What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance. (Psalms 33:12 NLT)
God bless America has become an American refrain. Politicians voice it, vocalists sing it, ordinary people pray it, yet, a more appropriate arrangement of the words might be, America bless God.
After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, America was praying. From the great to small America was seeking God’s protection and blessing. When the threat subsided, so did the prayers.
A friend of mine, who we called Cowboy Bob, who is now with the Lord, suggested to us that it should be America bless God, instead of God bless America. Human nature tends to seek God when we have a need, and forget about him we everything is going well. It gives God a utilitarian role. When we need him we are all onboard, yet,
when there are no great upheavals, we relegate God to a secondary role, or forget about him altogether. It is as if God, the creator, exists just to meet our needs, rather us, the creatures, loving and serving him. We have tried to switch roles where man becomes the center of the universe.
Don’t get me wrong, we desperately need God’s blessing, but the blessing should be sought to honor God and bless others, not just for ourselves. Having a good family, God’s provision and protection are good things, but they should not be the focus of our faith, but a by-product of putting God first and loving him. Parts of the church in America have started to preach a man-centered Gospel, which always puts the cart before the horse or the creature before the creator. Cowboy Boy, my friend, you were right, it should be, America Bless God!
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing