"See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'" - Deuteronomy 4:5-6
A French diplomat, Alexis de Toqueville, is credited with saying almost two hundred years ago, “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”
I’m not sure it was de Tocqueville who wrote those words, but what they say is certainly true. They simply declare what Moses told the people of Israel as they were about to cross into the land that God had promised them: Do it God’s way and you will become a great nation by God’s blessing, admired even by your enemies for your wisdom and goodness. Turn your back on God and you’re on your own.
America has become a great nation in direct proportion to our adherence to God’s standards of right. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing; there have always been those who through ignorance or with evil intent have resisted doing things God’s way but by finally listening to the Word of God in every generation we have pushed forward toward the goal of being a good nation, as God defines good. As a result, we are admired and respected around the world, being generally regarded as a Christian nation.
Every generation, and in fact every person, has to decide again. Will we continue to listen to the Word of God and seek His blessing? Or will we pay more heed to those who believe in power for its own sake, are willing to amass wealth at any cost, and who hold to an ideology based on rebellion against God and His loving direction?
God, our Heavenly Father, give us, as individuals, citizens, legislators and judges, and everyone in positions of power in our nation, eyes to see what’s right and the courage to do it. Have mercy on us and forgive our many failures. Let the light of Your Word enlighten our hearts, classrooms, courtrooms, halls of government, and pulpits, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles