The July 4th celebration of our independence from England in 1776 is not officially a religious holiday. However, beyond the sparklers, firecrackers and spectacular fireworks, there are strong biblical messages that need to be heard by all Americans. On that day, the political leaders signed the document called the Declaration of Independence that affirmed our leaders desire to become a free country. They were determined to make America a free and democratic system of government and acknowledged God who created all to be treated equal. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Separating from the political tyranny from England was anything but easy; it took several difficult years of war including much blood shed on both sides. We should be grateful for such wisdom, sacrifice, courage and faith of those leaders who have given us freedom that we have today.
Although it is not a religious holiday like Christmas or Easter, for many Americans July 4th is a time to reflect on God’s goodness to us as a nation. In 1787 the Constitution was written and signed. God was in their midst. In Philadelphia, there is the Liberty Bell that was rung to mark the signing of the Constitution. Molded into the Liberty Bell are the words from Leviticus 25:10, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”
To say the least, God has showered His grace on this country. He was the power and the wisdom behind America becoming an independent country because it was God’s desire that Americans would humble themselves and commit to depend on the Lord for wisdom moving forward to do His will.
“Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you” (Psalm 33:8-22).
On July 4, 1946, John F. Kennedy, while running for Congress, affirmed the Declaration of Independence 170 years after its signing by saying, “The informing spirit of the American character has always been a deep religious sense. Throughout the years, down to the present, a devotion to fundamental religious principles has characterized American thought and action.” “Our government was founded on the essential religious idea of integrity of the individual. It was this religious sense which inspired the authors of the Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”
Our role as Christians is to engage with the culture no matter what level. Christian voices in politics, public policy, and in our government positions need to be heard. Groups like the Indiana Family Institute led by Ryan McCann, American Family Institute directed by Micah Clark, Public Servants’ Prayer led by Pam Russell and other Christian influencers need prayer and support as they are a voice of truth in the political arena.
“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” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
As Christians, we need to resist the temptation that man without the wisdom and acknowledged oversight of our Lord and Savior, can lead this country. We get caught up in the politics as if God has no authority to place whom He wants in positions of governorship. Despite what we are experiencing, what we hear and what we know, we can trust our Sovereign God to lead where we need to go according to His will not our own. Have we forgotten that God is our strong tower, our refuge for the broken, and a shield of protection for His people? If God can move mountains, He can restore this land. Might God have His way with us that we might humble ourselves and pray and return to Him.
Micah 6:8, “O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”