One Nation Under God
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance. (NKJ)This message was preached July 7, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at toulonbaptist.com
When the nation of Israel was founded it became a unique nation. All the other nations were pagan. They essentially worshiped the earth through the different gods and goddesses of that day. But Israel was different. They were a nation with only one God, not a nation with many gods. As long as they maintained that profession and that relationship with God, there was no one who could stand against them and they had nothing to fear.
But when they turned from the One True God and began to serve other gods and took the glory that belongs only to the God of heaven and began to bestow it on the pagan gods of the nations around them, God removed the hand of protection that surrounded them.
They fell before their enemies. Where once one of them had put 10,000 to flight now it was reversed. They could not stand militarily and were destroyed almost completely. Had it not been for the mercy of God and the promises made to their forefathers they would have ceased to even be a people.
At the founding of our country we were far out numbered and out gunned as they say by the greatest military power in the world. Great Briton was a so called Christian nation but had long ago set aside the principles of their faith for economic gain. The nation could be no better than her king and King George was just one in a long sting of bad rulers.
The people who had come to this harsh new world were for a greater part people of basic faith. Many of them had come to escape the persecution they faced in Briton and Europe. There state run churches, or church run states were the norm. Several of these transferred into the colonies while other colonies were made up of and controlled by the dissenters who formed their own state church in their respective colonies.
In reality, of the 13 colonies only Rhode Island, established by the Baptists held to a total freedom of religion.
Even with this tremendous emphasis on their faith in God as the basis of those early colonies, today we have come to reject those principles that they held dearest.
God was such a part of the founding fathers lives that when a university did a study to determine who in their writings they quoted the most, they found some amazing facts.
"The researches discovered that Baron Charles de Montesquieu was the man quoted most often by the Founding Fathers, with 8.3 percent of the Founder's quotes being taken from his writings. Sir William Blackstone was the second most-quoted individual with 7.9 percent of the Founder's quotes, and John Locke was third with 2.9 percent. Surprisingly the researches discovered that . . . Thirty-four percent of the Founders quotes came directly out of the Bible." America's Godly Heritage, by David Barton
At that time, although it was not in our pledge yet, we were one nation under one God.
Up until the last half of the last century that notion, although often challenged still stood until in 1963 when without legal precedent the Supreme Court ruled prayer in schools as unconstitutional. The only supporting document was from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut. The Baptist had in 1801 written to Jefferson about the first amendment. They were concerned that if the state gave people the right to worship that that same state could later take away that right. Jefferson wrote them back a short letter in which the now famous eight words, "a wall of separation between church and state" appear. This letter had been referred to before by the court, but not until 1947 were the eight words taken out of context to support a court decision.
How did the former Supreme Court look at this issue?
In 1892 in the case Church of the Holy Trinity. U.S. the court stated, "No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state, or national, because this is a religious people . . . This is a Christina nation." Barton, ibid. The court gave 87 different precedents to support its conclusions.
"In 1844, a school in Philadelphia announced that it would teach its students morality, but not religion. It believed that it didn't need Christianity and the Bible--that it could teach morality without them (sounds just like schools today!). This policy--among others--caused this case to come before the U. S. Supreme Court. Some of the Justices on the Court at this time had been appointed by James Madison. Notice what the Supreme Court told that school:
Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament.. . be read and taught as a divine revelation in the [school]--its general precepts expounded . . . and its glorious principles of morality inculcated? .. . Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?" Barton ibid.
- Blessed is the nation
- The writer here pronounces a blessing on that nation who has the Lord as their God.
- Does it make a difference?
- Take a map of the world and color all those nations who have been predominantly evangelical Christian and you will have colored the most prosperous nations in the world.
- Anyone who can look at our history and not think we have been blessed by God is blind.
- God has poured out His abundant blessings on us.
- To live in a land where the education of children is considered a right for every child.
- To live in a nation where the righteous principles of God's word are the basis of our government.
- To live in a nation where freedom is worth defending and dying to maintain.
- Whose God is the LORD
- The nation of Israel later forsook the Lord as their God.
- Jer 2:5, 11 Thus says the LORD: "What injustice have your fathers found in Me, that they have gone far from Me, have followed idols, and have become idolaters? 11 Has a nation changed its gods, which are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory for what does not profit. (NKJ)
- Read the rest of Jeremiah and you will discover that the nation forsook God and God destroyed them.
- If God destroyed the nation that He had chosen and built, can He not bring us to our knees as well.
- When a nation sins against God, judgment is sure to come.
The founding fathers tried to put together a new government after the war was won. After several weeks of bickering and indecision among these men who had put their lives on the line for freedom Benjamin Franklin rose and made the following statement, according to Madison's Journal
In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.----Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth----that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour 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: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments be Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move----that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of the City be requested to officiate in that service----.
Now it is admitted by all that Franklin, although a great man never claimed to be a Christian. As matter of fact he is sometimes referred to as the least religious of all the founding fathers. If he was not a Christian and yet gave such a moving testimony to the founding of this nation on the God of Christianity then who can deny that we were from the very beginning One Nation Under God.