Blessed Is the Nation Whose God Is the Lord – (Psalms 33:12)
by Terry Broome
One of our most moving patriotic hymns cites the beauty of America – A beauty that all who have traveled across the continent surely recognize. Katherine Lee Bates stood atop Pike’s Peak and scanned the sweep of the land, then wrote of the “purple mountain majesties,” and the “amber waves of grain.” She concluded that God Shed His Grace on this Land — A vast unexplored wilderness that, in an astonishingly short period, grew into a great nation.
We cannot deny that the rich natural resources of the land we are blessed with have helped to make America a great nation. The oil, the ore, the timber, the water, the soil and climate, all have combined to nourish a civilization that would eventually spread from “Sea to Shining Sea.” It should not be thought, however, that it was merely natural surroundings that carved this great nation out of the rock quarry of time. Many nations have come and gone throughout the annals of history which had natural resource. Many still do, but fail to use them to come to greatness.
Some have said that America’s people have made her great. Lyman Abott once said: “A nation is made great, not by its fruitful acres, but by the men who cultivate them: not by its great forests, but by the men who use them…. America was a great land when Columbus discovered it: Americans have made of it a great nation.” And so they have! They have pioneered a continent, subdued the elements, and molded a nation out of people from all over the world. But can it be said that our people are just basically more resourceful than those of the rest of the world?
It would seem that the spirit of our people and our free enterprise system have combined to deliver a flood of mass-produced goods to the consumer at relatively low cost. American economic genius has also helped to produce millions of jobs? Yet, history is demonstrating that other nations can be just as efficient.
Certainly America has proven to be a very generous nation. Our people have been able and willing to feed at least some of the hungry abroad, and continues to be one of the most generous nations in history. Through the decades she has opened her heart to the poor of the world. She has given generously to every nation, even her enemies, in time of emergency.
No, America did not just happen by chance. All of these blessings point back to her foundations, and to the providential hand of God. The great spiritual heritage that built America unfolded by remarkable design. So also did American democracy, the U.S. Constitution and, along with these, the great freedoms they ensure. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Can the liberties of a nation be secure, when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the GIFT OF GOD?” America is great because God has blessed her to be great. As we celebrate Independence Day, we should soberly remember that the blessing of the Lord is not upon those who are workers of unrighteousness.
Join me and spend time this Fourth of July and every day praying for a return to the righteousness that exalts a nation, and for a turn from the sin that is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34).
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.