(The message this week is a re-run from the message I posted for Independence Day in 2012. I thought that with all that is going on in the world today, it would be worth repeating.)
Psalm 33:1-15. Please read this Psalm in its entirety………….. a portion follows: Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere Him. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. The the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations, Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance, From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwellng place He watches all who live on earth – He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.
This week we celebrate the independence of North America – the United States as well as Canada share a holiday this week. This message goes out to all. It will mention mostly the U.S. but with arms that encircle all of this northern hemisphere.
I think that most – if not all of us – would agree that our Nation has been blessed. We have been blessed materially, geographically, educationally, and technologically.
As we celebrate the birth our Nation this week, on July 4th, we need to be Thankful to the Lord and seek Him for His continual blessings in the future.
Today, we are reminded again (as young men and women have died in service to our country), that our freedom comes with a high price. Men and women throughout the history of our Country have given their lives to make this country what it is – and we thank them for our Independence!
It was this way from the beginning – out of the 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence:
– 5 were captured and tortured by the British before they died.
– 12 had their homes ransacked and burned to the ground.
– 2 lost their sons in the war.
– 1 had two sons captured.
– 9 fought and died from wounds or the hardships of war.
– Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home to pay his debts and died poor.
– Thomas McKean was forced to move his family almost constantly because he was so hounded by the British. He served in Congress without pay and died in poverty.
– Thomas Nelson’s home was seized by the British at the Battle of Yorktown and used as a command post. He urged Gen. George Washington to open fire on it. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt.
Scripture is not silent about Nations. We learn that God is greater than all Nations, that Nations come and go, that God uses Nations as part of His plans, and that people from all Nations will be part of His Kingdom.
Perhaps as we celebrate this Independence Day, we ought to consider that real dangers of our Blessings with God are not from external conflicts and challenges (like terrorism), but are internal ones.
God’s Word teaches us specifically what a Nation is to do in order to receive and continue in the Blessings of God.
Blessed is the Nation “whose God is the Lord.” vs.12
– As we read this passage we see very clearly what it means to be a Nation whose God is the Lord:
– Vs. 1-3; A People who acknowledge and Worship the Living the Lord.
– Vs. 4, 6; A people who seek to know and do what the Word of God calls them to do.
– Vs. 8; A People who FEAR the Lord and show Him reverence.
– Vs. 10-11; A People who seek the Lord’s plans, not their own.
– Vs. 13-15; A People who know that they are accountable to the Lord – He watches them and considers everything they do.
– To be a Nation whose God is the Lord, we must be People who reject all false gods in our country today:
– the god of material wealth.
– The god of worldly pleasure.
– The god of worldly approval.
– The god of physical appearance
– The god of power and influence.
Blessed is the Nation that seeks Righteousness, vs. 5
Prov. 14:34; “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Is. 60:12; “The nations and kingdoms which will not serve the Lord will perish, they will be utterly ruined.”
Righteousness is about doing what is Right, not sinning – it is about serving the Lord. That is why we have to pray for our leaders that they will serve the Lord and do what is right; because it is God’s way and not just politically correct. It is about doing what is right within our country as well as our dealings around the world with other countries.
1) we are not Righteous by nature… we are sinners. 2) We do not become Righteous just by doing what is good. 3) We are made Righteous through Jesus Christ (2Cor. 5:21, “God made him – Jesus- who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the Righteousness of God.”
Blessed is the Nation that Trust in God. 33:21; “In Him our hearts rejoice, for we TRUST in His Holy Name.”
– Psalm 20:6-7 “Some nations boast of armies and of weaponry, but our Boast is in the Lord our God. Those nations will collapse and perish; we will arise to stand firm and sure!”
What do we put our trust in as a Nation? Our Military? Our intelligence? Our technology? Our history? According to Scripture, Blessed is the Nation whose Trust is in the Lord. That Trust has to be more than a slogan on our currency. It has to be present dependence upon the Lord.
At the first Constitutional Convention, the delegates were frustrated due to the burdens of the hour. They were burdened and harassed by tremendous crisis. They were so fragmented that they were just about to throw out the whole concept of a constitution completely. Just then Benjamin Franklin rose to his feet and said:
“Gentlemen, if it is true that not one single petal from any flower falls to the ground without escaping God’s attention, will the distress of this nation go unheeded? Let us therefore determine to seek His face.” They promptly got down on their knees and when they arose from prayer, the slogan, e pluribus unum was born: One out of many!
We are called to Trust in the name of the Lord!
God has blessed us as a Country! We celebrate that fact this 4th of July as we have for over 228 years. But what about His Blessings for us as a country on the 4th and the years to come?
The Lord not only gives us His Word to teach us about the Blessings of God for a Nation, but also provides us with a test:
– How are we as the United States of America (and Canada) doing at making God the Lord of our Nation?
– How are we doing at Seeking Righteousness?
– How are we in Trusting His Name, more than ourselves and military or our faulty government?
What can we, as His People, do for the Future Blessings of America?
1. We can live for Christ – be salt and light where we are.
2. We can pray: for our leaders, for revival.
3. We can depend on the Lord for our true source of Freedom, courage, and spiritual power.
May you have a wonderful 4th of July Celebration. Celebrate our freedom, our independence. And may we all make Jesus our Savior & Lord; may we seek Righteousness, and Trust in the Lord for our lives, families and our Country!