Psalm 33:12-15; 18-22 - Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen as His heritage! The Lord looks down from heaven; He sees all the children of man; from where He sits enthroned He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. ... Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His steadfast love, that He may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy Name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in You.
On the birthday of the U.S. of A., we could spend a lot of time speaking about things right and things wrong in our nation. We could talk about present leaders who are trying and those who have given up. Instead, I would like to share some facts which have mostly been forgotten. For example:
1. Did you know shortly after breaking with England, the Continental Congress voted to buy and import 20,000 copies of Scripture for the people of the new nation?
2. Patrick Henry was the firebrand of the American Revolution: Did he say
a. "I regret I have but one life to give to my country"?
b. "We must hang together, or we will all hang separately"?
c. "Give me liberty or give me death"?
If you selected C, you did well. Now the bonus question. Finish the quote. (Pause.) Most folks can't do it because the rest of what Henry said is no longer taught. This is what he said, "An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left to us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle, sir, is not of the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death."
You should also know Henry wasn't talking about some generic god or nebulous deity.
How do I know? I know because Mr. Henry told me. In his will Henry wrote, "I have now disposed of all my property to my family; there is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian religion. If they have that, and I had not given them one shilling they would be rich; and if they had not this, and I had given them all this world, they would be poor."
No doubt about it, the man had a gift for words.
Now this is the point where I'm supposed to say, "Sure wish we had people like Patrick Henry around today." Well, I'm not going to say that because I can't. The truth is I have met many men and women who remain committed to the Savior, who has rescued their souls from damnation.
They may not have Henry's flair for words, but the sincerity of their hearts cannot be questioned. They love the Lord who first loved them, and they faithfully share the Savior with their children. So, in this land of freedom, the Savior's story of salvation will always be told through all generations.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for many years the Holy Scriptures have been attacked by puffed-up people. Today that attack is joined by those who would write You out of all history. May they realize their errors, so they may introduce their household to Jesus, their Savior and Lord. In Jesus' Name, I ask it. 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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