Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Reason the United States Has Been a Great Nation

Key Scriptures:

“And this is the writing that was written. Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom…”

– Daniel 5.25-26

“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed thou shalt be…”

– Deuteronomy 28.1-3

“And all the people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.”

– Deuteronomy 28.10

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee…”

– Genesis 12.3

In the year 1775, thirteen colonies of the British Crown in North America revolted in rebellion against the United Kingdom of Great Britain, declaring themselves Free and Independent on July 4th, 1776. Despite the impossible odds against these thirteen colonies, they, as a united front, defeated the then-greatest power on the face of the Earth to win their independence. Through eight long years of war, bloodshed, and trial, the nation known as The United States of America came into being, and, by 1789, had drafted and ratified a Constitution. This Grand Republic was the first of its kind: a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people, with no state church, no king, and freedom and equality available to all who dared venture there. For the first one hundred and eighty years, this nation, the United States of America, grew from a fledgling, backwater nation to the greatest power in the world and in history.

“Nothing in Particular or Important Happening Today”

King George III is alleged to have written the sentence in his diary on July 4th, 1776, and really, with good reason. At this time in history, Great Britain was the world power. Her navy sailed in every part of the globe, and was unmatched in its power. Her red-coated army was respected – if not feared – throughout the known world. Just the mention of British Soldiers coming to fight was enough to cause even the most stouthearted tremble with fear. This Army and Navy had won the Seven Years’ War in Europe, and the French and Indian War in the Americas, bringing vast swaths of land and territory under the control of the British Crown. British trade and her maritime economic might were the envy of the world, with merchant vessels sailing as far to the East as India and China, South to Argentina and Africa, North to Russia, and West to the Americas. Her colonial might was unequalled, with the Union Jack flying in nearly every part of the globe, even at this time before the great expansion in the Victorian Age. British Explorers, such as Captain James Cook, had charted and mapped hundreds of Islands in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Indian, Pacific, and even Artic and Antarctic waters. Further, Christian Missionaries were also already shipping far and wide throughout the globe, bringing to Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who’d never heard. Because of this, Great Britain was at this time (and would continue to be for the next century-and-a-half) the greatest power on the face of the earth. As such, it seemed not only foolhardy, but totally unthinkable that any British Colony in the world would even dream of rebellion or revolt. Yet, Revolution is exactly what happened. In 1775 – after years of enduring “taxation without proper representation” in parliament – in response to the news and announcement that British Soldiers from Boston were setting out to destroy a munitions dump in Concord, Massachusetts, colonial Minutemen banded together to resist. Despite a tactical defeat at Lexington, and the British destroying the munitions, the Minutemen fought back, harrying the British Soldiers in their eventual withdrawal from Concord back to Boston. By the end of the first week of hostilities, the British found themselves bottled up by land in Boston, and under effectual siege by the Colonists. Within a year, the thirteen American Colonies had declared their Independence (July 4th, 1776), and, despite coming within a hair’s breadth of final defeat on numerous occasions, won their independence in 1783 with not a little help from other European powers.

One Nation, Under God

How was such a thing possible? How was it even thinkable that the men who led the Revolution were even able to raise arms against Great Britain, let alone defeat her Army and overcome her Navy? The truth may be found in who these men were. All of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence were members of their respective local churches. Each of the Founding Fathers – including the oft-accused “Deist” Thomas Jefferson – not only recognized God’s aid in helping found the United States of America, but also were believers that without him, the US of A could not and would not last for long. From the Declaration of Independence, to the Federalist Papers, to the Constitution of the United States of America, the Hand of God can be seen throughout the founding documents for the United States. The leaders themselves spoke of not only the need for God to be included in the daily lives and plans of the nation, but to be the Central Focal Point to which all things were to be determined. For the first one hundred and eighty five years of the existence of the United States of America, God was welcomed into each and every facet of US Life. Prayer, Biblical and Moral Truth, and the preeminence of God were taught in the earliest of public schools, the Bible often being the only book in many a school house through out the early period of United States’ History. Schools of High Learning such as Harvard University, Yale, Columbia, William and Mary, and many, many others not only taught on the central authority of the Word of God, on the omnipotence of God Himself, and on the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, they also produced many and fine leaders, scholars, teachers, missionaries, pastors, evangelists, government representatives and leaders, and many more noteworthy areas of public life in the US. For the first one hundred and eighty years of the US of A, Godly men and women worked and strove for what was good and right in the country. For one hundred and eighty years, we, the United States of America, truly were one nation under God.

“Blessed Thou Shalt Be…”

Is it merely coincidence, or something far, far greater, that in the first one hundred and eighty years of its existence, the United States of America grew, expanded, and gained international prestige? No other nation in the history of the world; no other national venture before or since has risen to the heights that the United States’ has since her founding in 1776. It is interesting to note than in the intervening years between the end of the American Revolution in 1783 and the turn of the 20th century that the USA was involved in only one international war which lasted longer than a couple of years, that being the Anglo-American War of 1812. In fact, every conflict that followed lasted a combined four years (The Mexican War of 1847, and the Spanish-American War of 1898). In fact, the only war in the US in the entirety of the 19th century that lasted longer than three years, and was of any significance, was the US War Between the States (also known as the U.S. Civil War) from April 12th, 1861, to April 9th, 1865. Further, US Trade literally exploded in the 19th century, making the United States a very rich and prosperous nation, producing millionaires such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and John Pierpont Morgan. Inventors and innovators, such as Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver, and many others helped to enlighten and expand American thinking and way of life, enriching the nation and its people with conveniences which would last for decades. US Agriculture became such that not only were American Farms feeding the entirety of the US population, but also the populations of other nations through humanitarian aid. Further, the Church expanded and grew, with the Gospel being preached in every corner of the USA, from the wild, wild Western frontier towns to the high society upper crust districts in the east, and from the warm, near-tropical states of the South to the cities and towns of the frigid Northwest. Missionaries were also being sent out in droves, with American Christian Missionary organizations sending workers out into far reach places as South America, Africa, and Asia. In the 19th Century, the United States was the second-most active Missionary sending nation after Great Britain. Again, because of this, the USA was blessed.

“The Lord Thy God Will Set Thee on High Above All Nations of the Earth”

By the end of the 19th century, the United States of America was the second-most powerful nation on the face of the Earth – second only to Great Britain. Militarily, only Great Britain could dare challenge the United States. Economically, the United States was rising fast, and though Great Britain was initially the most powerful economically, that would soon change. As such, no nation on the face of the Earth wanted a fight with the USA. Spain had fought a war with America in 1898, and such was the might of the American Military – especially the United States’ Navy – that the war was over within nine months, the Spanish Atlantic and Pacific Fleets resting at the bottoms of both Oceans respectively, the Spanish economy in a shambles, and much of her International Power and Prestige diminished. Though not the colonial strength of France and Britain, the United States did – by the beginning of the 20th century – possess of protectorates and territories far-flung from her shores. Even at this early date, the Lord God was blessing the United States with prestige and power. Why? Precisely because the United States – unlike most of the nations of Europe and Asia – possessed deep-rooted faith in Jesus Christ and in God. We elected Presidents and Government officials who – though may not having great or deep faith – respected God and his laws, and his written word. By the opening of World War One in June, 1914, the US Military was second only to that of Great Britain in size and strength. President Theodore Roosevelt’s Naval Expansion programs had made the US Navy as strong as any other that roamed the seas. It is interesting to note that both sides in World War One – the Central Powers and the Allies – actively sought the participation of the United States. When a German U-boat sank the Lusitania, German Diplomats bent over backwards to keep the US from entering the war on the side of the Allies, and Great Britain did the same to try and get the US to enter. When Germany planned to return to unrestricted submarine warfare, both Hindenburg and Ludendorff, the Commanding Generals of the German Army, advised the German Government against it as it would bring in the United States in against them. The same effect was true of World War Two, as well. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, the German High Command, Diplomatic Corps, and Foreign Ministry all urged Hitler not to declare against the United States. In Japan prior to the attack on Pearl, most of the highest ranking military leaders opined to the Emperor and Government that fighting a war against the United States would be dangerous and a mistake. These fears were rightly felt and expressed as the entrance of the United States into both World Wars spelt defeat for the Central Powers and Axis Powers respectively (catastrophically so in the latter war). The US Economy by the end of the Second World War was greater than all other world economies combined, and this economy – horribly depressed up to 1938 and `39 – by the end of the Second World War had supplied all the other Allied powers with not only weapons and munitions, but also basic supplies such as vehicles, food, water, fuel, and material for clothing and shoes. The Soviet Union alone received more than fifteen million pairs of boots, thousands of miles of railroad track, hundreds of thousands of cars and trucks, and necessary material for the building of highways, all with which the Soviets were able to drive back the German invader. By the end of World War Two, the United States was a superpower: her military was the largest in the world, her economy the greatest and most prosperous in history, her might the strongest, her influence growing and expanding.

