History is Prelude and Righteousness Exalts a Nation

The events of the last week have been disturbing, sobering, and saddening. We have so much division in our country! There is so much anger and angst. What do we do to channel the powder keg of emotions into a catalyst for building unity again? How do we, as a Nation, get to a better place?

There is a saying that history is a prelude. We can learn from the past. How have great leaders in dramatic moments responded to division? The most divided time in our Nation's history was the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln knew underneath the Nations' unrest was a spiritual problem. In his writing, initiating the first Day of National Prayer, in 1863, Lincoln penned these eloquent words.

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."

Now, 157 years later, these words of Lincoln speak so powerfully to us today. We have been for our 244 years so blessed amazingly as a Nation! Yet, we have not been faithful stewards of God's blessings? Are not the signs of peril indicators we have turned away from God. Is it not time for our Nation to make a dramatic turn to the Lord?

One of the history lessons from the Book of Isaiah is that Israel kept trying to be self-sufficient. They became obsessed with power and personal strength when all they needed to do was turn to the Lord for strength. The prophet Isaiah writes the Lord says, "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength but you would have none of it." The people of Israel found weakness when they turned away from the Lord and strength when they turned to the Lord. As a nation, we would do well to learn from the Lord and the lessons of history!

In the Book of Proverbs 14:34, we find exactly what it would bode well for our country to do. Solomon writes, "righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people." We know the division, hatred, and acts of violence do not come from the Lord. Let 2021 be the year our Nation turns to righteousness and the Lord!" Let us pray for our country, and may God bless America!


Philip McVay

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