The United States of America is absolutely the greatest nation in the world!
One may take issue with decisions out of Washington, D.C., or one may take umbrage over our various social concerns. But, when we consider what are the effective ideals of America, we are constrained inwardly to exhale a nationalistic love for the land in which we live.
It prevails upon us, however, as we consider the privileges and benefits associated with our national citizenship, to honestly acknowledge why our uniquely developed coalition of united states has ascended the heights of power and esteem. The key is found in bestowing honor where honor is due.
Let us cut to the core. Without question, the honor primary belongs to God. America is great because of God. When our Pilgrim Fathers came to America, they came looking for God. God has blessed that effort.
As a matter of fact, in the rotunda of the nation’s Capitol, the chaplain of the Mayflower, Brewster, is pictured holding a New Testament in which can be seen the words, “The New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And, on the sail of the pictured Mayflower are the words, “In God we trust. God with us.”
Oh, most certainly, our nation has made some grievous errors. Yet, over the decades as America has thrived, a host of people have always been present to beseech God. The heart of America has always pointed to God. The wind that blows across America understands we have a nation in which to be free because of God. Thus, there is no question that we love our country best when we honor God most.
Psalms 85 is powerfully suggestive of this critical principle.
The Psalmist was clearly a patriot who loved his nation and was profoundly concerned about it being strong among the nations of the world. In his writing, he expresses truth how God is the source of national blessing.
Within the Scriptural context of country, the Psalmist wrote, “Surely His salvation is nigh them that fear Him; that glory may dwell in our land” (85:9). He honored God for God’s favor and freedom, goodness and graciousness. The land yielded increase because of God. Society benefited from following the righteous principles of God. “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (85:10). We are taught from God’s own Word how God is to be honored for national blessing.
Therefore, should not love for country be God-centered? The saints of God who pray for America think so. The church that upholds the principles of God believes so. The people who look for God know so.
Prosperity is not the child of industrial might, but from God. Government is not the invention of man, but of God. Freedom is not the gift of men, but of God.
Consider the words of the French writer De Tocqueville. He visited America, and wrote about it when he returned home, “I sought for the greatness of America in her harbors and rivers, fertile fields, and commerce. It was not there. Not until I went into the churches and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the greatness of her power.”
Those who love America most have no other recourse than to honor God most.
A final thought to exult in the veterans of our nation on this 2015 Veterans Day: To those who have sacrificed so much in defense of America, to those who have died and those who live, to those who have served and those who serve, to the soldiers of the past and present, to those who have preserved the benefits and advantages my family and I experience today in our nation through military service — I salute you! God has used you honorably. God bless you.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.