The United States of America is absolutely the greatest country in the world! One may take issue with decisions out of Washington, D.C., or one may take umbrage over our various social concerns. But, when we consider what are the effective ideals of America, we are constrained inwardly to exhale a nationalistic love for the land in which we live.
It prevails upon us, however, as we consider the privileges and benefits associated with our national citizenship, to honestly acknowledge why our uniquely developed coalition of united states has ascended the heights of power and esteem. The key is found in bestowing honor where honor is due.
Let us cut to the core. Without question, the honor belongs to God. America is great because of God. When our Pilgrim Fathers came to America, they came looking for God. God has uniquely blessed that effort.
As a matter of fact, in the rotunda of our nation’s capital, the chaplain of the Mayflower, Brewster, is pictured holding a New Testament from which can be seen the words, “The New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And, on the sail of the pictured Mayflower are the words, “In God we trust. God with us.”
Oh, most certainly, not everything is perfect with our nation’s history. We have mistreated people. Our nation has made mistakes. Yet, over the decades as America has thrived and prospered, a host of people have always been present to beseech God and credit Him for the manifold blessings.
The heart of America has always pointed to God. The wind that blows across America understands we have a nation in which to be free is because of God. Thus, there is no question that we love our country best when we honor God most.
Psalms 85 is powerfully suggestive of this pointed principle. The Psalmist was clearly a patriot who loved his nation, Israel, and was profoundly concerned about it being strong among the nations of the world. In his writing, he expressed truth how God is the source of national blessing.
Within the Scriptural context of country, the Psalmist wrote, “Surely His salvation is nigh them that fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.” In the psalm, he honored God for His favor and freedom, for His goodness and graciousness directed toward them.
The land yielded increase because of God. Society benefited from following the righteous principles of God. He wrote, “Mercy and truth are met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” It is here where we are instructed how God should be honored for national blessing.
The specific point us that love and respect for country should be God-centered. Nonetheless, it is the saints of God who pray for this country who think so. The churches of this country which uphold the principles of God believe so. The many who look for God know so.
After all, prosperity is not the ultimate result of industry and natural resources, but from God. Government is not the invention of man, but of God. Freedom is not the gift of men, but of God.
The words of the French writer, De Tocqueville, give things perspective. He once visited America, and wrote when he returned home, “I sought for the greatness of America in her harbors and rivers, fertile fields, and commerce. It was not there. Not until I went into the churches and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the greatness of her power.”
Those who love America understand how important it is to honor God the most.
A final thought of appreciation for the historical value of July 4th: to those who have sacrificed so much in defense of America; to those who have died and to those who live; to those who have served and to those who serve; to the soldiers of the past and present; to our courageous first responders; to all those who have preserved the benefits and advantages my family and I experience today in our nation – I thank you! God has used you honorably. God bless you. God bless America.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.