Last week, Americans everywhere celebrated the Fourth of July, marking the 242nd birthday of our great nation. It’s a great time to gather with family and friends, maybe attend a parade or a picnic, and enjoy some fireworks, flags, and food.
These types of activities aren’t that different from how Independence Day has always been celebrated. In fact, John Adams, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence wrote his wife Abigail that the day “ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
But Adams also wrote that the day “ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty.” John Adams and the other founders knew if this crazy experiment called the United States of America were to succeed, it would only be because of the grace and mercy of God. They had a deep conviction that our rights were granted by God and not man, and this conviction was woven tightly into the fabric of the new nation.
Almost two-and-a-half centuries later, I wonder how much of that reliance on God the founders would still see. We don’t hear Independence Day referred to as the Day of Deliverance, but maybe we should. The United States of America owes its very existence as a nation to God, and our history is filled with story after story of His blessings, mercy, and grace. The Bible calls the nations and its peoples to bow before the Lord, and the USA is no different. Second Chronicles 16:9 tells us, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
So, on every Independence Day, take a moment and give God thanks for His deliverance and blessings, humble ourselves and ask forgiveness for our sins, and recommit ourselves to following Him not just individually, but as a nation.
By Ben Taylor