As we look forward to celebrating Independence Day, I think it would be fitting to pray for our nation and our nation’s leaders as Paul calls upon Christians to do in 1 Timothy 2:1,2 and then says this is pleasing to God.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I am very well aware that this is not a quote from the Bible. It is a quote from our Declaration of Independence from July 4, 1776. Notice that our nation’s founding fathers included the words “their Creator”. Notice that they believed God had given all men “certain unalienable Rights”. These rights are given to us not by the State. If they were, they would not be unalienable because the State can change and take them away. This means that they understood themselves to founding this nation on the Judaeo-Christian belief that we are created by God with certain rights.
Many who wish to rewrite history suppress the truth that many who came to America from Europe, came for religious purposes. John Witherspoon was a Presbyterian minister and president of what is now Princeton University. He was the only pastor to sign the Declaration of Independence. He linked Christian thinking with concepts of government. He said in a sermon to Congress on the first Thanksgiving Day, “A republic once equally poised must either preserve its virtue or lose its liberty.” William Penn said earlier, “If we are not governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants.”
Listen, I know God loves all people of all nations and that God is not American and all of that. I want His blessing on all nations to come to salvation in His Son Jesus Christ. But we are told by Paul to pray for our nation’s leaders and it pleases God. So join me in praying for them to return to the conviction that we need to depend upon God and His word for direction and true liberty.
Do you realize in the 1790’s (around 20 years after the signing of this great Declaration) that Christian people were worried about the spiritual downward spiral in our young nation? But a revival of prayer took place in the mid-1790’s and revival among Christians started spreading like wildfire. The call in 2 Chronicles 7:14 for God’s people to humble themselves and pray was directed to Israel at the time. Today that same call should be issued to us “the Israel of God” – the Church (Gal. 6:16).