The United States is a great nation and our pledge says we are one under God, indivisible as a republic. Yet, as the political conventions gather and downplay the “other side”, well okay – trash the other side, we seem more and more divided. Is that because we are no longer “one under God”?
God’s love unites us, Satan’s lies divides us by stirring up our pride, our envy and our prejudices. We begin to see people who have made money not in the light of respect for their hard work, but as somehow taking it and hoarding it from the rest of us. That does not leave much room for God’s providence does it?
This Sunday in my church we read this passage from the Old Testament. It is the speech the Hebrews were given before they set foot in the Promised Land. That land was already inhabited by Baal worshipers, and their numbers and influence were strong. God never promised the Promised Land would be without conflicts, just that He would be their God if they would be His people – and He kept that promise even though they kept breaking it. Through Moses, and then through Joshua, then through the judges, the kings and the prophets up to His own Son, God made sure His people understood that fact.
Moses states in Chapter 4:5-7 –
See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’
This hit me hard, because I think we believers are called to be the people of Godly wisdom and understanding. We are to proclaim the statutes of God – the Ten Commandments on which our nation’s justice system was based. We are to show why we must be one nation under God (His Laws, His Mercy and His Grace) because His ways respect human dignity and freedom, teach moral responsibility, show that hard work is a gift from Him, and promotes community help over individualism.
Moses explains why others will look to the Godly ways of His people and want to emulate them –
For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today? (Deuteronomy 4:7-8)
At one time, our country was the one place on earth where people did everything they could to get here. This land meant freedom and the chance to work hard so they could make something of themselves because we as a nation believed in a God that valued every person as precious despite of their race, name or language. That is the American dream- not that the government should care for us (and thus take our money so they can spread it around for everyone to have a little of it) and we become dependent on our government instead of God. We are all to have equality, not in finances and services, but in the ability to use our God given talents, to respect other humans as precious in His sight despite their human tendencies to be sinners, and to follow His ways.
If our nation is to again be a strong beacon of hope and freedom, then we must unite as one under God’s wings and proclaim what our coins state- it is in Him that we trust. For too long it has been politically incorrect to teach that idea to our children in school. Thus they are unruly, out of control, self- oriented and lacking in discipline. There is no respect for authority because authority has no basis now lest someone become offended by the rules. Moses warned the Hebrews to avoid this. He ended with this –
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— (Deuteronomy 4:9 ESV)
To be a great nation we have to teach our children what makes it that way. We are privileged and blessed because we believe in and follow God’s statutes despite our imperfections, and our tendency to be prideful, selfish and envious of others. The same can be said for our nation.
I challenge you this election season to take these words from Moses to heart and let God rule in your thoughts and in your voting. By electing men and women of faith, we can help return this nation to its roots, and once again be a beacon of His Truth. I believe that He will in return guide us, protect us and teach us how to once again be prosperous. (II Chronicles 7:14 – if my people will humbly pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways… then I will heal their land.)
Scripture tells us to not be anxious but in all things come before our Lord with prayers and petitions in thanksgiving. As the mud slinging and name calling begins in earnest, may God shield you from all of that and keep your mind clear, so you may vote according to His promises. Pray for discernment, wisdom and not be succumbed by the them versus us rhetoric. Pray for our nation to once again become a United States – one under God and indivisible. We have been divided for way too long.