his hand of blessing and protection. We need to turn to God first of all and say, God, we're sorry we have treated you this way and we invite you now to come into our national life. We put our trust in you. We have our “Trust in God” on our coins, we need to practice it.
Let me conclude by also reminding you that what is true of nations is also even more true of individuals. We must never forget that God is watching each of us.
Psalms 33:16-22 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
We May Fail But God Will Not
In the midst of national failure, know that God does not fail His own.
The Psalmist says behold God is watching over those who worship Him, those who have placed their hope in Him.
He will deliver their souls and he will keep them alive in the worst of calamities. Our soul waits upon God, he is our help and our protection. This we know and can rejoice because we have trusted in His Holy and Righteous name.
We Need To Behold God More Than Every
It is more needful today than it ever has been. We need to behold God, to look to Him as our help and shield.
I am glad to live in the United State of America, I am grateful for the life, opportunity and protection that we have been granted as citizens of this nation. I am proud of our history, I am humbled by those who have served in its military and by those who have served in its government, but those things are not where I put my faith in trust. Those things as truly great as they are cannot save me and cannot give me one day in eternity nor one moment’s assurance of goodness and grace. Only God can do that.
I trust that God watches over me, my family and my church. I believe that through faith in Jesus Christ, He will deliver my soul. I believe He is my help and shield. I believe that my heart shall rejoice in him because I have trusted in His Holy name.
Can you say it is true in your soul today? Do you know God?
This is not a mental imagination. It is the reality of experiencing the love of God and his forgiveness and protection through Jesus His Son.
The Bible continually invites us to know Him.
Isaiah 45:22-24 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
Isaiah 55:1-3 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
If we don't know Him, if we are not looking to Him to save, protect and bless us then it matters not what nation we live in, what jobs we have, what persons we married or what amount of money we have in the bank, these thing will not save us.
If we are would be blessed, we are blessed because of Him.
We have hope with Him, we are hopeless without Him
We have strength with Him, we are invalids without Him
We have eternal life with Him, but without Him we have only eternal death.
Illustration: Jesus and the rich man whose barns were filled
Luke 12:16-21 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
It is true of a nation; it is also true of us as individuals. What are we filling our barns, our lives, our nation with? If we do not include God in what we treasure, then we will have nothing when we stand before God.
Conclusion: Last verse of Star Spangled Banner
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Is it just verses in a song or do you know what it means to trust in God? Can you truly praise the power that has made and preserved us a nation?