Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom He has chosen as His heritage! Psalm 33:12
On August 27, 1776, only 25 days after the Declaration of Independence had been signed by the last delegate, General George Washington's army found itself trapped on the edge of Brooklyn, New York's East River. The British had 20,000 seasoned soldiers; Washington had 8,000 inexperienced, raw colonials.
The end, as everyone could plainly see, was imminent.
Indeed, it would have been imminent, but for some reason, some illogical, inexplicable reason, the British forces drew up short. They hesitated. Some think the British commander was waiting for his fleet to sail up the river. A northwest wind arose, and the fleet didn't come.
If the British hesitated, Washington didn't.
Under the cover of darkness, using small boats, Washington led his men in retreat. With haste, carrying a few men at a time, the boats crisscrossed the river. The goal was to save as much of the army as was possible. The night passed before the job was completed. The approach of dawn would make the ferrying boats target practice for the skilled artillerymen of the British. That is the way history should have recorded the end of the rebellion, but it didn't happen that way.
Just as the sun came up, so did a fog. The fog hung on until the last colonial boat, the boat with Washington on board, launched off from shore. By the time the first British cannon fired, he was out of range.
Sitting, as we are, far removed from that time, it is easy to think of all this in terms of luck.
But Christians know our Lord is a God of history and in His hand is the future of nations. We believe it was more than chance for the winds to blow and the fog to linger.
If so, we are in agreement with those who were there. Almost every American soldier who recorded the events of that night gave credit to divine intervention.
So did their enemies.
In the centuries since then much of America has become too sophisticated to rely on God: to think of Him, to thank Him. Jesus' people ought to be different. We know the Lord had a hand in the making of this nation and in preserving her till this point in time.
Now, with elections coming, we have a choice. We can honor the Lord and use our right to vote for the best candidate, or we can say, "It doesn't make any difference." Well, our vote does make a difference. Our prayers make a difference and, most of all, the Lord makes a difference to our tomorrows.
It will make a difference because the Lord has promised it would be so. He said, "If My people who are called by My Name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may our country be a nation which is strong in its devotion to You and Your Son who gave His life so we might have peace in this world and perfection in the next. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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