Thursday, July 5, 2012


The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my keen and firm Strength in Whom I will trust and take refuge, my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower. Psalm 18: 2

The “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of taking up Arms” on July 6, 1775, and the “shot heard round the world,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson described the opening volley at Lexington on April 19, 1776, ignited the Revolutionary War.  However, it was the adoption of “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America” that declared fundamental rights of man as unalienable gifts from “their creator”.

For the first time in recorded history, representatives of a people declared at risk of death that
“[w]e 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.”  No longer would we tolerate a divine right of kings, or allow any ruler or government to take away such fundamental rights.

Thomas Jefferson was the principle drafter among the “Committee of Five” (Jefferson, Adams, Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman who later saved the Constitutional Convention from falling apart with the “Great Compromise” of a bi-cameral Congress, and Robert Livingston who later helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase), but it was Adams, a Christian and abolitionist, four years before Jefferson penned his first draft of the Declaration, who wrote that “…the right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave.”  

If one inspects Jefferson’s draft, his initial phrase, “from this equal creation,” replaced with “they are endowed by their Creator” followed by “with certain unalienable rights.”  That exquisite change standing alone was revolutionary, but stunningly transformative when read with three additional phrases: “…appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World … with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, …we mutually pledge our lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.”

As America is about to celebrate its Independence Day my thoughts turn to the many sacrifices people have made to make our country free.  There were our founding fathers who sacrificed their well-being, their wealth, even their lives for our freedom.  Today our men and women are over in Afghanistan and Iraq fighting not only to keep our country free but also to give their lives so others can have the freedom we cherish.  

After WWII, President Truman had a memorial built to the families of those who lost someone in the war. What it says beautifully articulates what a sacrifice it is for a person to give up their life for the freedom of others.

He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live, and grow, and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, He lives - in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men!

Scripture to Claim:
You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance.  Psalm 32: 7

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