The Kernel of That Strength

Though many people may point to this or that reason for America’s growth; in the face of many experts that claim time, place, or situation; and despite the allegations of agnostics to deny his rightful place, the reason for the success and astronomical growth of the United States – from fledgling, foundering thirteen colonies of the British Crown to Superpower Super giant sitting atop the world – is precisely because of the place that people placed God: First and Number One. As The United States was faithful to God, so God was faithful to us. By the end of World War Two, such names as D. L. Moody, Billy Sunday, Charles Finney, Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards, and others had been ingrained into the American psyche because of what these men preached and taught during their times of ministry. We as a nation went to church on Sunday, attended Bible Studies, gathered for prayer meetings, held drives for Sunday School, sent out and supported foreign missionaries and missions, welcomed God, his son Jesus Christ, his written Word, and prayer time into the public school system. We as a society tithed to the church, sent offerings to help the poor, destitute, and hurting, even to those nations that plotted against us for our destruction and meant us harm. Our early forms of home entertainment, such as radio and early television broadcasts, were rife with family-values, traditional ideals, and – at the very least – respect for God. Movies and television programs of this era in US History forwent using God’s name in vain and actually positively portrayed people going to church for worship. Businesses and enterprises were closed on Sunday out of respect for the Sabbath and Sabbath rest. Music and literature cast God and his followers in a positive light, revealing them to be good, honest people. It is because we as a society respected and upheld God, offering anyone who came to our shores the freedom to worship and pursue his or her own faith freely that God upheld the United States of America. Because we trusted in God, trusted in him to carry us through the hard times, and placed men and women who believed in his goodness and respected him and his name that God elevated the United States of America to the position that she has held for decades: that of Superpower.

(Re) Enter Israel

From its earliest conception and founding in and prior to 1948, the United States of America was, and has continued to be, a friend, supporter, and ally of the Nation of Israel. When Israel declared her independence in 1948, the United states was the first to recognize her government. When her Arab neighbors launched an all-out assault to wipe her off of the face of the earth immediately following this announcement, the USA sent arms, munitions, supplies, and aid to the Israelis. When she was denounced time and time again in the United Nations, the United states stood by her side. When her Arab neighbors assaulted her again in and again 1956, 1967, 1972, 1981, and in recent years, the United States time and time again rendered aid, abetted her defense, and stood up against those who called down Israel in the United Nations. Because of this aid, help, and alliance, the United States has been blessed by God since Israel’s re-foundation and reformation. Not only have we given the Israelis food, weapons, aid, technical advice, and supplies, we have also prayed for her prosperity, and allied ourselves with their through treaty after treaty. Though this has often drawn the ire and the hate of the Arab world and the condemnation of the rest of International Society, God has blessed the United States because of our proximity in relations and our blessing the children of Abraham. It is in great part because of this friendship with Israel that the United States of America was able to overcome the old Soviet Union, and triumph gloriously over communism, by winning the Cold War.

Killing The Goose the Laid the Golden Egg

Just as the old story goes, where a family decides to eat the goose that had been laying golden eggs, giving them aid and prosperity, the United states, as well, made the decision to show God the door with regards to his place in society. In 1962, a landmark case allowed an atheist mother to begin to have God excluded and excused from Public School across the nation. Because of this one woman and her desire to be an atheist, and keep her son as an atheist, the Supreme Court of the United States of America edicted a landmark decision that would have repercussions that continue to this day.

The Bottom Line – The United States Has Had a Glorious Status Because of God

We, the United States of America, have been the greatest society, nation, and people that has ever existed in history. Through our people and their innovations, the United States has brought comfort and convenience to the world. Because and through American Generosity, the destitute, poor, wretched, and even entire nations have benefited wonderfully. The sole reason for this international influence is because for the first one hundred and eighty years of our history, the United States of America gave God his rightful place. In recent days, the US has declined, most glaringly in our military presence and economic strength. However, if we as a society will hearken back to the reason for our explosive growth, massive expansion, and towering influence, we can, and will, again, have such power and strength as we have ever known. As the Bible declares time and time again, we, as a society, must repent and turn back to God in whole hearted faith. The United States has been great because the United States’ people have been good, and we have been good because we have kept our focus on God.

Conclusion – It’s NEVER Too Late

Even in the face of mounting problems, massive economic trials, military challenges, and un-Godly initiatives, we as a society can still repent and turn back to God. If we will, collectively and individually, return to God, he will return to us. His word promises in 2nd Chronicles that if his people will call on his name, he will turn and save us. God has blessed the USA. If we want to continue to experience his blessings, we must return to him. It’s not too late.

Prayer – Father, you have blessed the USA because in our history, we trusted in you, revered you, and, at the very least, gave you grudging respect. Help us, Father, to return to you, so that you will heal our land. We bless thee, we praise thee, and we pray thee all these things in the Precious Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Verse of the Day:

“And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and do them…”

– Deuteronomy 28.13

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