I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!(Psalms 121:1-2 NLT)
|Washington Praying at Valley forge
As we celebrate the birth of our nation again, it might behoove us to dwell on the man most responsible for its formation, George Washington. Tradition has it that he was responsible for including this phrase in the title of this blog to the oath of office of the President. Whether he did or didn’t, the meaning behind this expression was prominent in his life.
Washington was a Godly man. It is well documented that after taking the oath of office on the Bible, he would kiss it. He set a righteous example as he discouraged cursing among his military officers. God raised this man up and preserved him. In the French and Indian War, a Native American Chief fighting against Washington was in awe of his invincibility. After one battle, Washington had four bullets lodged in his coat, and two horses shot out from under him, with hardly a wound. Though he led from the front rather than the rear as most generals did, they could not kill him. This Chief convinced that the “Great Spirit” had preserved Washington, prophesized that “he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn, will hail him as a father of a mighty empire!”
Sadly, the House of Representatives, recently, removed “So help me God” from their oath of office to avoid what they call a religious test. Our founders believed in freedom of religion, we devolved into freedom from religion. Also, Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, where Washington attended while he was President, removed a commemorative plaque because of his ties to slavery. Washington was not a perfect man just like you and me, but it should not negate all he did for this nation. Slavery was a blight on the history of this country, yet redemption is available for the sins of our past. Some would hold us in bondage for the misdeeds of our ancestors. I can be sorry for that in which my descendants were involved, but I cannot repent for that of which I have not done.
This country can only be explained by the providence of God. It is not about our wealth or might, though God has given us both of these things. It is due to men and women who came to our shores seeking the freedom to worship their Creator as their consciences dictated, and God did not disappoint them. If we remove from our minds the collective consciousness that this nation was formed by the intervention of a divine hand; using good but imperfect people who are inadequate in themselves and therefore need wisdom from Heaven to continue this experiment in democracy, God help us!
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing