America’s Godly Heritage
Every political speech ends with “God Bless America”.
Are we truly seeking God's blessing? Or, have those three words just become the standard way of ending speeches? What do those three words mean in the ear of God?
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD: and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance”
I have an Achilles heel, some call it a deficiency or a fault. WHAT is it?
I enjoy history… Not everyone shares my love for history.
That’s ok, but here’s why it’s sometimes a determent.
I have some understanding of how things use to be (BURDEN)
Biblical history AND American History
King Jehoshaphat (872-853 BC)
2 Chronicles 17:3-6 says, “The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in the ways his father David had followed...He sought the God of his father and followed his commands... His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD...”
He sought God (2 Chronicles 17:4)
He followed God's commands (2 Chronicles 17:4)
God established his kingdom (2 Chronicles 17:5)
He removed the high places (2 Chronicles 17:6)
He taught the people the Word of God (2 Chronicles 17:7-9)
He appointed Judges (2 Chronicles 19:4-7)
He appointed Levites and priests to teach & guide (2 Chronicles 19:8-10)
As a result: 2 Chronicles 17:10
“The Fear of the LORD fell on all the Kingdoms of the land surrounding Judah”
Eventually, other nations decided to challenge this Divine protection and blessing.
2 Chronicles 20:1
“...the Moabites and Ammonites came to make war on Jehoshaphat.”
What did Jehoshaphat do?
He was alarmed (2 Chronicles 20:3)
He inquired of God (2 Chronicles 20:3)
He proclaimed a fast (2 Chronicles 20:3)
The People sought God (2 Chronicles 20:4) (They had been taught well)
Jehoshaphat prayed (2 Chronicles 20:5-12) (Prayer is our declaration of dependence)
2 Chronicles 20:14-17
"This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's... You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you...”
The Spirit of the Lord said, “Position yourself, NOT for battle, but for observation”
Jehoshaphat appointed men to SING (2 Chronicles 20:21)
He appointed singers - not soldiers
He appointed worshippers - not warriors
They advanced - not like an army going into battle, but like an army returning victoriously.
Spiritual warfare - We praise God - He fights the battle
We worship...He wallops
That was Israel 2,800 years ago - what about America?
Before the Pilgrims stepped off the Mayflower, they signed the Mayflower Compact, which says, “In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten... Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith...”
They came to America, their sole purpose, bringing glory to God and advancing the Christian faith.
Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony, "Those who believe in the Holy Scriptures are bound to observe its teachings. Those who do not are to be bound by its consequences."
The Founding Fathers
The Spirit of the pilgrims continued through our founding fathers
John Adams (2nd President)
James Madison (4th President)
John Quincy Adams (6th President)
12 of the original 13 colonies incorporated the entire Ten Commandments into their civil and criminal codes.
Massachusetts Bay Colony’s charter: “The intent to spread the knowledge and obedience of the only true God and Savior of mankind, and the Christian faith”
Connecticut’s orders officially called for: “A government established according to God that would maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus”.
New Hampshire’ agreement of settlers vowed: “To establish a government in the name Christ that shall be to our best discerning agreeable to the Will of God”.
Rhode Island’s charter invoked the “Blessing of God for a sure foundation of happiness to all Americans”.
New Jersey’s founding charter vowed: "Forasmuch as it has pleased God, to bring us into this province... we may be a people to the praise and honor of His name”.
Delaware’s original charter officially acknowledged: “One Almighty God, the Creator, Upholder and Ruler of the world”.
Pennsylvania’s original charter cited: “A love of Civil Society and Christian Religion” as motivation for the colony’s founding.”
Maryland’s charter declared: “an official goal of extending the Christian religion”.
Georgia’s charter officially cited “A commitment to the propagating of he Christian religion”.
In 1962 verbal prayers were ruled unconstitional.
In 1965, the courts ruled that students have freedom of speech except when it becomes religious.
In 1980, it was ruled unconstitutional to display the 10 commandments.
But that’s not how it use to be.
The NEA (National Education Association in 1892) wrote, “If the study of the Bible is to be excluded from all state schools; if the principles of Christianity is to have no place in the daily program; if the worship of God is to form no part of the general exercises of these public elementary schools; then the good of the state would be better served by restoring all schools to church control.”
Benjamin Rush (First surgeon General)
Noah Webster - (Considered the Father of American Education)
Harvard Rules & Precepts (1636):
“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 (John 17:3) and therefore lay Christ at the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.”
Harvard’s Original Motto: “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae” Truth for Christ and the Church
Harvard’s Motto today: “Veritas” - Truth
Princeton Founding Statement, 1746 - “Cursed be all learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ”
A seal is still a legal device for authenticating documents.
Columbia University Seal Includes:
The name Yahweh
Psalm 36:9 in Latin (“In Light we see light”)
Psalm 27:1 in Hebrew (“God is my light”)
1 Peter 2:1-2 in English
All freshman took Hebrew in order to study the Bible. He incorporated the Hebrew words into the Yale seal.
Hebrew words Urim and Thummim inscribed upon it in Hebrew script. Below the shield on a ribbon appears Yale's official motto, Lux et Veritas (Latin for "Light and Truth").
Yale’s original motto was, “Christ the Word and Interpreter of the Father, our light and perfection.”
Harvard original motto:
“Truth (Veritas) for Christ (Christo) and the Church (Ecclesiae)” Adopted in 1692 and was a part of their original seal.
The motto was changed to simply “Truth” and the seal changed to:
THE BLESSINGS OF GOD
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…”
Folks, we are so far removed from where we once were that it’s not even funny. America needs to turn back to God like never before.
Billy Graham once said, “It’s either back to the Bible or back to the jungle.” The jungle is creeping up on the United States!
May we, as Americans, revisit our nation’s godly heritage and refresh our appreciation of the principles America was founded upon.
And most importantly, let’s renew our commitment to pray as our early leaders prayed for our nation.
That may be America’s only hope!