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"One Nation Under God?"

One Nation Under God
A Table in the Presence

Rev 2:5
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

One Nation Under God?

I guess if there is one phrase that I have never questioned, it is that the United States of America IS One nation Under God.

The questions are:

When did this begin?
How did it come about?
What evidence is there that it is or was true?
Is there evidence that it is still true today?

When did this begin?

Let us first consider the Mayflower and the agreement that these immigrant settlers signed. Now certainly, these immigrants expected to make some money through gold, furs and other resources, but the sea voyage was so rough that they gathered to sign a agreement prior to landing in the New World.

The Mayflower Compact. November 11, 1620:

In the name of God, Amen.
We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc., having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia,

"Having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith."

What powerful dedication and commitment!

The Mayflower Compact was not the only written commitment settlers made concerning the cause of Christ. All up and down the coast of the New World settlers came from Europe fleeing religious persecution by the inquisition, longing for the freedom to worship God without fear of retribution, pledging to dedicate all that they would do and become to the cause of Christ.

But a written commitment and dedication by born again believers may not bear fruit if it is not within the will of God. So to be dutiful and obedient we need to follow 1 James 4:1-4 and try the spirits and assess the fruit.

To do this we search American History for indications that God is blessing this great experiment in the New World and run right into Plymouth and William Bradford and follow right into George Washington and the American Revolution.

The Hand of God in Plymouth:

William Bradford was the Governor of Plymouth and we know from his letters home and his diary that the first winter they lost over half their colonists. But they also had good crop success the first and second years. In the third year, the colonists became focused on increasing the size of their farms and their homes. Their crops came up but by early June it was clear that they were facing a severe drought. Bradford's diary says that on the tenth of July the crops were withering and the ground so dry it was but powder in my hands.

Realizing something was seriously wrong, he gathered all the colonists into their block house church and declared a weekend of fasting and prayer. Bradford believed that for some reason God was withholding the rains. So, They fasted, prayed and searched their consciences. By mid-morning the second day there were many public confessions and a spirit of repentance filled the congregation. A renewed commitment to bring the gospel to the heathen Indians and advance the cause of Christ was agreed by the whole settlement.

They broke their fast with the evening meal on Sunday and held worship following the meal. By mid-morning Monday the rains came and the crops were saved.

The Hand of God on George Washington and the American Revolution:

Now certainly we all know that Washington was our first president, The commander in Chief of our Army of Revolution. We have probably all heard about his chopping down a Cherry Tree and telling the truth about it. From all this we get the picture of an honest leader, but is there more? Is there evidence of something more, perhaps something that our history books don't tell us?

The answer is yes there is and it is this - "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey loves to say on his radio program. This rest of the story, that is at once an essential confirmation and the basis of continued hope for all Americans. These are but the beginning of the proof that we are "One Nation under God."

In 1775 in the Battle of Bunker Hill the fledgling American Armies faced British regulars. Because the British brought the wrong size cannon balls to the fight the Americans escaped being annihilated. Even though they lost the battle, the American Army was able to retreat, after inflicting heavy casualties on the British, and had saved over half their forces.

In August of 1776 George Washington and the Continental Armies faced the British in the battle for Long Island. General Howe with nearly 30.000 men was across the channel as Washington and his 20,000 man force prepared to be attacked. A British Fleet of 5 vessels and an additional 5,000 men sailed into the New Jersey Bay.

Faced with the real possibility that the ships could attack from his rear as Howe mounted a frontal assault Washington pondered his situation. Dividing his forces he prepared for an attack on two fronts knowing that he would be greatly outnumbered and out gunned. On the 27th and again on the 28th, Howe attacked at his front. Both times Howe's Army over ran the American positions but withdrew. Both times the British war ships did nothing.

Knowing that his army could not withstand another attack and fearing that the British ships would likely participate in any third attack Washington faced the possibility that the Continental Army could be destroyed and the war lost.

He gathered his commanders together to review the situation and to consider their options.
Before starting the meeting he asked his staff to kneel and pray with him for divine guidance he told them. In a letter to his wife Martha he relates that they prayed together for a quarter hour or so, before he informed them how grave he believed their circumstances to be.

"Unless we experience divine intervention, our cause maybe lost in the next attack," I told them. His letter to Martha reads. "I then gave them their orders and sent them to make preparations for the final battle. It was about 5 PM."

