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Remember America

The book of Leviticus recounts a number of events and instructions that don’t make a lot of sense to us more “enlightened” folk today: sacrifices, blood, fire, ashes, etc. There is a huge cultural gap between that nation of freed slaves wandering in the desert and us modern Americans living in a land of plenty where slavery has been outlawed for 150 years. They probably had an instinctive understanding of the significance of blood smeared on the bronze horns of an altar, while we recoil in horror. The problem is not with Scripture nor with God’s instructions to Israel, of course, but with our deficient understanding and warped perspective.

Here is something a little nearer to us, though, something to which we ought to be able to relate:

And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: ‘Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and the bullock of the sin-offering, and the two rams, and the basket of unleavened bread; and assemble thou all the congregation at the door of the tent of meeting.’ And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the congregation was assembled at the door of the tent of meeting.
(Leviticus 8:1-4)

Moses called the millions of Israelites together to witness the inauguration of Tabernacle and the Aaronic Priesthood. Only a small fraction of them could have had a good view of the slaughter and subsequent sprinkling, dabbing, and smearing of blood. Many probably craned their necks and strained vainly to hear the proceedings, but on that day they all experienced something that we can share.

Do you see it? The moment that unites Israel with every long-lived nation on Earth?

At pivotal moments like this one, they stood together. They survived the plagues and the sea crossing, and now remember it at Passover every year. Together, they witnessed God’s presence thundering from the summit of Sinai, and still remember it every year at Shavuot. Every nation has a number of such defining moments, the fires that burn political and religious bridges to an ancestral land and people.

For example…

  • April 19, 1775, when a loosely organized band of civilians defended their guns and powder from a trained force of the world’s most powerful military.
  • July 4, 1776, when a gathering of respected and determined men signed the document that formally separated the American colonies from Great Britain.

The things that separate one nation from another are the very things that make a nation strong. Formative events and the subsequent remembrances are vital to the health of any nation. They identify us to the world and to ourselves. They draw us together and keep drawing us so long as we remember them together. Although such traditions can’t save us anymore than they saved the Israelites from being scattered by Rome, no nation can stand for long without the traditions and rituals that serve as a collective memory.

We must remember our history and acknowledge the great events that made us a people.

America is no exception.

If we are to survive as a distinct people, we must acknowledge our identity as a Christian nation, founded on Biblical principals. We must remember our history and acknowledge the great events that made us a people. We must teach these things to our children and ensure that they understand the value of national identity and cohesiveness.

Finally, we must not allow those who do not value America to tell us who and what America ought to be. While our primary citizenship is in heaven and not on earth at all, those of us who keep America’s founding principals in our hearts and minds are America, and those who do not keep them, neither want nor deserve the title.

Words Have Meaning

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. Matthew 5:37

Numbers 30:2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

Matthew 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Keeping your word is important to God. The ability to speak, to make agreements, and to make things happen with words is one of the ways in which we were created in God’s image. He created through speech, and He relates to us by speech. When God spoke, the universe was. His interaction with us has primarily been through the spoken word and its fulfillment: the prophets, preachers, and most importantly, through the Word made flesh in the form of Jesus.

When we speak, like God, we make things happen. We create. We can change the universe by opening our mouths. “If you will say unto this mountain, ‘Be moved and cast into the sea,’ it shall be done.” Notice that Jesus did not say if we ask God to move the mountain. He said we can speak directly to the mountain, and it will obey. Our words have tangible effects on the world around us. Even if you speak without intent, there may be power in the mere sounds. The more significant your words, the more significant the consequences are sure to be.

If you say, “This country is going down the tubes,” that might only be your observation of what you see around you, but it isn’t necessarily true. By putting it into words in that manner, you reinforce a negative outlook in yourself and the people around you, causing you to behave as if the country is already lost. You are making a statement of faith that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

Don’t say that America is doomed and leave it at that, especially not if you believe it to be true. Rather say, “America is doomed if we don’t repent and return to God and His Law.” You will accomplish three things by modifying your speech in this manner:

  1. You will reinforce in yourself and those around you that there is a way out for America. If Nineveh could be saved, then so can America.
  2. You will reinforce belief in the truth that America’s redemption will come only from God, and that He respects and rewards nations who obey Him.
  3. Your words, spoken in faith, will have power to change reality.

Remember that your positive faith is in competition with the negative faith of millions of others, so it is important for all those who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to speak in unity and in favor of repentance and obedience. We must not allow the voices of unbelievers to dictate our future.

In the end, it is possible that America’s demise is necessary in God’s overall plan. In that case, there is nothing we can do or say to prevent it. Like the national repentance of Israel under Josiah’s leadership, the most we could accomplish is a reprieve. That isn’t reason to give up hope, because we don’t know what the future holds. That generation or two of delay might mean the ultimate salvation of millions and the greater glory of God’s Kingdom.

Be careful what you say. Don’t speak hopeless negativity against yourself and your people. Let your words be full of encouragement and hope and repentance.

Words have meaning, frequently more meaning than we will ever know.