As the nation observes its two hundred and forty-second year of independence, one cannot escape the glaring fact that this nation was founded for the purpose of providing freedom for its citizens. Though not all the founding fathers were believers in Jesus Christ as their Savior, they did possess a profound reverence for the Word of God. The teachings of the Judeo-Christian faiths weaved their way into the legal and social fabric of the country from its inception. Though they were not desirous of military conquest and warfare, the patriots who built this nation understood the Biblical principle that freedom rests on military victory.
These founding fathers also recognized that without Divine blessing, defeat would result. The psalmist wrote … “Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men; protect me from men of violence, who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day” (Ps 140:1-2 NIV). This simple, yet direct prayer, marshals the armies of heaven and the Lord of hosts in answer to God’s promise … “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty” (Zech 4:6 NIV).
God, knowing that the young nation of Israel faced many adversaries in taking possession of the land, encouraged Moses and its fighting forces … “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory” (Deut 20:3-4 NIV). “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut 31:6 NIV).
God’s promise of victory on the battlefield was not limited to the nation Israel. Any nation that values God’s Word and His divine institutions of authority, marriage, family and nationalism will be blessed in time of warfare. These Biblical principles engrained in the thinking of Americans during the last two centuries became the motivation to defeat all enemies and pursue victory under the most difficult of circumstances. Victory and freedom were their rewards, though the ultimate price was required of over a million souls.
In his tribute to the armed forces of America, General MacArthur recalled the courage and sacrifice of our troops in World War II. “Most of them were citizen soldiers, sailors and airmen - men from the farm, from the city, from the schoolroom, from the college campus - men not dedicated to the profession of arms, men not primarily skilled in the arts of destruction - men amazingly like the men you see and meet and know each day of your lives – but men animated, inspired and ennobled by a sublime cause - the defense of their country, of their native land, of their very hearthstones.
They suffered hunger and thirst; the broiling suns of relentless heat; the torrential rains of tropical storms; the loneliness and utter desolation of jungle trails; the bitterness of separation from those they loved and cherished. They went on, and on, and on, when everything within them seemed to stop and die. They grew old in youth. They burned out in searing minutes all that life owed them of tranquil years. The most divine of all human sentiments and impulses guided them - the spirit and willingness to sacrifice. He who dared to die – to lay his life on the altar of his nation’s need – is beyond doubt the noblest development of mankind. In this he comes closest to the image of his Creator who died on the Cross that the human soul might live.”
May this nation give thanks for the blessings of freedom and ever honor the men and women who serve our nation. Let freedom ring throughout the land. God Bless America!