About 6 PM on the 28th an unseasonably cool breeze from the north began to blow and a fog began to form. The fog was so thick that by 8:30 pm only the largest camp fires could be seen and a man had difficulty seeing his hand before his face. Realizing that they now had an opportunity to retreat, Washington called his officers together and ordered them to break camp and to send for boats to cross over to the mainland. Washington left 5000 men on Long Island to cover his retreat, but he managed to save 10,000 men their supplies and cannon and avoid an outright defeat.

The Americans were still evacuating the island at 9 am the following morning as the fog was beginning to lift, but still they were not discovered. British General Howe had been so confident of their impending victory on their next attack that when the weather changed to fog, he issued a double portion of rum to all his officers and men that night and his army was too hung over to realize that Washington and his army had retreated until they attacked the remaining 5000 Americans two days later, over running their position.

Weather or…. The hand of God?

About two weeks later the British located Washington's main force and planned an attack. Gen Howe assigned six sharpshooters or snipers the job of finding and killing General Washington. A task made easier because Washington frequently rode his white horse through the forward ranks during battle to encourage his men.

Washington had captured two British couriers and had discovered the plan to attack his forces. He set his plans to counter the British attack, planning to attack them as they crossed the channel in their boats. He then sat down and read his bible and prayed for strength and encouragement for his troops. As he finished, runners informed him the British were coming across. He placed his bible in his inside coat pocket and called for his horse. He wanted to observe and encourage his troops first hand.

As the battle began, the forces that Washington deployed to attack the crossing panicked when they were unable to destroy the majority of the boats as they crossed. Among the boats that made it across was the one carrying the six British sharpshooters.

Washington arrived at the scene of the battle just in time to see one of his regiments turn and run. As he attempted to get that regiment back into the skirmish line, the British sharpshooters saw him took aim and one by one they fired. Of the six, only two rifles fired. Four rifles misfired. By the time the sharpshooters reloaded, Washington was no longer in sight as he was chasing after the frightened regiment.

After returning to his head quarters and dealing with the cowardly regiment, he reached for his bible. When he opened it he found two rifle balls embedded in it.

We also have the evidence of Washington's crossing of the Delaware.

Washington needed to win a battle for his army's confidence. He decided to attack the Hessians by surprise and hoped to win the day and thus strengthen the confidence in his troops.

Crossing by boat, took several hours longer than expected. He arrived at the Hessian camp at 9 am when he was trying for 7 am. He attacked and routed the Hessians taking 900 prisoners

When he consulted the doctor about casualties he discovered that they had not one casualty nor did they have even one American wounded.

Wet Powder or The Hand of God?

Let us pause here and consider what we have here.

We have the commitment of the immigrants to the New World to dedicate themselves and this land to advancing the cause of Christ.

We see God's responses.

The Plymouth settlement is blessed with rain after fasting, repentance and prayer.

George Washington's prayers are answered with Fog and his life is saved because of his bible, the providence of the Lord

We see a battle won without a single man wounded or killed

We can say that it appears that for nearly 155 years God has been watchfully protecting this land.

Now some may say that this is all well and good, but we may not have that protection today. God may not be as pleased with America today as He was then.

Do you sometimes feel that way? Do you wonder or worry that this might be true?

Ok then let us fast forward to 1981. March 30, 1981 to be exact and the Washington Hilton Hotel. John Hinckley Jr. attempts to assassinate then President Ronald Reagan.

There are some things about this incident that I did not know until recently and I want to share some of then with you today.

Reagan was hit by a ricocheted bullet. But it was not an ordinary bullet. The bullet was 22 caliber and is called the devastator. This bullet has an exploding tip filled with lead azide a poison. It is designed to explode when the bullet strikes something hard like a bone.

The bullet stopped less than an inch from the president's heart and fortunately it did not explode as the surgeon probed for it with his fingers. A similar bullet did explode on simple handling in the FBI crime lab. Luckily the scientist was wearing protective gear and was not injured.

The Surgeon that operated had just completed 33 straight hours of work. Being a Christian he prayed that the Lord would strengthen him to do what needed to be done because he was exhausted. The Lord answered his prayer. Prior to the surgery the surgeon dedicated the surgery to the Lord in a simple prayer.

Most of the doctors that practiced at the hospital had been attending a special meeting that afternoon and were present when the President arrived. Within minutes the ER was filled with specialists in virtually every medical field. So he had all the resources that he might need immediately available to him as soon as he arrived.

Despite contracting a severe Staph infection four days after surgery that almost killed him President Reagan recovered and was released from the hospital 12 days after the shooting and returned to the White House.

Recovering in the White House President Reagan committed his life to God writing in his diary, "Whatever happens now, I owe my life to God and will try to serve him in every way I can."

Chance? Effective Training? or Providence?

Now let us fast forward to March 20, 2003 and the Iraq war. In his book "A Table in the Presence" Lt. Carey H. Cash Chaplin serving with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment tells us vividly and clearly how a U.S. Marine Battalion Experienced God's presence amidst the Chaos of war in Iraq.

As a chaplain to these US Marines, Lt Cash had witnessed the miracles that began months earlier with a spiritual revival in the desert of Northern Kuwait, culminating April 10 in one of the fiercest battles of operation Iraqi Freedom.

This is the armored column of men that rolled into downtown Iraq and captured the Presidential palace on April 10. Some of us may have watched this via the embedded reporting on TV.

This is a story of men, tough men accepting Christ, relying on Christ, trusting Christ and how they found God in the midst of battle and in the presence of their enemies. It is also a story about how God's protective hand was always present in the peaceful dawn or in the heat of battle and it is a tribute to all of us here at home that prayed for our men at war.

These marines spent 40 days in the Kuwaiti desert before the war began.
During that time 57 men accepted Christ as their personal Saviour and over 120 were actively involved in bible study.

Prov 3:5-6

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

In their fist encounters with enemy tanks, the Marine's rocket launcher failed to fire twice and the tank had time to turn it's turret toward them and fire, but it did not. On the third attempt the rocket launcher worked and the marines destroyed the tank. All across the American lines the stories were the same. Tanks that could have fired on the Americans did not do so and thousands literally 10's of thousands surrendered without firing a shot.

Psalm 119:105, 114 Forever O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven…. It is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path… Thou art my Hiding place and my Shield

The Chaplain relates one account after another where a man or a group of men in a vehicle experienced a direct hit of a rocket propelled grenade and an explosion and were unhurt. Individually and collectively the men of 1st Battalion Fifth regiment had personal and irrefutable evidence that the hand of God had protected them and saved them from certain death. Even the Battalion commander said "There is no doubt in my mind, Someone was watching over us the entire time."

The chaplain credits these events to the power of the thousands perhaps millions of us that were praying for our men at arms and the spiritual preparation of the men those 40 days in the desert.

The best example of the prayers offered came from a grandmother in Mississippi

It read:

We are asking God for three things concerning this war
1. Confusion among the Generals of Saddam's army; Chaos causing them to lay down their arms
2. Salvation for many!
3. Legions of warring angels with drawn swords going before you as you make your approach
We know God is able

We may never know what the Iraqis saw that over and over again frightened them so that they dropped their weapons and ran, that caused them to not fire on our men when they clearly could have and would have inflicted heavy losses on us, but I am reminded of a story in 2 Kings 6 and what the prophet Elisha's servant saw thousands of years ago during a moment when two armies faced each other on the field of battle.

Elisha and his servant were in a city surrounded by an enemy army and to Elisha’s servant all appeared lost.

2 Kings 6:14-17

14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.

15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

Suddenly the servant could see what Elisha already had seen. God had sent His heavenly army and set them upon the hills and mountains behind the invading army. God and his army were there to protect Elisha and his people.

We know that when the invading army awoke that day something frightened them so terribly that they withdrew without ever attacking the city.

Is this what the Iraqi soldiers saw in addition to our troops that terrified them so? Perhaps, but we may never know.

But what is certain is that God is gracious and good and his hand was upon our Marines throughout their battles in Iraq. His hand was upon Plymouth. His hand was upon George Washington and His hand was upon President Reagan. His hand is upon America.

God is the same today as yesterday and tomorrow.

It is also certain that

2 Chron 7:14

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Pray and pray without ceasing, thanking God for His many blessing and pray that we will continue to be "One nation under God"

May God richly bless us all and may God continue to bless America
Dear Deacon Bob;

Thank you so much for your excellent read, brother!

I have heard the waddled phrase, "In these times we are seeing the downfall of America" just like the prediction, precise time of "Jesus' return", both have one thing in common, only our Father knows.

Since America's birth the imperfections and flaws in my home country have been visible but I truly believe God has poured His forgiveness and grace on this nation because of the generations of Christians who have prayed, repented, and witnessed to the unbelievers. I also believe that a great blessing received from God is when many come from across the miles to serve in the ministries in America, and many are commanded from The United States to serve overseas as well.

Your servant in Christ Jesus.
Great Post Deacon Bob! Keep em Comming.

It is also so refreshing to see another believer on fire with the word of God.

In :love: of JESUS the Christ, Our LORD, the ONLY begotten Son of GOD.