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AMERICA - GOD’S IDEA?
by Joyce Reba Payne
The status of America as world leader is accepted without question even during all the difficulties with the economic, political, and social issues we face today. Physical characteristics often define a thing, but we cannot determine America’s greatness by looking at the things that are physical. The source of America’s greatness does not come from its physical possessions but rather from its deep spiritual roots. Even though fewer people are acknowledging this truth than in earlier days, history will vindicate this statement.
Those that are busy trying to repair the economic and social problems of America will find no permanent fixes through changing programs and systems. It is easy to look at the programs and systems of American and see the problems that need to be corrected and even work to resolve them through necessary changes. But just as it would be useless to attempt repair of a heart problem by rubbing the chest above the heart, it would be equally difficult to solve America’s problems by massaging the programs and systems without dealing with its spiritual condition that is in desperate need of repair.
Was America God’s idea? It would be impossible to prove since none of us were there at its beginning nor were we privy to the thoughts of God’s heart at that time. All we can do is look at the facts of what happened and what God has said to present our case for the conclusion from the listening jury. So with the facts of history and the bible, I would like to present the case for determining if God did indeed orchestrate discovery of this land and its subsequent establishment as a nation; and, if so, for what reason.
Does God Establish Nations?
No man has thorough understanding of the mind of God but we can gain knowledge about God through the things He has said and done. The bible is intended to help us know God’s ways and purposes so that we can cooperate with His plans for us and the earth.
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, … 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…(Act 17:24,26).”
This scripture states very clearly that it is God who determines the boundaries of man’s habitation. Without God’s permission, the boundaries of the European people could not have been extended to the land that was to become America. God determines when (times before appointed) and where (bounds of their habitation) men are permitted to go for habitation. It was God that set the first man in a land called Eden and gave him authority over it. God blessed Adam and his wife and expected them to grow and prosper in that land.
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Gen 1:28).”
We see later in Genesis 17:8 where God calls Abraham away from his family and leads him into a land that will be a permanent habitation for him and his descendants. On the way to establishing this great nation with Abraham’s descendants, the children of Israel came close to losing this promise. But God was still determined to fulfill His desire and will to establish a great nation even if Moses alone survived to see it.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation (Ex 32:9-10).”
Why Would God Start a Nation?
God set Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; He blessed them and told them to be fruitful and multiply. This is the same promise that God made to Noah and his family after the flood. Noah was delivered from a wicked population by flood and established in a new beginning. God had called Abraham out from the wickedness of his idolatrous family to go to a land where he would be blessed.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Gen 12:1-3).”
Why Would God Form a Brand New Nation?
We saw that it is God’s desire to have a great nation and that He called Noah, Abraham and the children of Israel out of a wicked land and promised to take them to a better place where they could be prosperous.
“And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites (Ex 3:8).“
In the 2Co 6:17, Apostle Paul tell Christians to separate themselves from the wicked so they could be received by God. These actions show us a pattern of why of God establishes new nations. God calls His people out of bondage to a place where He can bless them. The bible tells us that God does not change so we can rightly assume that God is still doing the same thing today as He did during those former days with the patriarchs. Can we see a similar pattern in the forming of the nation of America? I would bet that you have already seen the correlation.
Was God Prominent in the Establishment of America?
We can trace the forming of America back to the disagreement over England’s tax assessment on tea imports for the early settlers, their rebellion and the resulting war. But prior to this disagreement, there was a protest against the Catholic Church of England by German Priest Martin Luther that started the Protestant Movement. This effort to purge the Catholic Church of stringent rules brought about the unity of the Puritans, who came to America for religious liberty. The Protestants and other people fleeing Europe for various reasons settled in the colonies that became America, where they formed states for their religious preference.
So at the root of America’s establishment we see a God-fearing people seeking refuge from religious bondage. The stories about Christopher Columbus and his quest for a shorter route to India also entail facts about his faith in God. Christopher Columbus, himself, wrote of his accomplishments through a Christian lens. There are countless examples of the help and direction God gave the early settlers in establishing this nation. But the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution clearly reveal that the founding fathers put their trust in God. Many American monuments and the inscription on our money that reads “In God We Trust” attest to the faith the American people placed in God from the early days until today.
The patriarch, Abraham, was told by God to leave his home and go to another land. God is very specific about directing believers where He wants them to go and restricting them from places they are not to go. Below are biblical examples from the New Testament:
“Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not (Act 16:6-7).”
"These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not...(Mat 10:5).”
Examples of Divine Guidance from American History
- Admiral Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, acknowledging it was “the Lord who put it in my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies.” Believing that “the Gospel must still be preached to so many lands in such a short time,” Columbus sought new lands to “bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the heathens” and “the Word of God to unknown coastlands.”
- In his first Inaugural Address on April 30, 1789, George Washington repeatedly talked about God’s blessings upon America, saying, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States.”
- Benjamin Franklin called for daily prayers at the Constitutional Convention on June 28, 1787, reminding the delegates that their daily prayers “for Divine protection” during the Revolutionary War were heard and answered. “And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? 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?”
- On September 17, 220 years ago, the Constitution was signed. James Madison, considered the Architect of the Constitution, wrote in Federalist No. 37, “It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it [the Constitution] a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution.”
- In 1620, Pilgrims who had sailed for Virginia on the Mayflower landed in Massachusetts instead. On November 11, they formed the first American written compact to govern themselves, which began: “In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, … Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick…
- John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, cautioned with the following words on 12 October 1816: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rules.”
- On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense, one of the most influential writings of the American Revolution, and asked therein, “But where says some is the king of America? I’ll tell you Friend, he reigns above…. [L]et a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king.”(Excerpt from: America Acknowledges God; http://morallaw.org/resources/america-acknowledges-god.)
Thus, I have put forth my case and now present it to the jury for conclusion with the foregone witnesses to determine whether or not it is evident that God did indeed establish this great nation of America. I rest the case with you as jury and hope that you will carefully ponder the evidence and form a righteous conclusion.
And what say ye is the verdict?
Copyrighted 2013 by Joyce Reba Payne. All rights reserved.