God Bless America?

Singer Tony Bennett sings "God Bless America" on the National Mall in October, 2010.

By James Robison Published on October 20, 2015

JAMES ROBISON — For over 200 years now, presidents, congressmen and candidates have closed their speeches with three words: “God bless America.” Even when it could be construed as politically incorrect to invoke the name of God in a state setting, politicians from both major parties continue to do it. But can we really expect God to continually bless our country?

After two centuries of blessing and success, it seems that “God Bless America” is not only our request but our testimony. I believe there is a direct connection between God’s goodness and our historical respect for Him. Since the beginning, we as a nation have recognized and honored a Divine Being. Despite the wide range of religious beliefs, the importance of Providence in human affairs has rarely been denied.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “God governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without His aid?”

Americans, in general, have lived in accordance with Judeo-Christian values. Our country has proven to be compassionate, unselfish and ready to assist those in need. When natural disaster strikes, whether an earthquake in Turkey or a famine in Sudan, America benevolently cares for the helpless and hurting. When tyrants from the Soviets to the Taliban try to oppress people, America works not to conquer but to liberate and grant the opportunity of freedom for all. Even our enemies in wartime, from the Germans in World War II to the Iraqis of today, have benefited from our generous rebuilding efforts, regardless of the time and money required.

America has, for the most part, set a positive example throughout the world — a city set on the hill. While the communists once built walls to keep people in, America consistently manages an influx of immigrants seeking the American Dream and all it offers.

At the same time, we must wonder if our contemporary pleas for God’s blessings might be out of order. Our modern society often promotes practices, lifestyles and ideas that run counter to the biblical principles of God.

Too many wealthy individuals and corporations are consumed by greed and dishonest practices. Too many politicians stir up envy among the poor. Those who “have” tend to hoard it and those who “have not” hate those who do!

Sexual extremes and perversions have become commonplace among adults and children. Unhealthy addictions abound. Pop culture glorifies decadence and belittles morality. We fail to promote the importance of innocence and refuse to protect the defenseless unborn.

Our enemies hate the positive aspects of America, like freedom and opportunity, while exploiting the negative attributes. They use our sins to recruit pawns for their terror and justify their horrific actions. While we recognize the flawed thinking of the tormentors, Americans should analyze her own lives to make constructive changes, offset the criticism and strengthen our country’s foundation.

When floods occur in nature, the rising water often exposes the need to build on higher ground. Perhaps, as disaster strikes, it is time to go beyond merely asking God to bless America and begin to build our lives on higher moral ground.

Read Micah 6:8.

Prayer:

God, You have been gracious and kind to this country for so long. Thank You for your goodness and faithfulness to us. Your Word tells us that You bless those who obey You, but You resist the proud. Looking at our nation today, You must see immorality and arrogant pride as we reject Your ways for our own. We have no right to ask or expect Your blessing over us who are in such a state of rebellion. Change us Lord, from the inside out; begin with our hearts. Bring revival to this land so that we might seek You wholeheartedly as a society and respect Your ways. Teach us to live according to Your standards again. Return us to a place where we can again ask for Your blessing.

 

Adapted from the Book, The Soul of a Nation: 30 days, 30 issues, 30 prayers, by James Robison. (Thos. Nelson, 2008)

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