Why America?

Why is there a United States of America? Why did this republic rise and how has it endured? Why and how? It is because God has a plan for His Kingdom on the earth.  There is no nation that has impacted world evangelism through the sending of missionaries and finances as much as the United States of America. It is the view through this lens that this article is presented.

 

Job 12:23  He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again. 

 

Acts 17:24  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 

Acts 17:25  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 

Acts 17:26  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation

Acts 17:28  For in him we live, and move, and have our being;

 

Before the apostle Paul spoke these words found in the Book of Acts God was working in the nations. There are many examples throughout the Old Testament of God working through nations, not just Israel, to accomplish his plans.

 

In the book of Daniel God specifically speaks to heathen kings regarding their present and future. Why? Because God has always had a plan for the world. In Daniel chapter two Nebuchadnezzar has a dream of an image which Daniel interprets.  The rise and fall of nations are described. Two of which are believed to be the Greek and Roman Empires. The rise of Alexander the Great conquering the known world established a common language, Greek, for all people.  The rise of the Roman Empire and the infrastructure that was built for ease of travel “paved” the way for a specific part of God’s plan.  Both of these world powers set the stage for quick evangelism in the early church by language and travel.

 

The Greeks and Romans probably had no sense of what eternal implications their empires were creating. The Founding Fathers of the United States were driven by that sense of divine destiny. So convinced that this new nation was part of a much larger plan, they not only believed in Divine Providence, they relied upon it.

 

The providence of God was evident during many events in the beginning of America. This was clearly seen during the American Revolution, and most everyone acknowledged it. Looking back over the first few years of the war at the miraculous preservation of the Continental Army, Washington wrote in 1778: “The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worst than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.” To Washington, many historians today are more than wicked, for they fail to acknowledge God’s hand in our liberty and independence.

John Adams said, I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.

(Previous two references from: Providential Perspective, Vol. 22 No. 2 – May 2008, The Hand of Providence by Stephen McDowell)

 

Benjamin Franklin, at a troubled point of the Constitutional Convention, is attributed the following:

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? 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.

(Reference: https://wallbuilders.com/franklins-appeal-prayer-constitutional-convention/)

 

The liberty and prosperity of the United States has been a part of God’s plan.  God has used this liberty and prosperity for the furtherance of his kingdom. Our history tells us that we started with a group seeking religious freedom. America is not a result of the pilgrims. The pilgrims and the eventual rise of the republic were a result of God’s plan for worldwide evangelism. Just as much as the Greek language and the Roman roads were key instruments for evangelism in the first century church, liberty and financial prosperity are key elements for evangelism in the twenty-first century.

 

Gal 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 

Gal 5:14  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 

 

1Tim 6:10  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 

1Tim 6:17  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 

1Tim 6:18  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 

1Tim 6:19  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 

 

Mat 6:19  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 

Mat 6:20  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 

Mat 6:21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

 

Liberty and wealth. Freedom and finances. These are gifts not to be used “for an occasion of the flesh.” These are gifts placed in our care to be handled prudently for the good of the kingdom.

 

1Peter 4:10  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God

 

“I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proves 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?”

Benjamin Franklin, remarks to the Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787

 

“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

George Washington, first Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789

 

“You have the highest of human trusts committed to your care. Providence has showered on this favored land blessings without number, and has chosen you as the guardians of freedom, to preserve it for the benefit of the human race. May he who holds in his hands the destinies of nations, make you worthy of the favors he has bestowed, and enable you, with pure hearts and hands and sleepless vigilance, to guard and defend to the end of time the great charge he has committed to your keeping.”

President Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837

 

“It is the object of the present work to explain the steps by which a favoring providence, calling our institutions into being, has conducted the country to its present happiness and glory.”

George Bancroft, opening declaration of his – History of the United States, 1876

 

“Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.”

Abraham Lincoln, first Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861

 

 

These words still ring true today.  We must believe and embrace the words of Franklin, “that God governs in the affairs of men”, Washington, “acknowledge and adore the invisible hand”, Jackson, “Providence . . . has chosen you as the guardians of freedom”, Bancroft, “providence . . . has conducted the country to its present happiness and glory”,  . . .

 

. . . and in these perilous times Lincoln, “ Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.”

Abraham Lincoln, first Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861

 

In his book, The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic, Michael Medved describes in great detail miraculous events from the Mayflower Pilgrims to Abraham Lincoln that clearly show God’s work in the formation of this country.  In the sequel, God’s Hand on America: Divine Providence in the Modern Era, the miracles continue. They have never stopped. Not because our country is righteous, because He is righteous and has a plan.

 

Those of us who have received the righteousness of God must embrace our responsibility as salt and light. We must preserve and enlighten. Preserve through prayer and fasting. Enlighten through our witness and worship. We must reject the fatalistic mentality of impending doom and lay hold on the promise spoken to Abraham that God would not slay the righteous with the wicked (Genesis 18).

 

Psalm 22:27  All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. 

Psalm 22:28  For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations. 

 

In this messianic psalm are the prophetic words about a coming day. Until that day arrives, we need the continued divine providence, the continued grace of God to be shed on our nation.

 

 

America the Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain 
For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain 
America, America, God shed His grace on thee 
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea

O beautiful for Pilgrim feet, whose stern impassioned stress 
A thoroughfare for freedom beat, across the wilderness 
America, America, God mend thine every flaw 
Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law

O beautiful for heroes proved, in liberating strife 
Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life 
America, America, May God they gold refine 
Till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine

O beautiful for patriot dream, that sees beyond the years 
Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears 
America, America, God shed His grace on thee 
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea

Katharine Lee Bates, 1893

This article used with permission by the author.

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