“God bless America, land that I love…”
2 Chronicles 7:14-22
The song says, “God bless America, land that I love…” And I’m convinced that God has blessed America. But the Bible teaches that to whom much is given, much is expected. If so, then God must expect a lot from America.
I. America’s Past Let’s think back about America’s past? History tells us that in the year of 1620, a group of Christians, who called themselves Pilgrims, made their way from England across the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of this land. They had received permission to settle in the northern part of the region known as Virginia to establish a colony and erect a church that they hoped would be free and independent of the Church of England.
But in the late fall, winds battered their little boats, pushing them northward. And when they finally sighted land it was at a place we now call Cape Cod, Mass. The date was Nov. 21. They didn’t want to land there because it was a cold and forbidding wilderness. So they debated for a while. “Should we try to get to Virginia, or just go ahead and settle here?” Finally, they decided that their little boats would probably not make it to Virginia. So they came ashore at a place that we know as Plymouth Rock. But before they did, they wrote what is known today as “The Mayflower Compact.” It began with these words: “In the name of God…, we whose names are underwritten… Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith…, a voyage to plant a first colony in the northern part of Virginia, do… solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant, and combine ourselves together…” Did you hear what they were saying? “We have come here in the name of God.” “We have come here to glorify God.” “We have come here to advance the Christian faith.” They were saying, “We are unashamedly Christians, and we search for a place where we can worship God the way we feel the Bible teaches us to worship Him.”
Someone has said, “The difference between North and South America is that the Spaniards went to South America in search of gold, but the Pilgrims and Puritans came to North America in search of God.” There is enough truth in that to explain some of the differences in the history and development of our two continents. The earliest foundations of this new land were spiritual foundations. We are a nation built upon faith in, and commitment to God.
II. America’s Present
Secondly, think about America’s present. Are you proud to be an American? I am. I love this country, and I’m proud to be an American. There are so many things you can do in this land that you can’t do anywhere else in all the world. There are many wonderful things about our country that we could mention, but I’m concerned about America.
Listen to this warning found in 2 Chronicles 7:19-22. God is speaking to Solomon and to the people of Israel. He says, “But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to everyone that passeth by it; so that he shall say. Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.” The Bible very clearly teaches that if we love Him with our whole heart then He will bless us. But this passage teaches that if we forsake God, if we serve other gods and worship them, then God will remove His blessings. That’s what happened to Israel. And that’s what’s happening to us today.
Did you hear about the New York elementary school teacher who was fired from her job? It was not because she was immoral, not because she abused the children, not because she used vulgar language, but because when one of her students died tragically, grieving classmates asked the teacher, “What happens when you die?” She answered, “I think she’s gone to heaven, but if you want to talk about this, I’ll be glad to meet with you after school is over.” Twenty-nine of the children met with her after school, and she told them about her faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. She told them she believed in heaven and that their classmate was with God now and happy for all eternity. Then she prayed with the students. But one of the children in her class who had not stayed after school was upset with what she had done and went to the administrators. The teacher was fired immediately, and was told to clean out her desk. Before crying students she cleaned out her desk the next day and went out into the world of unemployment. Someone has said, “You know, it’s ironic. They tell us about guns and the danger of guns. They pass out condoms and say, ‘Go home and have safe sex.’ But when we want to talk about the One who created us, we can’t talk about Him.”
We have slid a long ways down that slippery slope from where we started, haven’t we? And if we don’t stop that slide, we’ll lose everything that God has given to us.
We started down that slippery slope when our government said, “You can’t pray in school.” Many of us stood by and watched with folded arms. When we were told that we could no longer read the Bible or honor God in school, we stood by and didn’t say a word.
When abortion was legalized and millions of babies were aborted, we didn’t do anything. We have been on this slippery slope for a long time.
We’re the most materially blessed people in all the world. In fact, if you’re at the poverty level in this country, you’re in the top five percent of the wealthy people of the world. God has blessed America!
III. America’s Future And finally, what about America’s future? What does God expect of America? We have already said that God expects a lot. What will America be in the future? What does God really expect? You tell me. Listen to what Micah 6:8 says, “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
First of all he says “to act justly,” which means to do what is right. God expects our country to do what is right, to do the right thing even though the wrong thing is the easiest and maybe the most pleasant thing to do. It means to take care of the poor and the elderly, to minister to the sick and the unborn, to protect the truth.
Secondly, He says “to love mercy.” That means to extend mercy and forgiveness to others. We have received it ourselves. We all know that we’re the recipients of God’s mercy. We have been forgiven by Him. We have done nothing to earn our salvation. God has saved us by His grace and by His mercy.
Thirdly, we are “to walk humbly” with the Lord. Now that may be the most difficult of all because, you see, the natural tendency is to be proud and arrogant & overconfident.
One of these days God’s wrath will overflow, and God’s going to say, “I have had enough. I can’t take anymore.” Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.
In Christ’s Love, Brother Frank Welch