2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases”
My beloved, God our Creator is still in control. Either we believe that or we don’t. Personally, I believe He is in control and absolutely nothing escapes His awareness of the world, which He spoke into existence. My beloved, He is still sitting on His throne and He is at work. If you go to the Book of Daniel the theme is the overwhelming sovereignty of God in relation to nations.
It is God our Creator who caused men to create this Nation and who led our forefathers to develop a Constitution based upon Biblical concepts. The United States of America, our beloved nation, is and has been at a crossroad for some time now. Will we cease to honor God and Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, and follow the path of previous nations into obscurity?
Many people today say that our founding forefathers never intended for us to be a “Christian Nation” but wanted a multi-cultured religious neutral society. I beg to differ because at the rear entrance of the United States Supreme Court building, at the peak of the building is Moses, seated, holding a tablet of the Ten Commandments on each knee. Carved into the oak doors leading into the courtroom you can see the tablets of the Ten Commandments again.
Above the bench where the justices sit are the Ten Commandments between “The Power of the Law” on the left and the “Power of the Government” on the right, and as you look at the side panel there you will see Moses carrying a tablet of the Ten Commandments, with Hebrew writing on the tablet. I’m mindful of the admonition of Proverbs 22:28 where it states “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”
Furthermore, our historical records the intent of our founding fathers to pursue the advancement of the Christian faith. I have taken the liberty and have included statements made by some of our founding fathers and other prominent individuals:
(1) Patrick Henry during the Second Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775 said this, “Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is impossible that a nation of infidels or idolaters should be a nation of freemen. It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom”
(2) James Madison, the Father of the U. S. Constitution, said this, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God”
(3) Benjamin Franklin made this statement at the Constitutional Convention on June 28, 1781. “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; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel”
(4) Thomas Jefferson made this statement, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And 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 a gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever”
(5) Andrew Johnson our 17th President of the United States said this, “Let us look forward to the time when we can take the flag of our country and nail it below the Cross, and there let it wave as it waved in the olden times, and let us gather around it and inscribed for our motto, ‘Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever,’ and exclaim, ‘Christ first, our country next!’”
(6) In 1876 President Ulysses S. Grant sent this message to Sunday school children, “My advice to Sunday Schools no matter what their denomination is: Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your heart, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future. Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34)”
In my lifetime, twelve men have served as President of the United States: Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy E. Carter, Ronald W. Reagan, George H. W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. I have a high regard for several of the men who served our Nation in the Office of President.
But, of all the men that have served in my lifetime, the one that I personally appreciated was Ronald Wilson Reagan, and here’s why: When he was inaugurated in both 1981 and 1985, he took his oath of office upon his mother’s Bible and requested it be opened to 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” He was a supporter of our beloved King James Bible. He said, “What would you say if someone decided Shakespeare’s plays, Charles Dicken’s novels, or the music of Beethoven could be rewritten and improved?”
He then went on to lament that sadly the “tinkering and general horsing around with the sacred texts will no doubt continue as pious drudges try to get it right.” He concluded by saying of these new Bible versions, “It will not dawn on them that it has already been gotten right.” To be sure President Reagan had a high esteem for the Bible. He said, “Of the many influences that have shaped the United States of America into a distinctive Nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible. Indeed, it is an incontrovertible fact that all the complex and horrendous questions confronting us at home and worldwide have their answer in that single book” (he was referring to the Bible).
The United States Supreme Court ruled in 1892 that our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon the teachings of the Redeemer of Mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent, our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian. In 1962, the Court examined a simple twenty-two word prayer, first used to negate prayer in schools: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.” This simple prayer, said by children, acknowledged God. Americans’ indifference allowed the removal of prayer from our schools.
This is but one of the steps toward complete destruction of America’s original Judeo-Christian educational system. There is a petition on the Internet to the U. S. Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, petitioning to remove the statement consisting of, “In God We Trust” from all future currency created in the United States of America. The removal of the Ten Commandments (from the Sullivan County Courthouse) a few years ago was an insult to the forefathers of our nation and the men and women who died for the belief of God the Creator as they did, and established this in their oath to the U.S. and the Constitution the words “under God.” What happened to “for the people, by the people,” and “in God we trust”.
Noah Webster succinctly penned these words, “The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible, God’s Eternal Word”.
Further reflection: Many people have forgotten the occurrence of May 27, 1999, and the unforgettable address when Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful, very powerful, very penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of his address:
“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good and evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.” In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA -because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. “I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy-it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. “I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today!
“Your laws ignore our deepest needs; your words are empty air. You’ve stripped away our heritage; you’ve outlawed simple prayer. Now gunshots fill our classrooms, and precious children die. You seek for answers everywhere, and ask the question “Why?” You regulate restrictive laws, through legislative creed. And yet, you fail to understand, that God is what we need! “Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual influences were present within our constitutional systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact.
What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs-politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need laws that are more restrictive. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers.
The young people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening-taking place that will not be squelched! We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million-dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored. We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!”
As God was able to force Babylon’s ancient king Nebuchadnezzar to worship him, there is no ruler on the earth today who is immune to God’s authority. My beloved, they rule by his permission, and one day they all will answer for how they use or abused their power! Moreover, because God is in control over leaders, He exhorts us (1 Timothy 2:1-2) to pray for and about these rulers so that we may lead peaceful and Godly lives; not just here in America but also for our Christian brothers and sisters in North Korea, China, The Sudan, Iraq, Israel and other nations of the world.
Prayers by God’s people really do change the world because God the Lord Almighty is in and has always been in control. He is God; He is the King of kings! He is the Lord of Lords. He is the Ruler of Rulers and the lawmaker supreme. Every government answers to him, and every person will do the same. I leave you today with these words penned by a Christian musician “God is in control, though Godless men conspire, His will unfolds, though mortal man is sometimes left to doubt, His ways are higher than our ways, and even through the fire, take heart and know, God is in control.”
It’s impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible