In the 2016 Presidential campaign in the United States, Donald Trump campaigned with the slogan, “Let’s Make America Great Again.”
The slogan and the ideas behind it caught the public’s fancy enough that Mr. Trump was elected to become the forty-fifth President of the United States. But while it may be the desire of many Americans to “make America great again,” perhaps we ought to ask the question, who made America great in the first place?
Wherein lies America’s greatness? Who made America great?
While there is no denying that America is in some ways still a great nation, there is also no denying if one looks closely at the facts, that it is not as great in certain respects as it once was.
Early in the twentieth century the United States had become the world’s single wealthiest nation, and the world’s leader in industrial capacity. During World War II the United States produced more armaments, consisting of planes, tanks, ships, trucks, guns, ammunition, etc., than all other nations of the world combined.
By the end of the war the United States had become, in certain respects, the most influential and dominant power in the world.
Today, however, in many ways the United States is in a period of decline. Great Britain, a brother nation which preceded the United States in world dominance, is also in decline, and has been for decades.
Once the world’s greatest creditor nation, the United States is now the world’s greatest debtor nation. While the United States for decades ran surpluses in its trade with other nations, now, for decades, the United States has run massive trade deficits.
The official national debt of the United States is nearly $20 trillion, and is growing. The real debt is perhaps five or six times the officially acknowledged national debt.
Real unemployment, and food stamp rolls, are at or near historic levels, although official employment figures and the economy in general have improved significantly since Mr. Trump’s election. Home ownership has recently been at a historic low. America is no longer home to a plurality of super-rich individuals. There are 5.1 million such individuals in the Asia-Pacific region and 4.8 million in North America. Those in the Asia-Pacific area also have more total wealth than those in North America.
Here are some recent headlines providing further evidence of the decline of the United States: “China acquiring USA one company at a time,” “The ‘American Dream’ is Over – and Voters Know It,” “Blue collar voters: Trade is killing us,” “Nearly 1 in 6 men in U.S. Jobless or Incarcerated,” “China eclipses U.S. to become undisputed king of supercomputers,” “Most Americans have less than $1000 in savings.”
These are just a few of many headlines that could be cited indicating a trend of decline in the United States in both relative and real terms.
But what accounts for American greatness in the first place? Was it all a result of accidental strokes of good fortune? Or was it because of some innate superiority of the American people?
Our obvious and ongoing decline ought to be proof enough that it was not some innate superiority that caused our nation to become the great nation it became in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The real answers to our national greatness, who and what was behind it, and what our future holds, lie in the Bible.
The greatness of America, and of Britain, and of other related nations was prophesied thousands of years ago. God promised Abraham in making a covenant with him, as follows:
“Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed'” (Genesis 12:1-3).
The promises of that covenant were passed down to Abraham’s son, Isaac, and his grandson, Israel. It was passed on to Israel’s twelve sons. And of the twelve sons of Israel, Joseph was given the birthright promise and blessing of the firstborn, and those were passed on to the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, as outlined in Genesis 48.
We read about the blessings passed on to the descendants of Joseph in Genesis 49. This was a prophecy, as it says in verse 1, that was to be fulfilled “in the last days.”
“Joseph is a fruitful bough, A fruitful bough by a well; His branches run over the wall. The archers have bitterly grieved him, Shot at him and hated him. But his bow remained in strength, And the arms of his hands were made strong By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), By the God of your father who will help you, And by the Almighty who will bless you With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of your father Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers” (Genesis 49:22-26).
Note that the blessings were from God. God was to give to the descendants of Joseph the strength to prevail over their enemies. Manifold blessings to excel anything that had come before was to crown the head of Joseph, that is, his descendants, in the last days, or near the end of the age.
The descendants of Israel grew in numbers, became a sizable nation, and were blessed by God and given an inheritance in Canaan after God freed them from slavery in Egypt. God gave them his laws, and warned them that if they disobeyed the commandments he had given them, they would eventually be stripped of their inheritance and sent into captivity to their enemies (Deuteronomy 28:47-48).
Because of their disobedience to God’s laws Israel was taken into captivity by the Assyrians in the eighth century B.C. (2 Kings 17:5-12; see our article “Abide In God’s Word,” for more details on the Assyrian captivity). They lost their identity and eventually migrated to western and northwestern Europe, and the British Isles.
The details of these migrations and how they relate to the peoples of Israel are too complex to discuss in detail in this article. Perhaps we will be able to go into more detail on this topic in a later article. Meanwhile, for insight into this subject you may wish to consult publications such as the book United_States_And_British_Commonwealth_In_Prophecy_1967, by Herbert W. Armstrong. The book is no longer in print, but is now in the public domain, and may be downloaded at this link. Another source, among others, is the book The ‘Lost’ Ten Tribes of Israel…Found!, by Steven M. Collins. The latter can as of the time of this writing be purchased as an e-book at stevenmcollins.com.
Suddenly, beginning in about 1800, Britain and then America quickly multiplied in population, expanded geographically, and became the dominant powers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The people of Great Britain and the Anglo-Saxon settlers in the United States were predominantly descendants of Ephraim (Great Britain) and Manasseh (United States). Other groups of Manassites from various places also streamed to the American colonies, and later to the United States in it’s early years, to form the predominate population of the country. God had prophesied through the prophet Amos: “For surely I will command, And will sift the house of Israel among all nations, As grain is sifted in a sieve; Yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground” (Amos 9:9).
Many who came to America and colonized it, came out of religious motives. Many of them had been oppressed and persecuted by governments in England and Europe for their religious beliefs, and sought a place where they could practice their religion according to their own conscience. While their understanding of true Christianity was often far from perfect, most early Americans had a deep respect for the Bible and many of its basic precepts.
Although mixed with a considerable amount of dross, Biblical principles were woven into the fabric of society from the earliest days of British and European colonization. Woven into the fabric of the society and the laws governing the society which developed in the early days of the United States was what is often referred to as the “Judeo – Christian ethic,” moral and social values based on the teachings of the Bible.
Respect for the Bible and its fundamental principles has been expressed by legions of America’s leaders. Patrick Henry, is recognized as one of the nation’s “Founding Fathers,” a leader during the period of the American Revolution, remembered for his “Give me liberty, or give me death,” speech before the second Virginia Convention in 1775. Patrick Henry also said, “The Bible is worth all the other books which have ever been printed” (cited in American Patriot’s Bible, Richard G. Lee, General Editor, Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2009, p. I-47).
American Patriot’s Bible lists seven principles which are said to characterize the “Judeo – Christian ethic.” Let’s discuss seven principles of the so-called Judeo – Christian ethic adapted from the list in American Patriot’s Bible (APB), although my list is not exactly the same as theirs.
(1) Principle of Judeo – Christian Ethic: The Dignity of Human Life.
“You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
In the American Declaration of Independence it is declared that human beings are endowed by their Creator with certain “unalienable rights.” Among these are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
From the perspective of the Bible the life of the innocent is to be preserved and protected. “If people and nations do not grant ultimate respect and protection to both the born and the unborn, all other professed morals and values are meaningless” (APB, preface).
(2) Principle of Judeo – Christian Ethic: The Traditional Monogamous Family.
“And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:23-24).
“Our society has been based on the belief that the biblical view of traditional marriage and family is the backbone of a healthy social order. Since the joining together of Adam and Eve, marriage has been recognized as a holy union between one man and one woman, and out of that union comes children – born into a home with a father and a mother to love them, nurture them, and teach them how to become healthy, productive, and responsible citizens.
“The plan of God, nature, and common sense is a man and a woman producing children within the institution of marriage. When that plan is lost, ‘marriage’ and ‘family’ become meaningless, and a nation and its people will follow the road to ruin. World history has proven it over and again. Preserving the traditional family is vital to the future of any great nation” (APB).
(3) Principle of Judeo – Christian Ethic: A National Work Ethic.
Generations of Americans were imbued with a desire and willingness to work hard, exercise thrift, and value freedom and independence.
The principles of honest dealing, work, thrift, and protection of private property, are found throughout Scripture.
When God brought the children of Israel into the promised land, each tribe and each family within every tribe was given its own inheritance.
“To a large tribe you shall give a larger inheritance, and to a small tribe you shall give a smaller inheritance. Each shall be given its inheritance according to those who were numbered of them. But the land shall be divided by lot; they shall inherit according to the names of the tribes of their fathers” (Numbers 26:54-55).
The inheritance of the tribe of Levi, for their work of serving as ministers in God’s worship, was one tenth of the increase produced by the other tribes. “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting” (Numbers 18:21).
In addition, the Levites were given cities to live in within the boundaries of each of the other tribes. “Command the children of Israel that they give the Levites cities to dwell in from the inheritance of their possession, and you shall also give the Levites common-land around the cities”
“So all the cities you will give to the Levites shall be forty-eight; these you shall give with their common-land” (Leviticus 35:2, 7).
So God gave each tribe and each family property to inherit, with all the potential that implies. The prosperity of the people of Israel depended on God blessing them additionally with rain in due season and protection from their enemies. But the prosperity of the people depended also upon their own industriousness in working to produce increase from the inheritances they were given.
“He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame” (Proverbs 10:4-5).
“For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).
(4) Principle of Judeo – Christian Ethic: Respect For Learning and Knowledge.
The Bible has a great deal to say about the value of wisdom and knowledge. It also tells us that the basis for genuine wisdom is the fear of God and obedience to his commandments.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Psalm 111:10).
“Receive my instruction, and not silver, And knowledge rather than choice gold; For wisdom is better than rubies, And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her” (Proverbs 8:10-11).
Literacy and education were highly valued by the early English and European settlers in America. “…educational historians assert that New England in the late 18th century had the highest literacy rate in the world at the time, nearly 100% in Boston” (“Literacy in Colonial America,” June 15, 2011, colonialquills.blogspot.com).
“No country on the face of the earth can boast of a larger proportion of inhabitants, versed in the rudiments of science, or fewer, who are not able to read and write their names, than the United States of America” (The Columbian Phenix and Boston Review, 1800, cited in “Literacy in Colonial America”).
Early in the history of American settlement by the British and the Dutch the settlers began to establish institutions of higher learning. Most of these early institutions were founded by Churches or ministers of professing Christianity. Harvard University, for example, was founded in 1636, its main purpose the education and training of ministers. Others included Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia (initially called King’s College), Brown, William and Mary, and Rutgers.
Today, all of these institutions are considered leading universities.
Wikipedia states concerning Harvard, “A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as ‘to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust’; in its early years trained many Puritan ministers” (“Harvard University,” en.wikipedia.org).
In 1636 Harvard adopted “Rules and Precepts,” which stated: “Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life.” The original seal of Harvard bore the words, “Truth for Christ and the Church” (cited in APB). Harvard has long since abandoned its original purpose and become thoroughly secularized. And the same is largely true of most if not all other large Universities in the United States founded by churches, of which there are many.
Knowledge and scientific inquiry have become debased and perverted in our society, to the extent that the value of a college education in some fields is almost worthless, or less than worthless.
Paul warned Timothy: “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge– by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith” (1 Timothy 6:20-21).
The same warning applies to us. But we must value true learning, knowledge and wisdom.
(5) Principle of Judeo – Christian Ethic: The Abrahamic Covenant.
The basis of the covenant that God made with Abraham was that if Abraham would follow God and obey his laws and commandments, that God would bless Abraham and his descendants. Abraham believed God, and his descendants went on to become a chosen people of God.
God said to Isaac, Abraham’s son, “And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” (Genesis 26: 4-5).
Many of the early leaders of our nation understood the biblical principle that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). Many of the nation’s leaders have warned that the nation will abandon Biblical principles of morality at its peril.
Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, stated: “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure… are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments” (cited in APB).
George Washington, a “Founding Father,” Revolutionary war hero, and first President of the United States, said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible” (cited in APB).
John Adams, a “Founding Father,” and second President of the United States, wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” (cited in APB).
Daniel Webster was an influential lawyer and prominent politician in the early to mid 1800s. He was a Congressman, United States Senator and Secretary of State. In 1957 a Senate committee selected Webster as one of the five greatest of U.S. Senators (“Daniel Webster,” en.wikipedia.com).
Daniel Webster is quoted as saying: “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity” (cited in APB).
Harry Truman, thirty-third President of the United States, stated: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul…. If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!” (cited in APB).
What most have not understood is that the United States owes it’s existence to the covenant made with Abraham, and as later passed on to Abraham’s grandson, Israel, and his descendants. The blessings which God has bestowed on Great Britain, the United States, and certain of the nations of Western Europe are a direct fulfillment of the promises God made to Abraham in the covenant agreement.
(6) Principle of Judeo – Christian Ethic: Common Decency.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39).
One of the things that makes a nation great is coming to the aid of those in need, when it has the opportunity to do so. America has given many billions of dollars in private and public funds to aid the world’s poor, to feed the hungry, etc.
After World War II the United States spent billions of dollars rebuilding the economies of nations in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, including Germany and Japan, who were former enemies.
Since that time, much of our national wealth has been squandered. We are now the world’s leading debtor nation. Our capacity to sustain our own economy, much less help others, is open to question.
Our nation has never applied the principle of “love your neighbor as yourself” perfectly. Indeed, far from it. Perhaps now more than ever, the venom and vituperation in public discourse, the graft and corruption endemic in our economic and political system, leaves open the question as to how much the principle of “love your neighbor” and common decency is still alive in our nation’s soul.
(7) Principle of Judeo – Christian Ethic: Personal Accountability to God.
The Bible makes it clear that every one of us will be judged for our actions by Almighty God: “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27). If a person believes that he is answerable to God for his actions, and will be rewarded or punished in accordance with God’s just laws, that is perhaps the greatest deterrent to evil that exists in this world.
In the early days of our country’s history the consciousness of being under God’s judgment was on the minds of the vast majority of Americans, to one degree or another. Today, that consciousness has faded to a very great extent. Jesus predicted that as we draw near to the end of the age, “lawlessness will abound” (Matthew 24:12). As is also prophesied: “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18).
As we’ve seen, the foundation of the nation’s core principles, embedded deeply in the hearts of the majority of its people, was what is called the Judeo – Christian ethic. In other words, the moral foundation of the nation was the Bible, and the principles taught in the Bible
That is not to say that this was pure Biblical Christianity, because it certainly was not. Nevertheless, Biblical principles were a guiding force in the nation’s destiny. Bibles were for generations in virtually every home in America. For not reading the Bible and understanding it, the nation is without excuse.
God had promised to bless the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and especially bless the descendants of Joseph, with abundant material blessings. These blessings were a consequence of Abraham’s obedience. They were not a consequence of the righteousness of the British and American people.
Nevertheless, the ascent of Britain to the heights of national greatness roughly coincided with what is known in history as the “Victorian Age,” with its “Victorian morality.” Victorian morality was characterized by “sexual restraint, low tolerance of crime, and a strict social code of conduct” (“Victorian morality,” en.wikipedia.org). The Victorian period was characterized by relative peace in Europe, called in history “Pax Britannica.” It was a period in which Britain had undisputed control of the world’s oceans, and ruled a worldwide Empire that covered a quarter of the world’s land surface.
It was a period of rapid growth in population in Britain, and British emigrants spreading out to colonize Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and other areas. It was an era in which progress was made in terms of freedom, civil rights, and social equality. Britain took the lead in seeking to end the international slave trade. (See our article “Proclaim Liberty,” cogmessenger.org).
“Workhouses” were provided for the indigent, although conditions in them were often harsh, they provided a means for the extremely poor or helpless to escape starvation in the streets. Poverty was endemic in the society, as had been true for nearly all societies throughout history. However, as the industrial revolution took hold, the lot of the poor tended to improve. It’s estimated by one source, “In the 18th century probably half the population lived at subsistence or bare survival level.”
This source goes on to state: “At the beginning of the 20th century surveys showed that 25% of the population were living in poverty. They found that at least 15% were living at subsistence level. They had just enough money for food, rent, fuel and clothes. They could not afford ‘luxuries’ such as newspapers or public transport. About 10% were living in below subsistence level and could not afford an adequate diet.”
To the extent these statistics are accurate, one could conclude that during the nineteenth century the percentage of population living on a subsistence level income was reduced from 50 percent to 15 percent. Conditions continued to steadily improve for the general population, and, “By 1950 absolute poverty had almost disappeared from Britain. Absolute poverty can be defined as not having enough money to eat an adequate diet or afford enough clothes.” (“A Brief History of Poverty in Great Britain,” Tim Lambert, www.localhistories.org).
Unemployment in Britain during the Victorian period was often low, as many were leaving the country to emigrate elsewhere, and it was a period of industrial expansion. In the early nineteenth century, wages for working people were low, and they had few benefits. Employment of child labor was routine. Children of lower classes in Britain often went without schooling or education. As cities grew rapidly in the in the early nineteenth century, living conditions in some cities were appalling.
Laws were passed during the period to ease somewhat working conditions for the lower classes, and place restrictions on the use of child labor. And conditions gradually improved in terms of wages and living standards for industrial workers and the general population throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth centuries.
God blessed Britain despite her sins and injustices. And the same with the United States.
Although there were many injustices, a standard of morality similar to the “Victorian morality” of Britain prevailed in the United States from its inception to about the mid-twentieth century, when it had begun to become unraveled. Today, God has been kicked out of the public schools, our courts, and largely out of public discourse. We have descended into a pit of licentiousness and lewdness which would be utterly shocking and incomprehensible to most of our people of two or three generations back.
It was not we who made America great, it was God. And we have been warned beforehand not to forget that fact. “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22).
“Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: ‘Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all’” (1 Chronicles 29:10-12).
Through Moses God instructed and warned Israel, and these warning apply to us today just as much as they applied to Israel more than 4000 years ago:
“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest– when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end– then you say in your heart, `My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 8:7-20).
None of us can of himself make America great again, nor all of us together, no matter how much we desire to, because it was not human beings who made America great to begin with, it was God. But if we would as a nation repent of our sins, if we would humble ourselves before God and truly seek him and his ways, if we would obey his laws, we could avoid the calamity that is surely coming our way unless we do repent.
And if we did repent and begin to obey God, we would be great again. Actually, we would be “greater,” as we could expect God to bless us even more abundantly.
In recent years we’ve suffered not only economic decline and massively increased public debt, but a succession of natural disasters and terrorist attacks (see our articles, “God’s Answer to Terrorism,” and “Will Politicians Save Us?” for additional comments). Due largely to over building in flood prone areas and periodic hurricanes and flooding of rivers in some areas, the U.S. Federal flood insurance program is about $25 billion in the red as of April 2017. If the nation would truly turn to God and repent, such trends could be reversed.
“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 28:1). But, if we refuse to repent we can expect the long term trend to become even worse, with more disasters of every description (Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
As stated earlier, the blessings we’ve enjoyed were not given to us as a result of our own righteousness, but that of Abraham, the “father of the faithful.” (Genesis 18:18-19; 26:3-5; cf. Romans 4:16; Galatians 3:6-7). Though we have had a professed form of Christianity, it falls far short of the standard of God’s word.
“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work Among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden” (Isaiah 29:13-14).
The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation (Exodus 20:5). Our ills of today have not happened in a bubble, and we are reaping the consequences of our own actions as a nation. To what avail is the declaration that the right to “life” is “unalienable,” if our laws sanction the wanton murder of the innocent? It does no good to write the commandments on the walls of our courthouses if we do not uphold those commandments within our courts. It is fruitless to allow prayer in our schools (which in the public schools is now a rarity, if done at all), if we are at the same time denying in our school lessons the very God we are supposed to be praying to. And it is empty to pledge allegiance to a flag that we claim to represent one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all, if we do not actually put these words into practice.
God speaks to us through Moses: “Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, `Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people’” (Deuteronomy 4:5-6).
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Copyright 2017 by Rod Reynolds
Messenger Church of God
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Peculiar, MO 64078