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I. The Righteousness of a Nation "Righteousness..."
The first word of our verse is "righteousness." It is a word seldom uttered outside of conservative churches today. You donít hear our politicians speak about righteousness. You donít hear the news media say anything about it. There are at least three implications of the word, righteousness.
1. It Implies Sovereignty. If there is such a thing as righteousness, then Someone sovereign must determine what it is. Humankind has a varied idea of righteousness. We could never in a million years agree on what is righteous and what is unrighteous. God, however, is an authority on righteousness. Psalm 71:19 "Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!" Psalm 98:2 "The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen."
2. It Implies a Standard. Society today does not want a standard; they will not even acknowledge that one exists. This is the main reason that the Word of God has been attacked and ridiculed by unbelievers. Psalm 119:40 "Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness." Psalm 119:142 "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth." At the founding of our nation, the Bible was held in high esteem. There are both direct and indirect quotations in the correspondence of the founding fathers.
3. It Implies a Straightness. It is one thing to admit that there is a standard, it is quite another to make that standard your own. The word in our text intimates a persona righteousness, a personal morality. The Judeo-Christian ethic has guiding our nation rom its founding up until the generation in which we live. Our forefathers chose the righteousness of the Bible as itís guiding light. (See Deut. 4:5)
II. The Reward of a Nation "...exalteth a nation..."
Who can doubt that America has been exalted among the nations? Some Americans, like Nebuchadnezzer in the book of Daniel, take the credit for such exaltation. The mentality is that we somehow deserve the greatness and power of our past. That is a sad mistake to make. America has been exalted because of itís citizens goodness and personal holiness! America has been exalted because
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