Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Covenant Nation

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. Psalm 33:12

In honor of July 4th this week, the devotionals are devoted to the founding of this country and the men responsible for building this great Christian nation.   

In all the early writings of those who were graced by God to discover, settle and establish this land, there are multiple references to deity.  Christopher Columbus recognized his mission as one of divine origin and disposition.  When the settlers who founded the Jamestown colony landed at Cape Henry in April of 1607, they erected a large wooden cross and held a prayer meeting.  When the pilgrims arrived in 1620 they again further expressed their feelings in the Mayflower Compact which begins with these words: "In the name of God, Amen.  We whose names are underwritten...Having undertaken for the Glory of God and the Advancement of the Christian Faith and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia...".  

A Covenant Nation
The religious foundation of America is displayed in the New England Confederation written in 1643 and beginning with these words: "Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity with peace..." 

Our nation was born as a covenant nation.  It is the only surviving nation on earth that had its origins in the determination to establish a settlement, "To the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith."   A covenant nation is one that recognizes that God and His purposes stand over and above the nation.  The highest role a nation can play is to reflect God's righteousness in national policy.

Following the establishment of the colonies was the fight against the tyranny and oppression of the mother country. It was a people who had experienced the Great Awakening of America, inspired to a great degree to fight for freedom from this tyranny by the preaching of such men as George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, and John Wesley. Calvin Coolidge said, "America was born in a revival of religion." 

When the Continental Congress met in 1775, the sense of divine providence again permeated the proceedings as the men met to form this document.  And then in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was voted upon on July 4th and signed on August 2nd. 

Men of Integrity
The 56 men who gathered there to lay the foundation of our liberties were men of integrity.  They were successful men of prosperity and wealth.  The cost of liberty brought all of these men to a place of commitment to God and each other.  The closing words of the Declaration of Independence declare: "With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

They were willing to pay a great price for the freedoms we enjoy today. Of these 56 who signed, l4 lost their lives as captured soldiers or casualties in the war. They lost sons, friends, land and possessions.  They were denounced as rebels and traitors to be hanged if caught. 

In 1776 Thomas Payne wrote, "What we obtain too cheaply we esteem too lightly; It is dearness only that gives everything its value.  Heaven knows how to put a price upon its goods, and it would be strange, indeed, if so celestial an article as freedom should not be so highly rated." Nathan Hale was a graduate of Yale and a spy for our Colonists. When caught and prepared for hanging his last words were, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." To those who sacrificed, the end was worth the painful means.

Scripture to Claim:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2 Corinthians 3:17  

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