Blessed is the Nation Part 2
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” Psalms 33:12a
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was declared. This is the day we celebrate, but it was years away from victory. This document holds such powerful words as, “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.” These authors understood that it was the Creator that gave such rights, not the government. What the government gives you can be taken away, but what the Creator gives cannot be taken. “Who the Son sets free is free indeed.” (John 8:36)
The American Revolution came at a big cost. Comparing the ragtag colonist with the elite British soldiers didn’t seem to be equal odds. The Americans were outmanned, out gunned, without tents, proper food, their shoes had worn out, the clothes were threads with some just wearing blankets. There were many prayers said by these soldiers, officers and families during such difficult circumstance, Thomas Paine stated in was a time, ”that try men’s souls.”
One of the prayers found in George Washington’s diary said, “Let my heart, gracious God, be so affected with Your glory and majesty that I may discharge those weighty duties which thou requires of me…..Again, I have called on thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins…for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ offered on the cross for me. Thou gavest thy Son to die for me; and hast given me assurance of my salvation.”
The American Revolutionist was a determined group of patriots that just kept at it. Learning from the past, fighting in the present and looking toward the prize of freedom. On September 3, 1783, Britain and America signed the Treaty of Paris and it was ratified the following Spring. It was a win impossible without the intervention of the Almighty God’s help in the founding of America.
Time moved on to the nineteenth century and God again graciously poured out His Spirit in what history calls the Second Great Awakening. The tremendous move of the spirit spurred revivals that lasted days at a time and touched about every setting of the new nation. The Spirit of God moved through the Ivy League Halls of Higher learning, Camp Meeting sites on the East coast, open fields in Kentucky to wagon trains moving West. The Second Great Awakening focused on the salvation of the unchurched and as a result, changing the world in which they lived. Charles Finney was one of the leading evangelists of this time.
Even after such moves of the Spirit, complacency has a way to slip into a blessed nation. The Civil War broke out and in 1863 a newly elected president, Abraham Lincoln, said these words in addressing the nation, “We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven….but we have forgotten God…..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 humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” These words resonant today if we are to have a “Blessed Nation whose God is the Lord.”
Pastor Ruth Kaunley